More than anything, The New Rules of Marketing & PR ties things together. The book provides an easy to understand yet comprehensive view of the new online marketplace--a landscape that can appear quite bewildering, even to marketing specialists. With so many options at our fingertips (literally), where do we start? Blogs? Podcasts? Public relations? SEO? Paid search? Viral marketing? The list goes on. To make matters worse, technology is changing and new tools are developing almost every day.
In the early chapters, David takes a high altitude look at online marketing options, showing us how they developed, why they're important, how they work, and why they work. In later "Action Plan" chapters, he jumps into the trenches and shows us how to actually use the tools and implement programs. Throughout, he uses detailed case studies to illustrate not only the programs but the amazing results they can achieve.
But it isn't just the latest and greatest technologies that are crucially important. Public relations, for example, has been around since Gutenberg but for the first time is practical for a small company. Traditional PR was cost-prohibitive and dependent on unreachable key media contacts. But in the new world--
"...your primary audience is no longer just a handful of journalists. Your audience is millions of people with Internet connections and access to search engines and RSS readers." (Chapter 5)
Today, public relations may be the single most underutilized tool in the marketing arsenal.
Another "old" technology David brings us up to speed on is the corporate Web site. In fact, the three most important points I got out of The New Rules of Marketing & PR have enormous implications on traditional Web development.
Those key points are--
1. The most important New Rule is CONTENT. Design is important. Technology is important. But without extraordinary content, you're doomed.
2. Interruption marketing (think spam and pop-up ads) has given way to consumer-driven marketing. Yippee! "The Web is different. Instead of one-way interruption, Web marketing is about delivering useful content at just the precise moment that a buyer needs it." (Chapter 1)
3. The starting point for any New Rule program is to create customer personas. If you're going to have extraordinary content that motivates buyers to take action, you'd better know your customers inside-out.
David explains how these three principles should influence not only your corporate Web site, but every other online program you undertake.
Thankfully, David is understandable as well as instructive. One reason I've enjoyed his blog for over a year is his conversational, entertaining writing style. He makes learning easy (which is harder to do than you might think). Anyway, his book is just like his blog--illuminating and fun.
The New Rules of Marketing & PR presents the most complete picture of any book I've read. For the marketing specialist, it will fill in the gaps. For the generalist, it will open up a whole new world.