Steal These Ideas!: Marketing Secrets That Will Make You a Star / Edition 1

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As advertisements become more ubiquitous online and in the real world, the battle to capture customer attention is heating up. In Steal These Ideas!, Second Edition, internationally renowned marketing expert Steve Cone reveals the tricks and techniques you need to master in order to make the most of your target audience's attention.

Providing a fresh perspective on the marketing industry and filled with pearls of wisdom and wit, Steal These Ideas! is packed with practical ideas that can be learned in a few hours, but will bear fruit for your company for years to come. An instant classic on outside-the-box marketing when it first published in 2005, this newly revised edition, refreshed for the present day, promises to have an even bigger impact than its predecessor, including coverage of cutting-edge modern marketing essentials.

It takes a carefully crafted advertising campaign to make today's consumers sit up and take notice while watching television, surfing the net, skimming a magazine, or listening to the radio, and Steal These Ideas! addresses these key topics and many more. From social networking, to customer loyalty campaigns, to building websites and sending effective email blasts, the book readies you for a whole new age of advertising dominance. Illustrated throughout with examples of what's good, bad, and ugly in advertising, it includes exciting and insightful new ideas on how to take full advantage of online marketing and social media.

Crammed with everything you didn't learn in business school (or in the field), Steal These Ideas! gives the professional marketer the competitive edge in today's fast-paced, oversaturated marketplace.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A busy executive’s dream. . . . Peppered with practical lessons and engaging anecdotes. All in all, there are plenty of ideas here worth stealing.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Cone discusses the value of conferring a ‘personality’ upon a product, business or service as a way of subtly—but powerfully—making a connection to customers. All successful politicians do just that, and the ‘marketing secrets’ in the book are really ways to create that type of bond. Along with his practical advice, Cone’s insights into the thoughts behind the words are invaluable.”
Miami Herald

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Marketing Secrets That Will Make You a Star
Not only does Steve Cone know the secrets behind making a brand, product or service a success, he also knows how to quickly and humorously share those secrets with the world. After the few hours it takes to read Steal These Ideas!, a reader can close the book knowing what kinds of thoughts pass through the mind of the head of advertising at Citigroup Global Wealth Management when he is coordinating brand management for all of Citigroup’s businesses and their 200 million customers worldwide. The rapid-fire marketing tidbits that overflow from Steal These Ideas! deliver hundreds of pertinent insights directly, accurately, and without hesitation.

For example, on the first page alone, Cone presents the three essentials of a successful marketing campaign: excitement, news, and a compelling call to action. Then, without missing a beat, he explains why these three elements for promotional success cannot be forgotten, delivering 10 examples that show he is right on the money. These include the ad placed by Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1913 to recruit volunteers for his dangerous South Pole expedition, direct mail copy from the ’50s extolling the attributes of Playboy magazine, and American Express’ Travelers Cheques TV ads starring Karl Malden — all of which benefitted greatly from all three essentials.

Unique Selling Proposition
In the second chapter, Cone delves into explaining the concept of a brand, what makes it successful, and how it should be managed. He writes, “Simply stated, a brand is a recognizable person, place, or thing.” Brands that are truly great, he adds, are inspirational, indispensable, dependable and unique. Although the first two qualities on his list are the most difficult attributes for a marketer to deliver, he emphasizes that every marketer must rally around striving to make his or her brand dependable and unique. This includes combining a compelling unique selling proposition with strong visual brand imagery, innovative and reliable products, as well as memorable and integrated advertising.

What does Cone mean by a unique selling proposition? Think Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Cone writes that Harley’s head of marketing summed up his company’s selling proposition in this single sentence: “We allow overweight middle-aged white guys to dress up in leather on the weekends and ride a Harley through small towns and villages scaring the hell out of the locals.”

Other companies that have created unique selling propositions for themselves include Federal Express (“When it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight.”); Coca-Cola, with its one-of-a-kind bottle design; and BMW, otherwise known as The Ultimate Driving Machine.

Cone writes that if you want to create a unique selling proposition for your product or service, you must start by picking three of its most compelling features and bringing them to the forefront of all of your promotional programs. Focus on ease of use, dependability, and convenience of service. He writes that marketers must “zero in on a basic product fact and make it come alive as a compelling point of differentiation.”

Choosing a Personality
Cone writes that the personality who represents a company can have a tremendous impact on its bottom line. Whether he or she is a celebrity or a company employee, the choice of who will stand before the cameras and pitch the product in advertisements can have a significant effect on the performance of the brand. Cone writes that no matter who that person is, he or she must genuinely like and understand the product or service being promoted, must be comfortable in social situations, must be exclusive to your company, must appeal equally to men and women of all ages, and must be agreeable to a fully integrated media role. To find the perfect spokesperson (if he or she is not a company employee), Cone writes that firms should seek the services of a top commercial agent. When a candidate has been found, Cone writes that marketers must meet with that person face to face since personal chemistry is vital.

The rest of Steal These Ideas! contains many valuable keys to creating a profitable advertising campaign. Tips on color choices, readability issues, ad placement, tag lines, customers, loyalty programs, the Internet, public relations, and even political campaigns fill its pages. Through many examples of highly successful campaigns and photos of print ads that work, Cone covers everything that the master marketer should know to compete today.

Why We Like This Book
Steal These Ideas! offers readers a well-rounded collection of marketing advice and tips that are backed up by examples proving every lesson it teaches. Marketers and consumers alike can enjoy Cone’s insightful observations about the advertisements that fill their periphery. Providing an inside view of an industry that effects and influences everyone, he reveals many tricks of the trade. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781576601914
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Series: Bloomberg Series , #25
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.73 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2006

    Fun and Inspire creativity

    This is a great book. Fun, easy, and get your creativity on fire and kept me up working all night :). It's true that nothing's new in the book. But it makes you re-assess what you're doing, and how to make it better. Definetly something I'll re-read and get ideas from. It would be wonderful if I can get some recommendations on other great books ...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2005

    Solid marketing basics

    Author Steve Cone distills some of the best ideas and observations from his 30-year career in marketing and advertising into a breezy, but valuable basic book for anyone who provides or purchases marketing services. His book covers the basics of ad design, placement, branding, integrated marketing, public relations, sponsorships and the use of spokespeople. Each chapter is succinct, and packed with practical advice. Cone helpfully critiques or praises actual ads to drive home his points. We recommend this fine elementary book to up-and-coming marketers, or to nonmarketers who need to know what is going on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2005

    Full of practical marketing ideas that can be applied to any business.

    This book is a fun, fast read that will help both seasoned marketing professionals and novices. It's written in a clear cut, down to earth manner and chock-full of examples that help the reader understand what makes marketing campaigns successful. I came away with ideas that I could apply immediately, such as how to create more compelling marketing materials, how to foster relationships with customers who have the most impact on the bottom line, and pitfalls to avoid when developing a marketing campaign. My bookshelf is full of marketing books since I'm a marketing professional, but this is one book I'll actually re-read and keep referring back to.

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    Posted August 28, 2010

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    Posted June 13, 2010

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