Bto B Insights Book Smarts
By Russell Kern
In interview after interview, I ask copywriters and account managers who are applying for a position with my firm, "What have you read recently?" Too often the answer I get is a blank stare.
OK, maybe they didn't understand my question. So, I get more specific: "What have you ever read to give you the background necessary to be a direct marketing professional?"
Again, in most of these situations their answers barely touch the wealth of marketing classics and up-to-the-moment marketing and business books available.
This leaves me wondering: How can they become master craftsmen, if they never study the grand masters of direct marketing? All the techniques, strategies and millions of dollars of knowledge are revealed in our industry's books. Thus, a million-dollar career can be created by whoever is willing to invest in himself.
Before I present my list of top summer reads, I want to start with one key premise about the importance of studying from the masters: Human nature and the psychology that creates response behavior hasn't changed in 50 years.
Even with Bluetooth-enabled telephones, wireless laptops and Internet-based marketing, the basic drivers of human motivation remain unchanged. The interplay and relationship between these human drivers in advertising and their impact on response were carefully measured and documented by grand masters like David Ogilvy, and John Caples.
For example, Victor Schwab's list of these basic drivers of human motivation, developed in 1950, has stood the test of time (visit the "Web Exclusives" section at www.targetmarketingmag.com to see Schwab's list). So have these books on direct marketing.
The Classic Big Five Reads
- "Tested Advertising Methods" by John Caples--This quick read will ground you in the true motivators of human nature. Head-to-head test comparisons show you what works and what doesn't. While the examples are dated, the concepts are timeless.