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4 Great Marketing Books to start 2015


4 Great Marketing Books to start 2015

Originally posted on Ron Wave Design Blog 

At the end of the day, books are probably one of the most effective sources for new information and knowledge sharing. They allow for a more thorough explanation of new skills rather than the short articles and videos that exist online. Thousands of business books are published every year and to be honest, its really difficult to sift through all of the mess. I've compiled a list of Marketing books that I have read over the last year and shortlisted 5 of my favorite. Note that these are not necessarily published in 2014.

Jason Khoo - Jab Jab Jab Right Hook

1. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

Written by Social Media Marketing evangelist Gary Vaynerchuk, this marketing book is one that is a must have for all social media marketers. Gary combines his incredible success with his own family business, Wine Library, and the hands on experience with his media agency, VaynerMedia to create a complete social media tutorial. No social media is spared as he takes you through all the large social media platforms. Inserted are specific steps and examples that puts everything into perspective. The cherry on top is the aesthetically pleasing photos and color he uses throughout he text. It feels less like a textbook and more like a magazine!

Jason Khoo - Web Analytics 2.0

2. Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik

We live in a world of data now. Avinash Kaushik's book Web Analytics 2.0 is a refreshing read that presents complex theories in simple easy steps that will make you wonder how you didn't understand any of this. No matter which Web analytics tool you use, Avinash probably knows it better than you! Utilizing a language that mere mortals like you and me will understand, Avinash doesn't delve into the jargon. The book reads as a professional conversation, one that respects both sides and the common goal. With examples and multiple supplemental chapters, this book puts you the fast track to analytics success!

Jason Khoo - Made to Stick


3. Made to Stick by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Made to Stick is a personal favorite of mine. Every chapter completely changes how you approach the simplest marketing messages you send. By following a simple acronym SUCCESs, these brothers add a Gladwell-esque type of analysis into every message that your business sends out. This marketing book is definitely one that requires more than one read and it will offer a complete overhaul in the ways you develop what you know about marketing. They back up their theories with relevant anecdotes and eye opening research. I recommend this to anyone who would like to really work on the way they craft and write their marketing message.

Jason Khoo - Epic Content Marketing

4. Epic Content Marketing by Joseph Pulizzi

Despite the cheesy cover, this book was one of the most thorough books I've read. Providing calendars, corporate case studies, and team dynamics that support a successful Content Marketing team, Joe Pulizzi lays out a step by step plan on how to get it done. Pulizzi brings a view of Content Marketing that plunges you out of the blubbery abstract discussions of Content Marketing and into a tangible, solid concept. With a transparent intent, Pulizzi holds nothing back. Once finished with this marketing book you will feel like you experienced the life of Content Marketing and now understand its complete history!

This list makes up my favorite reads of the year 2014 and I highly recommend any of these books  to anyone who wants to really understand the field of marketing. Trust me, get one of these books and you will find yourself bubbling with new ideas! Please comment below if I didn't include a book that you loved because I am a proud Barnes and Nobles member and I love increasing my personal library!


Why Everyone is Wrong When they Say "All Shampoos/Soaps are the Same".


Why Everyone is Wrong When they Say "All Shampoos/Soaps are the Same".


Recently I sat through a lecture that talked about consumer products. Essentially the message was, 

All products are pretty much the same thing, its the branding we use to differentiate them.

To me statements like these are what create a divide between consumers, marketers, and businesses.  The exact example  was about Shampoos. With an image of a CVS shampoo aisle, the lecturer quipped that really all of these products are 90% the same. The other 10% are minor adjustments that do not constitute a significant enough impact. Consumers really were just wasting their time and money on all these different products. 

Let's Hold it Right There 

Now this is where I'd have to disagree. Though it may be true that these Shampoos have the same make up of all the other brands, it does NOT mean that they are the same thing. Some people need special shampoos to cure dandruff, some like a certain scent, and some are formulated especially for kids so that they don't burn their eyes. Many of us have used enough of these shampoos to know that there really is a difference. It's not just a placebo effect. I'm really not a shampoo expert though so excuse me while I switch the example.

Let's take restaurants, specifically Mexican Restaurants.

We all have our favorite spots to eat. We have our spots that we immediately go to after a long day and the mere thought of this place launches a tidal wave of cravings. For me, there is a place called El Patio that makes THE BEST Carne Asada Nachos that you'll find in Orange County. 

Jason Khoo - Carne Asada Nachos

Carne Asada Nachos are not a novelty item and you can pretty much find them anywhere. If you live where I live, you can find three other stores within a block that serve the same dish. Think about the relationship between these different restaurants. They all use chips, they all use carne asada, pico de gallo, some sort of beans, etc. Every restaurant will add a little variation in accordance with their recipe, but just like shampoo 90% of Carne Asada Nachos are going to be the same. However, if you told me we were going to get Carne Asada Nachos from some place other than El Patio my response would be ".......really? We might as well not get it."

Okay, okay, I may sound a little haughty, but hear me out. 

Burgers at Mcdonalds, Carl's Jr, Smash Burger, Fat Burger, The Counter, Umami Burger are 90% the same. They have bread, meat and bread. Yet I am 100% sure that most of you wouldn't deem a McDonald's burger the same as Carl's Jr or Umami Burger. If you don't believe me, go take your best friend/significant other to a McDonald's for their birthday. See what happens. Or better yet, tell them your going to get steak and take them to a Carl's Jr. [If you decide to take me up on this challenge, PLEASE let me know how it goes]

Jason Khoo - Chimpanzees vs Humans

One last example to drive this debate home.

Humans and Chimpanzee's according to the 2005 special issue of Nature share 96% genetic similarity. Yeup. Some studies even suggest 99%. You know where I am going with this.  I'm sure we can agree that Humans and Chimpanzees are not the EXACT same being. 

So there! Point made. 

This conversation is really about context. Data is great but we must do our part to interpret it properly. The relationship between corporations and consumers has always been strained because of the false reports and interpretations on both sides. I just want to do my part in clearing up this misconception and breathe confidence back into consumers who choose a different shampoo. So go ahead, choose that bottle of Shampoo specifically made for the problem you may have, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!.