Alliteratively named authors Malcolm McDonald and Mike Meldrum have split the tasks and functions of marketing into 60 bite-sized topics. These topics are usefully sectioned into seven groups for ease of navigation.
The content is accurate and insightful, if a little dry, and some of the terminology I found a little old hat. Do we really use the term ‘internet marketing’ anymore and do we really need that topic opened by a description of what the Internet is? Sometimes I felt I was reading an updated version of an older textbook.
The book’s role is to be self-educative. Relaying that knowledge – and presenting it persuasively to colleagues – would be greatly aided by some simple examples of how others have done it. The inclusion of mini case studies to illustrate each topic would have relieved the seriousness of the text. And, while there are examples, they’re not really anecdotally interesting enough to convince a high-level audience or useful in reinforcing strategy at board level with non-marketers.
Interestingly, the authors allude to how confused many senior managers are by the role of marketing within their organisations. However, no practical advice is given on how to deal with prejudice from senior management or position the value of marketing so that it shares an equal place at the budget table. This is more than a little teasing for any embattled marketing person because it can be a major obstacle to their career progression.
‘The Complete Marketer’ is a great start towards further reading beyond the textbook methodologies it describes. Its ascetic approach must be augmented by getting to know your customers – including your consumers internally – and what your competition is doing to woo them away.