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The End of Marketing as we Know It [Paperback]

Sergio Zyman
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 10 2000

Marketing today doesn't work. Or so says the "Aya Cola," Sergio Zyman, former marketing czar of Coca-Cola and quite possibly the most famous marketing gadfly in the world. Brilliant, irascible, unconventional, Zyman is best known for reinventing the Coca-Cola Company's marketing approach by spearheading the global launches of Diet Coke, New Coke, Classic Coke, Fruitopia, and Sprite. Now, in this brisk and revolutionary book, Zyman shows why old approaches to marketing have lost their fizz--and how to get a jump on the strateies that will work in the twenty-first century.

Zyman explores such topics as:

  • Why feel-good marketing is pointless unless it results in sales
  • Why marketing is a science not an art
  • How a well-honed strategy is more important to success than what ads say
  • And much more

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From Amazon

Remember the New Coke? A disaster, right? Or how about the commercial where "Mean" Joe Greene meets a little kid holding a bottle of Coke? A masterpiece, right? Wrong, on both counts. Sergio Zyman, who was the chief marketing officer at Coca-Cola, will tell you that while the New Coke nose-dived, it--and the subsequent reintroduction of Coke Classic--helped to reconnect people to the soft drink and revitalize a brand that was losing market share to Pepsi. And as for "Mean" Joe Greene, while people loved the ad, it wasn't doing what good marketing should do: sell product, which is what Zyman's book, The End of Marketing As We Know It, is all about.

