Four of the Best: Getting Your Message Across

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I am reading Chip & Dan Heath’s excellent new book ‘Made to Stick’. It is all about why some ideas take hold and ‘go viral’ but most come unstuck and don’t. This is a big part of a perennial problem; whether you are a Marketing Manager and want to build strong word of mouth, or a Change Manager and want to get inform staff about the changes coming, or a Blogger and want people to link to your story, just how do you get people talking about your big idea?

So I thought I would list four of the best books to help get you started.

The first book is David Ogilvy’s ‘Ogilvy on Advertising’. Although written in 1983, the book is a brilliant exposition on how to craft a BIG IDEA. And you are going to need one if you want to get your idea to stick. Although there are many good books about this, particularly the AdWeek series, this book is still the best.

The second book is Made to Stick. The Heath brothers have brought together a lot of what we know about ‘memes’ in marketing. Their suggestion to make messages sinple-unexpected-concrete-credible-emotional provides a simple framework that works. A close second was Win Farrel’s ‘How Hits Happen’.

The third book is Robert Cialdini’s ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’. This is a book I have lent so many times to clients only to have to go and buy another later. This is a book everybody should read.

The final book is ‘Connected Marketing’. This is a relatively unknown book by a group of viral marketing practitioners in the UK. It describes a number of case studies of viral marketing in practice. Why this book rather than more popular books on viral marketing? Simple, because it is honest, practical and believable, rather than the somewhat polished case studies that most other books contain.

Four of the best in effective viral marketing. Good luck with getting your message across.

What do you think? Are these books useful? Or do you have your own favourites?

Add a comment and get the conversation going.

Graham Hill

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