Welcome to the annual book series, Marketing For All the Marbles Every day — or Marketing FAME for short. After testing some preliminary editions in 2016, the series was formally introduced with the launch of the 2017 edition, followed by the 2018 edition. About 98 percent of the content in the 2018 edition is new, so you’re missing quite a bit if you haven’t yet read both editions.
Marketing FAME is a book series written for students interested in pursuing business careers, especially in marketing. Its reader-friendly, non-esoteric content spans hundreds of topics across several marketing and business sub-fields, so it is suitable as an ancillary book for multiple courses across the curriculum. Some of the content serves to reinforce and extend the relevance of familiar concepts and principles. Some prompts you to think about issues in a different way. Other content introduces entirely new topics and probes issues not addressed at all in traditional textbooks.
“Thanks to the cumulative efforts and insights of thousands of individuals and organizations from multiple generations throughout the world, the marketing profession has evolved into its present state. Marketing FAME summarizes many of these contributions for the benefit of readers who aspire to be businesspeople, in general, or marketing professionals, in particular.” — Charles L. Martin
Students who have already read Marketing FAME are emphatic that the book does NOT read like a textbook. Indeed, it is a different kind of business book that utilizes a unique organization and presentation style to create a reading experience like no other – one that challenges you to think about business, marketing and your career in fresh, new ways. Indeed, Marketing FAME resonates with the overwhelming majority of students who read it. If you’re like them, you’ll find the reading experience informative, interesting, occasionally humorous, and definitely worthwhile. If you’re interested in learning more about what other students have to say about Marketing FAME, scroll through the “Students’ Comments” page. If you’re interested in more details about how the 2018 edition of Marketing FAME is unique, read the following sections.
743 short, concise, stand-alone stories
For 2018, Marketing FAME consists of 743 short, concisely-written sections or entries we’ll call “stories” — averaging about 160 words each. Because the stories are short and to the point, Marketing FAME can be read quickly in small daily doses and the key take-away points are readily apparent.
The 2018 edition contains 743 stories, representing…
* 98 percent new content (vs. 2017 edition)
* 754 individuals
* 594 organizations & brands
* 423 holidays, events, occasions
* 49 U.S. states
* 102 countries
* A countless number of topics
Each story stands on its own, so to speak, so you don’t have to read the stories in the same order they appear in Marketing FAME. You can read them in any order you or your instructors prefer and can skip those that don’t quite fit with specific course objectives. The super-detailed INDEX includes more than 11,000 entries, so there’s a good chance it will lead you to the specific concepts, topics, product categories, brands, companies, holidays, events, or people that interest you. The index will even lead you to the stories for a specific city, state or country you’re interested in.
Read an entire month’s worth of free excerpts from the 2018 edition of Marketing FAME by clicking here: February-2018
However, it’s a good idea to read many of the stories near the calendar date on which they are presented. Doing so will help sensitize you to the numerous windows of marketing opportunity that open wide during some periods of the year, but may be closed at other times. For example, in early January, read the stories that correspond to the pages for January 1 and January 2 regarding New Year’s resolutions. By reading these stories early in the year, you’ll be more likely to notice and learn from the marketing efforts that pop up in your community and in your favorite media at that time of year – timely advertisements and promotions that tap into consumers’ interests in setting personal goals in early January. Similarly, by reading about the Super Bowl and “March madness” a few weeks later (February 4, March 15), you’ll have a heightened sense of awareness of some of the business and marketing implications that arise during those annual periods of high interest in professional football and college basketball. New Year’s resolutions, the Super Bowl and “March madness” are only three examples; dozens of other specific holidays, occasions, and calendar-linked events are discussed throughout the year, and hundreds of others are noted.
Even if you first read the stories out of sequence, using the appointment block (to the left of each day’s stories) to manage your own day-to-day affairs will serve as a daily reminder to revisit the stories of the day and think about the windows of marketing opportunity that may be open for that day or period of the year.
“As the title of the book implies, marbleous marketing opportunities exist every day of the year.” — Charles L. Martin
Invitation to think critically
The 743 stories are about people and events that have contributed to the evolution of business and marketing practice. Many include thought-provoking direct quotes that represent the featured person’s perspective, but not necessarily the only perspective or the most commonly-shared perspective; other opinions may be found elsewhere in Marketing FAME.
