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Outline ReviewIf you've always wished for a marketing guide that didn't take as long to read and digest as the actual marketing process itself, you'll love this itty-bitty crash course, which zooms in on four key areas: putting customers first (understanding your market and your customers' buying habits, building relationships and winning new customers), building strong products (improving and differentiating your products, developing a brand), maximizing publicity (planning a campaign, and advertising via print, radio, direct mail, and the Internet) and developing an overall strategy (thinking strategically, setting objectives, achieving goals, and gaining support). On every page, boxed "power tips," quickie case-studies, to-do checklists, and easy-to-follow flowcharts demystify the process. Granted, if you're looking for specific or in-depth guidance, you may find this book too general in its approach. But if you're looking for a thumbnail guide to the basics, it'll do just fine.
It's worth mentioning that the book is also part of reference publisher Dorling-Kindersley's Essential Managers series--20 itty-bitty books on business and career topics ranging from communication, leadership, and decision-making to the management of time, budgets, change, meetings, people, projects, and teams. Combining the For Dummies series' talent for breaking down a lot of information into bite-sized bits and sidebars with Dorling-Kindersley's signature, crisp graphics on a gleaming white backdrop, they don't represent the cutting edge of business thinking and they don't necessarily reflect any unique individual perspective.
Instead, it's as though someone collated the best general thinking on these 20 topics and rolled them out into 72 brightly designed and easy-to-read pages, studded along the way with boxed tips, color shots of a multiracial cast of "coworkers" animatedly hashing through the workplace issues of the day, and a self-test of one's skills in the topic at hand on the last few pages of each volume. Again, they're not for anyone looking for in-depth or focused help on any of the subjects they cover, but they're perfect as a quickie general-interest reference... and let's face it, they're so cute, and look so smart in a neat little stack or row, that you'll probably want to buy a whole bunch to give to your entire department or staff. --Timothy Murphy
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