Jack Trout —author of Differentiate or Die, and marketing guru with 40 years of experience under his belt—is at it again. His latest book, published on October 13 by John Wiley & Sons, is In Search of the Obvious: The Antidote for Today’s Marketing Mess.
In Search of the Obvious is heralded as a book that won’t make a lot of people happy; it won’t make advertisers, marketers, researchers, large companies or Wall Street happy. However, will it teach them something: yes.
Trout liberally peppers his book with case studies of highly visible marketers. “I’m not trying to be mean, but, because of their visibility and history [these marketers] present wonderful lessons learned the hard way. Lessons you don’t want to repeat,” Trout claims. But they’re not all failures; he shares the successes of BMW and Papa John’s, as well as the many positive and negative tales of Volkswagen. Also, there are a few case studies that come from his client list as well.
He writes, “… the search for any marketing strategy is the search for the obvious.” However, according to Trout, marketers spend more time today mired in the complexities of the industry and completely ignore common sense. “A flood of data should never be allowed to wash away your common sense and your feeling for the market. You’ll never see that obvious solution,” he writes. In a world where ad agencies increasingly focus on creating 30 seconds of entertainment as opposed to actually selling their clients’ products, and marketers endlessly tinker with a brand that they should have left well alone, readers must remember that the most important task is to differentiate their products, or they’ll be lumped together with competitors.
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