Steal These Ideas!: Marketing Secrets That Will Make You a Star [NOOK Book]


Working for nearly thirty years with and for leading companies including Citigroup, American Express, Epsilon, Apple, and Fidelity—with notable political and not-for-profit campaigns along the way—Steve Cone has the kind of hard-earned, high-level experience that translates into valuable, tested ideas on what really works—and doesn’t—in marketing.

In Steal These Ideas! Cone delivers hundreds of pearls in a sharp, no-nonsense, and witty style ...
See more details below
Steal These Ideas!: Marketing Secrets That Will Make You a Star

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99 price
(Save 43%)$24.95 List Price
Note: This NOOK Book can be purchased in bulk. Please email us for more information.


Working for nearly thirty years with and for leading companies including Citigroup, American Express, Epsilon, Apple, and Fidelity—with notable political and not-for-profit campaigns along the way—Steve Cone has the kind of hard-earned, high-level experience that translates into valuable, tested ideas on what really works—and doesn’t—in marketing.

In Steal These Ideas! Cone delivers hundreds of pearls in a sharp, no-nonsense, and witty style on all facets of marketing, branding, and advertising with all the candor and freshness one would expect from a knowledgeable good friend in the business.

Illustrated throughout with examples of the good, bad, and ugly in advertising, this is the secret stuff that no one ever teaches. Anyone can now steal these ideas and become a marketing star today.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

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

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

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118146910
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/9/2011
  • Series: Bloomberg , #144
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,361,895
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

STEVE CONE is Executive Vice President of AARP, one of the world's largest membership organizations, which encompasses over 36 million Americans. Previously, Steve served as chief marketing officer of Epsilon from 2007 to early 2010. Cone is one of the most respected figures in marketing today. Over his forty-year career, he was a key figure in creating many of the airline, hotel, and retail loyalty programs that millions participate in, as well as major campaigns for Apple, American Express, Federal Express, and other global brands. Steve has also been tapped for advice by presidential candidates from both parties and was instrumental in raising the funds to build the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Billions and Billions Wasted……

McDonalds Almost Gets It.

New Challenges We Face and Five Rules To Live By.

What About Political Slogans?

Chapter 2 Three Hidden Ingredients in Every Winning Promotional Campaign.

The Ultimate Help-Wanted Ad.

The Early Days of Playboy Magazine.

Rolling Stone Magazine.

Pan American WorldPass and How Last Became First.

Other Quick Airline Stories about Creating Customer Excitement.

One for the Gipper.

Don't Leave Home Without It.

Mr. Whipple.

Toppling the Category Leader with one Perfect Sentence.

Eggs Overnight.

Peter Lynch, Lily Tomlin, and Don Rickles.

Chapter 3 What Makes A Brand Successful? How Do You Manage It.

Have A Unique Selling Proposition.

Insist On Strong Visual Imagery.

You Must Have Innovative and Reliable Products.

Memorable and Integrated Advertising-Always.

Chapter 4 How to Create a Unique Selling Proposition.

Three of My Favorite Unique Selling Propositions.

How to Create a USP.

Chapter 5 Using a Spokesperson to Maximum Effect.

How To Choose The Right Personality.

The Remarkable Betty White.

Going Hollywood.

A Word About Voiceovers.

Corporate Mascots.

Animated Characters.


The Deceased.

But What If My Spokesperson Does Something Really Bad?

Chapter 6 Kill All Art Directors (Well not Literally).

Five Tips to Readability.

The Great, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Chapter 7 Learn From Magazines While They Still Exist….

Imagine Annual Reports That Get Read!

Chapter 8 Do the Reverse of Whatever GM Does.

The “Electronic Church” And How It “Out Marketed” Mainstream Religion And What You Can Learn From It.

Chapter 9 Less Is More   Now More Than Ever.

Too Many Choices are too Confusing.

It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Chapter 10 The Three Most Important Customer Lessons—Especially For the Digital Age.

Lesson One: People Renew the Way they are Acquired.

Lesson Two: The Most Critical Time in a New Customer's Relationship is Right after her Immediate Purchase.

Lesson Three: Forget Complicated Clusters and Demographics.

A Common Mistake you Should NEVER Make.

Hey, But I Sell to Businesses and Not Directly to Consumers.

The Guthrie Lesson.

Chapter 11 Loyalty Reimagined.

Customers are Rarely Loyal.

Is There any New Thinking in the Loyalty Space?

It’s About Time.

Loyalty in the Not-for-Profit World.

Chapter 12 The Single Most Powerful Way to Get Customers to Love You.

Getting Your Promotional Letter Read or E-Mail Every Time.

The Absolute Power of Membership…..and Something American Express does Right.

Chapter 13 Making Sense of Media Planning.

Print Media.

Zig When Everyone else Zags.

TV and Radio Placement.

You Can Avoid Consumer Ad Skipping.

The Next Giant Leap in Ad Watching.

Has Radio Seen its Best Days?

The Internet.

Global media planning and placement.

Chapter 14 Making Social Networking Work For You.

Some Helpful Hints to Capitalize on Social Networking.

Financial Considerations.

Questions I get Asked about the Future Direction of Media.

Pacing is Important.

Chat Rooms and Blogging.

Texting, Messaging, and Mobile.

Chapter 15 E Mauled—How To Avoid Consumer Rage.

Here are Steve's Three Tips to better E Mail interaction with Consumers.

Chapter 16 Web Wasted. Don't You.

Something No One Else Ever Does.

Chapter 17 No One Ever Bought Anything from an English Professor.

We are Wired as a Species to Say Yes!.

Chapter 18 Leveraging Boomer Power And More.

Eight Other Predictions Marketers Can Count On.

Minorities Becoming Majorities.

Marketing to the Sexes.


Looking Good For Good.

Chapter 19 Jingles All The Way.

What is a Jingle and How is it Used and Misused?

Make A Jingle Work For You.

Can a Well-Known Song Define a Product?

A New Term For Spoken Taglines.

We have Lost Our Way.

Chapter 20 The Future of Marketing.

MPP Will Make Customer Service Phone Operators Unnecessary.

Does PR Have a Role in a World of Instant Communication?


Tips on interacting with Reporters.

What about Investor Relations?

Do Sponsorships Make Sense Anymore—did they ever?

Chapter 21 How To Be A Marketing Star.

Managing your Staff.

How to Manage an Ad Agency so you Both Succeed.

What We Take for Granted We Shouldn't—Great Writing.

Chapter 22 Eight Tips To Being More Creative.

Chapter 23 Steal These Secrets Now.

About the Author.


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)