In Search of the Obvious: The Antidote for Today's Marketing Mess
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In Search of the Obvious: The Antidote for Today's Marketing Mess

4.5 6
by Jack Trout
     
 

The search for any marketing strategy is the search for the obvious.

We are in an era of killer competition. Category after category is perceived as a commodity. This fact is the central reason the critically important function of marketing is such a mess. It's also why the average chief marketing officer barely lasts beyond two years in the job.

In this book,

Overview

The search for any marketing strategy is the search for the obvious.

We are in an era of killer competition. Category after category is perceived as a commodity. This fact is the central reason the critically important function of marketing is such a mess. It's also why the average chief marketing officer barely lasts beyond two years in the job.

In this book, marketing guru Jack Trout clears up the confusion that surrounds the marketing profession. Instead of focusing on segmentation or customer retention or search engine optimization or data mining, marketers should be searching for that simple, obvious differentiating idea. Marketers not looking for the obvious had better have a very low price.

This search should begin with what Trout considers the best book ever written on marketing—even though it was published in 1916 and isn't about marketing. Entitled Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man, it lays out the five tests of an obvious idea that will lead you to the right marketing strategy for any product.

But In Search of the Obvious goes beyond the obvious by laying out what gets in the way of this search. Things like the Internet, advertising people, marketing people, Wall Street, research, even the future. These are all huge distractions that keep marketers from their most important task: differentiating their products.

To bring these principles for finding the obvious to life, Trout finds obvious solutions to today's troubles for the likes of GM, Coke, Wal-Mart, newspapers, and the bewildering beer business. The fundamental problem is that effective marketing is both complicated and extremely simple—so simple that professional marketers overlook the most obvious and effective ideas entirely, in an attempt to be clever or creative. But if an idea is obvious to you, it will be obvious to your customers—which is why it will work.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470288597
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
10/13/2008
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
653,109
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Jack Trout is President of Trout Partners, one of the most prestigious marketing firms in the United States, with offices in thirteen countries. His client list includes Southwest Airlines, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Sears, and the U.S. State Department. He is the author of several marketing classics, including Differentiate or Die, Second Edition, from Wiley. For more information, please visit www.TroutandPartners.com.

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In Search of the Obvious: The Antidote for Today's Marketing Mess 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ajas More than 1 year ago
For close to three decades now, Jack Trout has been at the helm of the marketing wheel. Ever since the first 'Positioning' article was published in 'The Industrial Age' magazine in 70s, Trout's counsel to the marketers has pretty much remained consistent. His invariable emphasis on the importance of 'perceptions' and 'focus' in the world of marketing is well-recognized now. In addition, he has always been a great advocate of 'simple and obvious' ideas as well. Pick up any previous book of his - 'Strategy', 'Differentiate of die', 'The power of simplicity', 'Positioning' - and you are guaranteed to find at least one chapter dedicated to the power, the obvious ideas command in this over-communicated world. The only problem, however, is that marketers around the world still seem to be a bit too creativity-bound and much of it at the expense of common sense. Trout's books, generally, draw the flak from creative and research folks as the latter are always his target for being at the center of many ill-conceived marketing programs. Jack Trout apparently got the inspiration for ''In search of the Obvious: The Antidote for today's Marketing mess' from another book called 'Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman' written by Robert R. Updegraff* in year 1916. In addition to being a fitting tribute to Robert R. Updegraff's work, 'In Search of the Obvious' is also an apt supplement to Trout's previous books. Trout keeps things pretty simple and jargon-less in his latest book; something which has been his hallmark for years now. He hits the ground running and delineates the CEO's role as that of a brand custodian. He asserts that unlike old times when CEOs/CMOs would always pass under the radar, these days they are the first to be sent to the guillotine. He also advises executives to resist information overload and leverage their commonsense, instead. Trout uses a number of case-studies from his consulting career to drive home the point that marketing battles are still being fought in the minds, quite contrary to what many red-blooded marketers tend to think. He warns brands against donning too many hats and asks executives for devising a coherent, long-term marketing direction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Veteran marketer Jack Trout successfully manages to inject new material while belaboring the obvious. To do well, he says, marketers must go back to the basics, even though it's popular to chase trends and be cute. Marketers are concerned about fancy strategies, high-tech gadgets, quantitative research, entertaining ads and faddish consultants - all a waste of time. Trout says to go back to the core of marketing. Focus on the obvious. That's what customers really want. What you really need to know is right in front of you, not at the bottom of the data mine. Although Trout pounds away at his thesis, getAbstract finds his book enjoyably informative. He may sometimes seem like a scolding grandfather, but he has clear advice for marketers: Modern society is too complex, and complexity does not help you sell. Instead, he says, marketers should try common sense. It couldn't hurt.
MFradin More than 1 year ago
I've decided to up my game with respect to understanding marketing and advertising functions and I'm glad I found this book. First, I got a couple of useful ideas for setting my marketing and advertising budget, and more importantly, a firm sense of what I have a right to expect from any professional help that I might retain. "In search of the Obvious" has convinced me that creative, aesthetic, oblique or overly clever approaches must always subordinate to clear and compelling presentations. This is a hard thing to do if you are naturally attracted to aesthetic, oblique and clever. The importance of correct market positioning (you can't go up-market) and anticipation of competitors reactions is discussed with useful, sticky examples. This is not a comprehensive book about marketing channels. It's about getting your marketing message right. Good book. Worth the money.