Recommended reading: Squiggly careers and delusional advertising

Marketing Week reviews the latest books and articles for marketers.

marketing books

Advertising For Skeptics

By Bob Hoffman

Bob Hoffman is an agency veteran, author of two bestselling books and the popular Ad Contrarian blog. Now his latest book – Advertising for Skeptics – promises to analyse advertising’s “decade of delusion”.

With more technology at marketers’ fingertips than ever before, Hoffman argues that while this was meant to be a time full of promise, it has actually been a “shit show.”

He writes that rather than creating advertising that is “more relevant, more timely and more likeable”, marketers are creating advertising that is “more annoying, more disliked, and more avoided”. The book takes a look back at this troubled period and asks, what went wrong?

The Squiggly Career: Ditch the Ladder, Discover Opportunity, Design Your Career

By Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis

Career ladders and jobs for life are a thing of the past. Former Marketing Week columnist Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis, co-founders of career development company Amazing If, promise to help navigate the world of “squiggly careers”.

Tupper and Ellis explain that as people move jobs more frequently and fluidly than ever before, the new normal is navigating a career with no roadmap. The book acknowledges that squiggly careers can feel stressful and overwhelming, with different roles, industries, locations and careers all in play over a working life.

However, Tupper and Ellis promise that, with the right approach, this angst can be turned into opportunity. The book helps readers answer vital questions such as, what am I good at? What do I stand for? Where do I want to go in the future? The aim is to ensure readers can achieve a happy career, no matter how many squiggles.

Retailers must cut the gimmicks to thrive in the era of ecommerce

By Clark Boyd, Econsultancy

As high-street stores continue to struggle while online retailers thrive, this blog post highlights how technology could be the saviour of bricks and mortar. Boyd suggests three key ways that brands can utilise tech to enhance in-store experiences.

One way is investing in personalised services. The piece cites Canadian eco-friendly fashion brand Frank And Oak, which sends a beacon alert when a frequent customer approaches the store so they can prepare them a cup of coffee. Once in the store, the Frank And Oak team use the customer’s historical data to make product recommendations.

Another tactic is using data to inform the in-store experience. The Dia & Go supermarket chain in Seville, Spain, has adapted the experience based on how shoppers use its stores. For example, customers in some locations want to squeeze their own orange juice, whereas others want sandwiches and coffee.

Lastly, high-street brands should consider how to use technology to put the shopper in control of their interactions with both products and in-store staff, to help them make better decisions. This is seen in action at Adidas’s new London flagship store where consumers can use the app to request items in different sizes.

READ MORE: Retailers must cut the gimmicks to thrive in the era of ecommerce

Digital Trust: Social media strategies to increase trust and engage customers

By Barry Connolly 

Connolly argues that in this new, disruptive commercial environment consumers have developed a desire for direct, transparent communication courtesy of social media. As a result the traditional means of maintaining trust between brands and consumers has been rendered obsolete.

With this context in mind, Connolly offers a guide for marketers to using social media to build an authentic, trusted connection with consumers, while simultaneously attempting to avoid the pitfalls.

The book looks at topics ranging from digital branding to conducting social media research and explores the impact of digital phenomena such as Bitcoin and Blockchain.

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