The On-Demand Brand: 10 Rules for Digital Marketing Success
in an Anytime, Everywhere World
By Rick Mathieson
[powerpress: http://gsbm-med.pepperdine.edu/gbr/audio/spring 2011/book_corner/OnDemand_Mallette.mp3]
I was attracted to Rick Mathieson’s The On-Demand Brand by the subtitle about marketing success. As a soon-to-be author* (and a marketing Neanderthal), I felt that I should learn more about marketing in the digital world. This book discusses digital marketing principles; it is NOT about technology. The author’s major premise is based on the Burger King Syndrome (“Have it your way”), the original mass customization. Whether your customers are on Facebook, MySpace, iPhones, Droids, TiVo, Twitter, YouTube, or they’re texting, IM-ing, RSS-feeding, or whatever-is-next-ing, they want it their way. I appreciated the pages of definitions where he defines terms like crowd sourcing, hyper-targeting, and short codes.
The 10 chapters are entitled Rule #1 through Rule #10. These rules or principles are not discrete silos, but represent a spectrum of approaches that can contribute to your integrated marketing communications initiatives.(p. xvii) I especially enjoyed Rules #3 and #4. Rule #3: Don’t Just Join the Conversation – Spark It. The authors tell us to appropriate the conversation. One example given is Johnson & Johnson’s Babycenter, a hugely successful online community with tools, information, and a social experience for parents of young children. Rule #4: There’s No Business Without Show Business. A takeoff of the 1946 Irving Berlin song, Mathieson discusses many topics, such as product placement replacing TV advertising, and to not “just sell a product, sell the problem it solves, the feeling it gives, the status it conveys, or the values it embodies.”(p. 97) You know the author has a vast body of experience in this field by the stories that fill every page. The book is replete with real-world examples—those that worked, those that didn’t work, and why.
An interesting feature at the end of each chapter is a multipage question-and-answer session with current top marketers from a variety of industries; I found the interviews entertaining, but not especially useful. The chapters are loaded with many useful examples from Mathieson’s extensive experience, but he has a caveat: These rules are useless unless you have a compelling product that people want to buy, at a price they are willing to pay, and if you provide excellent service to your customers. This is not a how-to book, but rather a description and analysis of what a lot of other companies have done. This medium-sized book is affordable and very enjoyable to read, with an occasional flashback to the definitions. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in marketing in the coming decade.
*Writing for Conferences, Greenwood Press, due out June 30, 2011.