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Marketing Saves the World: How to Sell Charity, Consulting and Capitalism Hardcover – Illustrated, Feb. 23 2020
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Every now and then, someone comes along and makes the subject of management both fun and insightful. That's what Bill Matassoni has done in his memoir--a combination of compelling stories and contrarian substance--that covers his forty-year career selling what he calls "ephemeral things." In addition to the memoir, Bill plays host to a series of videos that are entertaining, irreverent, and filled with his conviction that marketing is the primary driver of progress in both commercial and social markets.
Bill, a former McKinsey and BCG partner, distills his life, loves and lessons in his captivating memoir on the evolution of the modern marketer. He presents an entirely new way to think about unlocking value in market spaces, not places. Using his experiences as a canvas on which to share his ideas, Bill recounts his adventures--and they are adventures--working for The United Way of America, McKinsey, BCG, Ashoka and other organizations where ideas were the product and emotion was as important as function. We learn about how Victoria's Secret "democratized" luxury, why beer might become a nutritional product, BCG's efforts to compete with McKinsey and vice-versa, Bill's wonderful wife Pamela and the important role of social entrepreneurs. As Bill pays tribute to his talented colleagues, The Bill Matassoni Show and Marketing Saves the World teach us how to find new dimensions of value that make the world better by enabling multiple stakeholders to win. It is about capitalism with a capital "C." Says Bill, "Forget about sharing the pie. Make it bigger."
- Publisher : Firmsconsulting LLC; Illustrated edition (Feb. 23 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 266 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1734032707
- ISBN-13 : 978-1734032703
- Item weight : 526 g
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 1.6 x 22.86 cm
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in marketing, business, or even those who want to create positive changes in their lives or the world around them.
Top reviews from other countries
Also, I purchased and read the Kindle version. And I never seem to "relate" to a book properly when reading on Kindle - I much prefer physical books and enjoy reading them more. (I purchased this book on Kindle because I was "taking a chance on the book" and it's £22 for the paperback version).
So maybe my review is biased based on the above.
That said, I did enjoy the start of the book (in a kind of intrigued way, as in, I wonder where this is going, let's find out...) and the early chapters where he writes about his experience working on the campaigns for blood pressure compliance and working with the NFL players were also good reading.
But when the book got into the chapters where he was working at the big Consulting companies it all got a bit dull for me from there. I got the feeling that people working at the big consulting firms never really figure out what they're doing or what real (practical) value they offer / or how to package it to clients in a meaningful way.
Obviously the author has been very successful working inside consulting firms and / or advising them and seems to have made a very good living out of it. But as a reader I'm struggling think of anything really insightful I got from the book (and I have given it a few days to reflect upon after completing the book). I suppose the bit about "if you want to change you have to change twice" seemed insightful when I read it in the book (eg, the way it was phrased). But that was a quote / description from some other book. And, upon reflection, it's really just common sense that someone has to change the physical (environment) and their perception of themselves in order to make a change and stick to the change.
Other reviewers say that the systems design aspect and new dimension of space were a real insight for them. But again, the author seems to mention systems design / new dimension of space, while still trying to figure out for himself what he himself means -- so it's all a bit unclear as to what he really means by systems design / new dimension of space. I think what he means is what is now called Category Design (see Christopher Lochhead books). Category Design is not marketing per se, it is "bigger" than that - although marketing plays an important role in shaping and languaging the new category.
All in all, anyone who writes and produces a book I have great respect for. However, I did feel rather let down by this book. Granted I didn't really know what to expect from the outset. I guess I had a sense that I would really get a lot of great insights out of it (based on the other reviews and reading the first few pages for free through Amazon preview). I would have felt even more let down if I'd paid the £22 for the paperback edition.
Bill tells us this quote of one of his friends, a BCG partner. It says that if you want to change, you will have to change twice: your attitude or actions, to make it happen, but also your perception of that habit/attitude, as it is necessary for it to be longlasting.
