I’ve been re-reading How Brands Grow Part 2 by Jenni Romaniuk and Byron Sharp. Part 1 is well known. It is the go-to bible for consumer marketers written by Sharp.
In part 2 Sharp and Romaniuk looked at business-to-business marketing, luxury marketing and influencer marketing. The things that I found particularly interesting in part 2:
- The heuristics around business-to-business marketing are remarkably similar to consumer marketing. This means that even in B2B marketing, the importance of brand building is paramount. This is very much at odds with the way in which business-to-business marketing is practiced
- Part 2 provides a much needed dose of pragmatic realism on influencer marketing. Influencer marketing carries the most weight with people that would be interested in the brand anyway. It is less efficient than marketers seem to believe. If you look at Unilever at the end of the Keith Weed era; influencer marketing took an outsized proportion of marketing spend that could not be explained in a world of zero based budgeting (ZBB) that the company had brought in
- Romaniuk and Sharp manage to explain why luxury brands need sustained advertising to sustain their standing despite the very nature of luxury being hard to find (and so discover) unless you’re part of the cognoscenti
Regardless of your marketing area both part 1 and part 2 will help you to be a better marketer. What immediately becomes apparent is that empirical research done by Sharp and company outlined in part 1 and part 2 are best viewed selectively.
Fads become orthodoxy in the face of empirical evidence to the contrary. A classic example would be the headlong dash into digital regardless of its role in the marketing mix.
It would be great if these books were paid attention to as well as read by marketers.