For Zyman, marketing is not an art, it's a business. "Marketing is a strategic activity and discipline focused on the endgame of getting more consumers to buy your product more often so that your company makes more money." He sees too many marketers who don't understand this point, who are too concerned about projecting image when they should really be focused on producing sales. Zyman peppers the book with stories about various campaigns at Coke as well as assessments of companies that get it, such as Starbucks and Southwest Airlines, to companies that don't, for example, Nissan and Levi's. He believes that the old-style marketing of Madison Avenue is dead, that it no longer has the "ability to move the masses," that in today's "consumer democracy" there are simply too many choices. Instead, marketers will have to focus on sales, conversion rates, targeting customers, and creating value for shareholders. The End of Marketing As We Know It is not a primer on how to do better marketing; rather, it's a reordering of priorities so that good marketing will be done in the first place. Recommended. --Harry C. Edwards --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Zyman has twice served as head of marketing for Coca-Cola. His message here is as deceptively simple as a Coke jingle. Marketing, Zyman argues, is not about making commercials or creating an image; it is about selling "stuff." Zyman is credited with creating memorable marketing campaigns that helped Coca-Cola double its sales and stock price. He also played a primary role in the "New Coke" debacle, which he can now claim was actually a success because it "revitalized the brand and reattached the public to Coke." At the time, though, he left the company in--in the eyes of many--disgrace. Nonetheless, the company asked him back in 1993. He left again last year because, industry observers suggested, he coveted the position of company president and did not get it. He says he wanted to write a textbook on marketing. This is it, but this is not a textbook in any traditional sense. Neither, though, is it a showcase for Coca-Cola nor a reputation-saving attempt to get his version of events aired. David Rouse --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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3.0 out of 5 stars The End of Coke As We Know it Dec 16 2002
I'm ambivalent about this book. On the one hand, Sergio Zyman was the architect of New Coke, one of the biggest marketing failures of all time. On the other, he has great spin on this by describing the debacle as how Coke "increased the attachment of the American public to Coca-Cola and sold lots more as a result." You be the judge.
Coca-cola's market share has stagnated in recent years, culminating in vast and well publicized layoffs. Additionally, one has to be leery of any business book published in the late 90's in the midst of an economic bubble when business types were treated like some sort of cross between rock stars and popular jocks. I was also skeptical of some of the advice he gives in the book, especially when he describes some of the other failures of the Coca-Cola company, including building massive production and distribution facilities in the old Eastern bloc following the fall of Communism, and then realizing that most of the people didn't have any money to buy cokes - duh.
Finally, I put aside as much of my distaste as I could for large, morally bankrupt corporations like Coca-Cola and read the book to learn something. There are great insights about the function of ad agencies in strategy, marketing and even some nuggets of interesting management ideas. However, the real gems of the information could have been condensed to a pamphlet you could read in 20 minutes. Good editors would have hacked through all the anecdotes about how to play major ad agencies against each other. I suspect that the people who need that kind of information could buy Sergio himself.
By the way, don't agree Coca-Cola is morally bankrupt?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very convincing... Very convincing indeed Nov. 22 2002
By Vaughan
THE END OF MARKETING AS WE KNOW IT. It's a great business book to add to your collection. Firstly - what is it about? Why is Marketing going to die? Well - Sergio Zyman explains (and convinces) that the majority of people in marketing these days believe that the only thing they have to do in order to be successful is to simply be creative. What a joke. That is no business, definetely no part of Sergio's business. Rather, Sergio states that the NEW WAY OF MARKETING will be based 100% on results, and getting people to buy more of your product. Winning an advertising award in your company, or merely, knowing that people in your workplace are saying how creative you are - means nothing. If you don't have a strategy, which is aimed at producing better results than you are currently recording - you really need to pull up your socks and realize; that because of people like you - the end of marketing is approaching... rapidly.
When business' are losing market share, and need to cut back on something - a vast array of business first cut money from their marketing department. THis is completely ludicrous, as the only way to increase market share, is to implement a new, or work on the current, marketing strategy. This book goes beyond what a textbook will teach you about marketing. Throw away those Kotler books, because watch out, this Mexican, who is the former CMO of the Coca-Cola company - convinces that results are the only thing business is about - especially marketing.
I really liked the book. It's not too heavy - thats probably why I liked it. However, one thing I would love to ask Sergio is his views on Marketing being a Science. This is the only thing that should have been expained more in depth. Maybe that can be your next book!
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The point of any marketing campaign is to sell more stuff to more people. It's not about winning awards for creativity, it may or may not make people "feel good", it is not a magic box, and it is not something that can be completely outsourced. That, in a nutshell is the gist of "The End of Marketing as We Know It".
This book is really nothing more than common sense (NOT necessarily common practice!), however, if you have been in the advertising/marketing word very long, chances are this book will be a breath of fresh air. In order to sell more stuff to more people, marketing has to focus on positioning and delivering messages that connect with real people, not the CEO or the folks that hand out advertising awards. It's got to show people what's in it for them, why they should buy your stuff, and why they should buy your stuff again, and again.
If you work in an environment that already thinks and work like this, this book may be a waste of your time. If you work in an environment that is developing campaigns for any purpose other than selling more stuff directly or supporting the sales function and making it effortless, this a book you need to read. If you are looking to hire a marketing consultant or an agency and don't know much about marketing, you need to view marketing as an investment in future sales revenue. This book will help you understand and crystallize that for you.
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An open letter to my clients and those who should be.
I'm guilty and I'll bet you are too.
As a matter of fact, almost every business is guilty of not demanding results from advertising. We've been lulled into believing that marginal results are not only expected-they're acceptable. It's time to change all that.
I've been producing advertising for a little over 25 years now, and I've come to the conclusion that we've gotten soft. I constantly get requests from clients for advertising, knowing that it's not going to do much to sell anything. And until now, I've frequently been guilty of going along with their request and collecting the checks. (To be perfectly honest, it's pretty easy.)
It's time to change all that.
Sergio Zyman said it best: Advertising and marketing should "sell more stuff to more people more often for higher prices."
I've read all the "big books" on marketing, branding and postioning and while they all have something to say, few of them grab you by the collar and tell you that advertising and marketing have to sell something. Zyman nails it.
While you won't find a lot of fuzzy theory here and it may not lead you to your next consulting gig, this book will cut through the stuff with which we've all grown far too comfortable.
After reading "The End of Marketing as We Know It" I took a major step by refusing to produce advertising that doesn't specifically and intentionally lead to a sale. If you'll be honest with yourself, you'll probably see that you're guilty of getting soft.
Thanks to Zyman, I'm looking for a few clients that will challenge me and allow me to challenge them. Our goal is to produce outstanding advertising that returns measurable results.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the beef
This book by Sergio Zyman is an interesting perspective into the mind of the ex-Coca Cola executive. Read more
Published on May 17 2004 by Greg M. Thomas
1.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs Down
Honestly, I was expecting a lot more out of this book. Zyman does a wonderful job at taking a lot of credit for his accomplishments in the marketing world. Read more
Published on April 28 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars the end of marketing as we know it
i was expecting a lot more from this author ,especially coming from a former c.e.o. of coca cola, and i am sorry to say that i was disappointed. Read more
Published on July 20 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A great "cut to the chase"book, even better in audio version
Most of the previous reviews hit on all my main points of why I love this book, except one: this book is even better when you listen to it in Sergios own words. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Primer!
This book is a must read for any business person engaged in selling a product or service. Some of the reading may seem like it is stating the obvious, but it has to be said! Read more
Published on June 2 2001 by Anthony Hubbard
1.0 out of 5 stars Do you have to be a marketing pro?
Zyman's book is great for the layman but for the professional marketer, it has missed the mark. I was so disappointed when I read the book, that I had to read it again. Read more
Published on March 10 2001 by "allaboutthebenjamins"
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Read" for marketing lovers and professionals.
Sergio really provides a new perspective of how marketing should be....perceived by the organisation ...and managed by pro's.... Read more
Published on March 3 2001 by A.Urbina
5.0 out of 5 stars Principles of New Marketing by Marketing Czar of Coca-Cola
Marketing is about getting consumers to love your products. The problem is, it is not working. Traditional marketing is dead, concludes Sergio Zyman and give a checklist of... Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2000 by A. Petrotchenkov
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly devoid of new insights
I have great respect for the Coca-Cola marketing machine, but this book does not demonstrate that organization's genius. The book's title is a dishonest overstatement. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2000 by Yaumo Gaucho
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