Multiple points of view from businesspeople as well as non-businesspeople are included to show variability in thought about important issues and how “conventional” wisdom is not always universally embraced. Accompanying many of the more debatable perspectives are explicit invitations for you to “Agree or Disagree?” For example, two separate stories quoting business leaders on July 9 first challenge you to consider whether marketers place too much reliance on price, and then to entertain the possibility that sales contest winners should be rewarded with merchandise prizes rather than cash prizes. These are two examples of the dozens of opportunities you will have to “Agree or Disagree?” throughout the edition. Further, numerous other discussion questions are raised throughout the year (e.g., see the stories for February 14, March 7, July 27, August 23, and November 12) and some stories may be used as mini-cases or the basis for engaging class discussions (e.g., see January 20, May 30 and November 29). Be prepared, as your instructors may wish to discuss these and other issues/stories in class.
As you read, and hopefully savor and digest Marketing FAME, you’ll notice the inclusion of a wide variety of issues pertaining to topics you’d expect to find in a “marketing” book. Examples include branding, buyer behavior, pricing, promotion, advertising, distribution, customer service, marketing research, personal selling, publicity, retailing, international trade, and so on. Again, explore the detailed index in the back of the book to see what other marketing topics are included.
But Marketing FAME’s content is not restricted solely to mainstream marketing topics. Also included are stories and perspectives that address more general career-boosting topics such as leadership, decision-making, problem-solving, technology, human relations, innovation, ethics, teamwork and quality, to name a few. Regardless of where your career path leads – marketing or otherwise – you should find these topics to be highly-relevant.
Marketing FAME’s story format is not only unique, but advantageous in that it facilitates communication to both your head and your heart. That is, dozens of stories nudge you to read beyond the key descriptive details of “information” to consider the emotional context of the stories as well. How do consumers feel about various holidays and occasions? What do entrepreneurs feel when they encounter setbacks or risk all of their savings to start or grow their companies? Don’t be surprised if you feel inspired or motivated by some stories, angered by some and saddened by others.
As a future marketing professional, it may be difficult for you to truly understand what many holidays and occasions mean to your customers and prospective customers if you don’t make an effort to experience these important days emotionally. And as a future business decision-maker, it’s okay — even desirable — if you find yourself empathizing with people featured in the stories or vicariously experiencing emotions of hopeful anticipation or anxiety, elation or disappointment, compassion or callousness, that challenge them and add to the complexity of business decisions. Go ahead and laugh, cry, or pound your fist as you see fit. The emotions will broaden your understanding of the stories and the story-makers, etch them in your memory, and help prepare you for the range of emotions you’ll surely encounter throughout your career.
Now and then
Many of the 743 stories are about present-day people and events that sculpt the practice of marketing. Many others represent contributions of yesteryear that shaped the direction of marketing’s evolution and, more often than not, continue to resonate with today’s marketing professionals. In other words, Marketing FAME includes a mix of both past and present – a blend that’s essential to understanding marketing today, how the field has evolved throughout history, and how its future may unfold.
Of course, Marketing FAME’s inclusion of many topics’ historical backgrounds enables you to learn from the experience and wisdom of past generations – lessons that continue to be relevant today. For example, your effectiveness as a marketer developing tie-in promotions to celebrate or otherwise observe occasions and historical events or people will be limited if you know little about the occasions, events or people. Stanley Marcus, former President and CEO of Neiman-Marcus, the Texas-based department store chain, once observed how employees with liberal arts backgrounds grounded in history tended to be more effective than business school graduates in terms of creating in-store displays to commemorate holidays and events. All too often, Marcus lamented, employees from business schools simply did not understand the occasions as well.
Here and there
Marketing FAME is geographically inclusive as well. You may find some featured people and events familiar because they are geographically close to home. They may represent brands that you use or stores where you shop. When you read about marketing practices at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart, for example, it may be easy and interesting for you to visit these companies’ local stores after class to verify the practices firsthand.
Other stories are likely to reach out to you from faraway places. Accordingly, stories for this year’s edition come from 49 U.S. states and 102 countries. As advances in technology and logistics link the world, marketers must be prepared to look beyond their backyards and broaden their national and international perspectives.