Marketing in the Round is a must-read for professionals across industries and markets – including B2C, B2B and B2G. My only regret is that it wasn’t around a few years ago, when I was working through some particularly challenging sales and branding issues with a growing technology firm.
What I love about Marketing in the Round is that it takes a very holistic approach to marketing – recognizing that the marketing function cannot be properly executed in a vacuum from either the related disciplines (advertising, PR, sales, corporate communications) or other departments (customer service, operations, HR, business operations). Repeatedly, Livingston and Dietrich entreat the C-level to “break down the silos.”
And Marketing in the Round does not merely offer theories but resources, actual workbook exercises and sample tables and dashboards to walk professionals step-by-step through the process of 1) building an integrated team; 2) implementing a strategy and tactics; and 3) measuring ROI and adjusting as needed. This is not a book to be read once but one to be kept readily available as an indispensable reference.
Another aspect of the book I greatly appreciate is Livingston and Dietrich’s caution to avoid the “shiny object” approach to every new social media invention: Facebook and Twitter are not necessarily the proper tactics or tools for every company or situation. They recommend companies listen in on the social media conversation before jumping in with corporate speak – promptly turning off potential customers. As the book eloquently states:
“Talking at customers and stakeholders without listening to them is the equivalent of marching into a networking event with a fistful of business cards, and mercilessly delivering elevator pitches.”
Again and again, the book stresses strategy – cautioning marketers against reaching for their favorite tool regardless of whether or not it will be most effective for the job at hand.
There is also an excellent section that addresses the particular challenges of those companies in the B2G and B2G sectors and offers powerful suggestions, tactics and case study examples.
Having been in the marketing/communications profession for more than 18 years, I found this book not only to be an excellent review of marketing best practices in general but also an energizing read. If you are at all frustrated with a stagnant company culture, a challenging sales/branding goal or even a stubborn client (for those of you on the service side), this book will give you a renewed sense of hope and purpose.
As the book states, “The only way to succeed in the future – to best serve your customers, to become an investment in the company’s growth – is to market in the round.”