For “Do-It-Yourself” Marketers…
10 “Must-Read” Advertising Books
By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.
At a recent trade conference, a seminar attendee came up to me after my marketing presentation and proclaimed that he “liked to learn from other people’s mistakes.” I thought “Uh-oh, do I look like the kind of guy that’s made a lot of mistakes?” Fortunately, he was referring to “experts in general” and not me in particular. And he followed this with a rather brilliant request:
“Can you give me the names of 10 books I should read, to avoid making mistakes?”
How strange that I’d never thought of offering such a valuable bit of advice before! It took me only a moment to come up with the list. See, these books aren’t just “pretty good….” Every one of these books should be mandatory reading for any amateur or professional who wants to take marketing and advertising into their own hands. (In fact, every one of these books should be read at least twice, and then kept near your desk for future reference.)
Commit yourself to reading these books and maybe you won’t have to hire me….
- Monopolize Your Marketplace, by Rich Harshaw. OK, surely you didn’t think I’d leave that off the list, did you? 288 pages of some of the most practical and proven “Here’s how you do it” marketing advice you’ll find anywhere. Plenty of specific detailed examples for any business to emulate.
- Tested Advertising Methods, by John Caples. A true pioneer in 20th century advertising, Caples remains legendary in his discoveries and accomplishments. Anyone who ignores Caples’ teachings will be throwing advertising money down the drain.
- The Plain English Approach to Business Writing, by Edward Bailey Jr. At only 124 pages long, Bailey proves that you don’t have to be verbose to communicate a powerful message. Quite the opposite, in fact. And that concept’s even more important in advertising.
- The AP Guide to News Writing, by Rene Cappon. Hard to find for a long time, it appears this book is now back in print. As head editor for the Associated Press, Cappon ruthlessly forced his writers to create copy that people would want to read. Yes, that’s exactly what you want in advertising. And fortunately for the rest of us, Cappon summarized his 50+ years of experience in this 134 page book.
- The Non-Designer’s Design Book, by Robin Williams. No, not the comedian, but she does have a good sense of humor. Williams takes a somewhat mysterious art form and breaks it down into four easy-to-comprehend concepts that can make you a graphic design “expert” (or close) in less than a day. The best part of this book is the consistent use of “Before” and “After” examples, demonstrating the impact of the quick & easy fixes to all-too-common bad graphic designs.
- The Wizard Of Ads, by Roy Williams. No relation whatsoever to Robin Williams, Roy is the brooding marketing genius running the “Wizard Academy” outside the quiet little town of Driftwood, Texas. Roy typically gets $10,000 for a one-day consultation, so you might want to pay attention to what he says. This is the first in his trilogy of books that shed a completely different light on the challenges of marketing, advertising and the intricacies of persuasion and the human mind.
- Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads, by Roy Williams. Where his first book left off, “Formulas” gives you greater insight and some practical tips and techniques to take advantage of the Wizard’s unusual teachings. Less than halfway through this book, you’ll realize this guy is on to something brilliant that 99.9% of the rest of the world is completely ignoring.
- Magical Worlds of the Wizard of Ads, by Roy Williams. Not for the faint of heart, Roy now takes you out past left field and into worlds and a universe beyond conventional thinking. At the same time, he keeps it all very real. Roy hates it when you call the Academy “a cult,” but if you were ever starting to think so, this book would cinch it for you.
- Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got, by Jay Abraham. A modern legend in cost-effective advertising and self-promotion, Abrahams helps you find every morsel of opportunity through creative strategies and joint ventures. Excellent ideas and examples abound throughout the book.
- Socratic Selling, by Kevin Dale. True, this book is about selling, not advertising. But great marketing can and will forever be undone by lousy salesmanship. Therefore, you should study this book carefully to make sure you’re not wasting your time and investment in the other nine books. And while there are dozens (if not hundreds) of excellent sales books out there, Socratic Selling offers the clearest and simplest guidance I’ve ever seen towards a rewarding and productive career in “no-BS” selling.
OK, it shouldn’t take you more than a year or two to read each of those books twice. Implement at least some of concepts and you’ll gain a distinct advantage over your competition.
Alternatively, if you don’t have that kind of time to spare, you can give us a call. We specialize in utilizing all the above secrets and more, specifically in the pool construction industry. And we like to do it in months, not years.
Either way, I truly wish you the greatest success in your business.
©2009 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin Inc. May not be used without permission.