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Welcome to the first book review here for the Magnify Sales Book Club.  If you’re too busy doing sales and marketing in your business, we hope this review gives you some top highlights from the sales and marketing business books that we’re going to review here at Sales Book Club.  This month, September 2019, we’ve had Mary read a newly published book by a New Zealand authority on digital marketing, Vince Warnock.  Enjoy!

What’s special about this month’s book?

You wouldn’t want to be marketing against Vince.  With his innovative approach and solid framework for delivering brave new marketing insights that deliver a steady stream of incremental gains in your marketing efforts, Vince is someone you really want on your own marketing team.

The great news is, you can have Vince’s insights about chasing the insights on your side working for your business, by reading his new book ‘Chasing the Insights’ and learning how to drive an innovative approach to your marketing that will help you get ahead of the competition.

Book details for ‘Chasing the Insights’

Book Title – Chasing the Insights

Author – Vince Warnock

Publication Date – July 2019

Who is Vince Warnock?

Great summary at the back of the book (thanks Vince!) – and check out the book’s very own website.

An award-winning marketer and a sought-after public speaker, Vince Warnock has been inducted into the 2018 Fearless50, a program to recognise the top 50 marketers in the world who are driving bold, fearless marketing and digital transformation.

Currently Chief Marketing Officer at Cigna Life Insurance and previously the co-founder of high growth tech startup Common Ledger, with his wealth of knowledge and experience in the marketing industry, Vince gives back regularly through his work with the Marketing Association and as a mentor and tutor.

What is the book’s premise?

That an innovative approach to your digital marketing will deliver the kind of marketing change you want to see in your business.  On the back cover, Vince sets out his ‘simple goal to give the reader three tools.  An easy to understand framework that you can implement.  A guide to implementing the mindset required for an experimentation and approach and lastly, some practical experiments that you can start testing the second you put the book down.’

If you’re not used to thinking innovatively, or you work for someone who is slow to embrace innovative new thinking, Vince has a way to help you be the change you’d like to see in your business.

Does the book deliver on its premise?

With the expanded C.H.A.S.E.R method, Vince gives marketers and business leaders a framework for an experimental approach in order to drive more innovation and thus a great ROI for their business.  The framework is remarkably simple and could be used by those with very little marketing knowledge, as well as giving further insights to more experienced marketers.

The bulk of the book is spent unpacking Vince’s C.H.A.S.E.R method, and unpacking the mindset required to have the best chance of success.  There are suggested experiments from three well-known digital marketers at the back of the book – Ciaran Rogers, Michael Brenner and Tim Pointer – which are clearly laid out, and you could quite easily just go straight out and experiment.  I have to admit, I was skipping to the end while reading (I know, I know!) – I just wanted to know what these other digital marketers had to add.

The book is worthwhile for the helpful guide to developing the right mindset to drive innovation in your marketing, and even just for the experiments.  While I would have liked more experiments, I definitely valued the the background and explanation of how to get your business / your team / your CEO / your Board into a place where they’re happy to let you experiment – and to get yourself into a place where you can deliver the most value from your marketing experiments.

What is the author’s voice like?

Overall, there’s a very encouraging, open-minded tone to this book.  Vince Warnock’s mission is to encourage readers to chase the insights so that they will get a better ROI on their digital marketing. ‘

Vince makes sure that we know how he got to his conclusions.  Of course, in keeping with a book that’s encouraging an experimental approach, Vince’s wit and sense of humour come through with a few random facts that he somehow manages to weave into the narrative so that they relate to what he’s explaining – and keep readers smiling at the same time.

It’s great to get an understanding of who Vince is as a person, of his openness to life and his heart.  This book is peppered with Vince’s pithy, insightful statements like ‘the world would be a much better place if people replaced judgement with curiosity’ (page 126).  This is a book that encourages business leaders and marketers to take the blinkers off and look at the wide, open spaces all around them.

With a focused but relaxed feel – the book’s tone is exactly what you need if you’re intentionally wanting to do something differently to get different and better results.

Any memorable quotes?

Keep Vince’s big goals for readers in mind and you’ll come away the kind of experimental mindset that’s needed to power your digital marketing.  On page 14 Vince encourages readers:

‘In fact, if you only took two things away from this book, they should be that  you should chase the insights, not the wins, and that experimentation allows for a compound interest approach to marketing.  This means that you will get progressively better results as you keep pressing in.’

Magnify memorable quote would have to be on page 107:

‘Digital marketing is a game of inches not miles … every insight you gain along the way will incrementally add to the overall success of your digital marketing efforts.’

 

This sums it all up really – the miracle of compound interest also works with your digital marketing.

Every little step you take each day will add together to create a seismic shift.