Just that quote already impacted my attitude towards reading in general: I want to read a lot of books, but am struggling a little to implement this in a regular basis because I have not yet changed twice. And that is only one of the insights I have found in this book. There are many other bigger ones ready to be extracted by the reader.
I also thought it would be a book filled with amazing stories and interesting people. This time I got it right. The narrative is very engaging and you always feel like you are part of the scenes he describes.
There are six things that I really enjoyed about this book:
*His writing style, that is very concise and to the point, while still being very funny and engaging;
*Insights about marketing and strategy, which permeate the whole book, spanning from his stories about convincing people to take care of their blood pressure to the ones about revolutionizing the image of McKinsey;
*A very insightful and honest view about McKinsey and BCG's culture and problems;
*The stories and views on very famous and interesting people, such as Kenichi Ohmae, Marvin Bower, and even Leslie Nielsen!
*His passion about marketing, which is almost contagious and made me a lot more interested in the subject;
*A very humble and grounded tone, which is already valuable by itself, and coming from such an amazing and accomplished person, it's even more so;
Bill's definition of marketing is very unique - it enables us to think about marketing in a much broader way, expanding its applicability. It is not a common definition you would find in regular marketing books. It does link to spacial geometry in a sense, and also talks about three key elements: technical, functional and emotional, as well as its ability to be applied to copletely change "market spaces" (not marketplaces) as he always reiterates.
So, if you would like to learn about marketing, strategy and consulting firms and chuckle a little bit along the way, this book is for you. Too bad the book is a bit short.
In my opinion this book target three broad audiences (everyone who wants to learn more about marketing should read it): consultants, executives, and marketers. I do have subgroups on those 3 broad categories but I'm not going to specify for the sake of simplicity. It's a really fun book to read and you might read it in one sit. But fun is not the same as not insightful or vague. You might want to re-read it to grab even more the underlying rich principles and concepts about marketing and strategy.
Marketing Saves the World tells you a little bit of Bill's life, and his anecdotes are rich and insightful! He states that marketing is the essential ingredient for successful companies and the people who run them and that really makes you think. It's the cornerstone of strategy because you need to know your market space, you need to know your market dimensions (two concepts Bill raised), in order to make a substantial change. And you don't need to change the entire company talking about marketing everywhere to everyone, you just need the right people, people who want to make a change, and work with them in order to transform it. Marketing is not only about the outside, it's about the inside too, so you must change twice in order to be successful in your endeavors.
Bill worked with heavy brands: McKinsey, BCG, United Way of America, etc. and got really great histories within each one. For example, he was the Global-Head of Marketing at McKinsey and was responsible for getting it out of the "ring of thugs" they were in back at 1982. His efforts were responsible for putting McKinsey ahead of other consulting firms. In my opinion, that is something really complex and difficult to do.
Selling the hard stuff is already difficult, now imagine selling a treatment for an incurable disease? Ephemeral things are difficult to sell, it brings other dimensions on the table, you need to learn how to bend those dimensions and find new ones. This book can give you the insights to find just that but remember, it is not an instruction book, with steps in order to solve it, you need to grab those underlying principles.
If you are a consultant, you need to read this book. If you want to be a consultants, you must read this book. If you are curious about marketing, you should read this book. If you want to learn a little bit more about McKinsey and BCG you should read this book. If you work with marketing, you should definitely read this book. You will be amazed by the stories and how fun it is to learn a little bit more about marketing.
Thank you Bill, for writing this memoir and sharing a little bit of your life!
The only thing I do not like is not being able to grab one of the Limited Editions myself.
I really recommend this book. In my opinion, you will not regret reading it.
The book also encourages us to think , visualize and craft the path that leads us to success. His experience in dealing with the problem, solving techniques, communication, and interpersonal skills are amazing. His are of experience also provides us to think about what we can do in the social sector which was unique and eye-opening.