If your digital marketing feels like a marathon and if Vince was a spectator, I reckon he’d be screaming to each runner ‘Keep going!  Keep going!’.

 

What are some insights I can get from reading this book?

Before you start, it’s always helpful to know what your starting point is.  There is an excellent list of questions (pages 33-37) to ask yourself so that you can get a very clear picture of where things are in your business right now – in terms of your digital marketing.  A fantastic deep dive into the key focus areas of:

  • Online Sales Funnel
  • Customer Journey
  • Retention
  • Digital Marketing Campaigns
  • Organic Search
  • Paid Search and Media
  • Social Media

As Vince says on page 32 – ‘These are the questions that will get you thinking about the right things (if you are not already), and will help you to identify the challenges, problems, and opportunities that will help you to start the C.H.A.S.E.R method.’

 

This is a book that’s written for business leaders and marketers trying to chart their course in a fast-changing world.

As Vince says, ‘You don’t have to know all the answers, you simply need to be asking the right questions’ (Page 134).

 

Just in case you’re not naturally sure how to experiment with your digital marketing, Vince has created a handy framework – The Experimental Framework which he outlines in Section One – ‘to help you have a structured approach to experimentation in digital marketing’ (page 8).

This is Vince’s C.H.A.S.E.R Method –

  • Challenge
  • Hypothesis
  • Agenda
  • Start
  • Evaluate
  • Roll-Out

We’re not going to unpack the finer details in the review (come on – you need to read the book!) – but Vince does an excellent job explaining how each step naturally dovetails into the next, and how all the steps add up to a big shift if you keep moving.

Vince obviously knows a thing or two about people.  It’s one thing to have a proven framework.  It’s quite another thing to have the courage to step out boldly where no marketing has gone before in our business and open yourself up to experimentation.  What if you fail?  What would your team say?

Section 2 focuses on The Experimental Mindset, to prepare you mentally to implement experimentation into your marketing.  As Vince explains, you’ll need Fortitude, Curiosity, Confidence and Open-mindedness to have a truly experimental mindset.  There’s even a whole chapter on how to get experimentation over the budgeting permission lines (see page 179 onwards – The Experimental Budget).

How do you apply all this in your business?  Section 3 has a collection of practical experiments from three well-known digital marketers – that you can try in your business almost as soon as you’ve finished reading.

It’s time to step out of your digital marketing comfort-zone!

So, what’s a marketing leader to do, when you think you’re on to something but you can’t be absolutely sure what’s out there?

On some level, Vince recommends that we step out bravely into the unknown, testing and measuring as we go.  Is this a ‘fake it till you make it’ approach?  No.  Vince reminds us on pages 153-154 that it’s what we’ve always been told on some level:

‘Confidence has an attractive quality to it.  People are naturally attracted to confidence, and as such, will want to be a part of what you are selling (in case I wasn’t clear, you are selling the experimental approach here).  What we are effectively saying here is that you need to rise to be a leader in driving this change.’

Just like the person who takes the first step as the ‘green man’ lights up on the opposite of the road – it’s time for brave business leaders to step forward confidently into the unknown, as they see the evidence lining up to confirm that this is indeed a good direction to take.

Did the book live up to expectations?

Yes.  Vince’s helpful framework encourages us to chase after insights, and gives a helpful framework to focus your marketing efforts.

This book takes some complex marketing challenges and presents a helpful approach that can be applied by people with a range of abilities.

Another thing Vince has done extremely well is to encourage readers to adopt an experimental mindset.  After finishing this book, I really saw a whole lot of possibilities and was keen to explore more.

And I’d be keen to see what Vince writes next (if he’s not too tired after this book!).

Who would you recommend this book to?

Vince’s audience is varied, even though he admits the book is written from the ‘perspective of someone who looks after digital marketing within an organisation’ (page 7).  Even so, ‘the same principles easily apply to startups, agencies, not-for-profits, and the self-employed’.  So – if you’re not working for a large company with a large-company budget – no problem, there’s something here for you too.

I’d recommend this to any business leaders and marketers who want to look at their marketing from a fresh angle with an openness to change what they’re doing to get the results they really want to see.  Insightful questions and good examples help carry the reader further into the realms of marketing possibilities.

Who should buy this book?

  • Marketing teams who need to change what they’re doing but don’t know how
  • Business leaders who need confidence to take brave new steps in a different direction
  • Business owners in SMEs who want to just get started on the kind of incremental changes that power seismic shifts

Where can I buy this book?

Amazon – here’s the link.  At $19.95 this book is well worth the read.

Recommended snacks to accompany reading this book?

This book is a breath of fresh air – fun to read and encourages readers to try new marketing approaches.

Magnify munching suggestions include Feijoa juice or your favourite craft beer with a salted caramel donut.  Enjoy!

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