“˜Marketing Outrageously’ is a book written by Jon Spoelstra, a renowned figure in the business world who currently serves as president of Mandalay Entertainment, an independent production company in Hollywood, California. He was the former president of the National Basketball Association outfit Portland Trailblazers for eleven years. He has also served as the president of another NBA team, the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets). He has served as a marketing consultant for many years.
Jon Spoelstra’s premise in the book is that one cannot expect to get exceptionally good sales results with poor marketing. As noted by the author, good marketing is the backbone for sales improvement in an organization. Marketing includes making the product produced by a certain business to be known far and wide for it to access the widest market it can ever achieve. This involves critical thinking and involving strategies that will challenge your partners or colleagues.
From the book, I learn that for one produce exceptional sales results they have to allow themselves open to critical thinking and ask themselves “˜unallowed questions’. According to the author such questions include, “˜what is it going to take me to dominate the market’. Being a sports marketing consultant, he puts it in his context, “˜What is it going to take to win a championship this year. “˜This may be considered as unallowed questions since the author concentrates on a business that has low capital investments. Naturally, it is overambitious for businesses with small capitals to ask themselves this questions (hence the “˜unallowed’ nature). The writer has however helped me learn that even with the small investments, good marketing can help one turn out the results.
The second thing I was keen to notice in the book is that a marketing investment of $1 has a return of $3 with good marketing. That is 300% returns! That means that with a small basis of capital and a capital allocation for the marketing activities, one is bound to get three times the investments without even adding other sales promotional services like good customer care.
Then Cons of the Book
Even though this book illustrates the instances where the writer used his exemplary marketing strategies to ensure the increased sales and returns, I feel like he did not address it to a broader perspective. As a marketing consultant, I was expecting him to address the marketing challenges affecting other corporate bodies in the market since his book’s target market is not only sports businesses men.
I particularly have an issue in increasing the manpower and financial allocation for marketing. The writer fails to understand that there are a number of factors that affect the demand of a commodity apart from marketing. There are people who have preference in associating themselves with a particular product because of cultural reasons. Some people just feel right when using a particular brand than the other as a result of the time factor. Marketing alone cannot make them divert their culture as the producer also has to literally prove to them that the new product is indeed better than the one they are used to. Since most strategies used in the market are just aimed at increasing demand for a product and lees improvement in the quality, people are nowadays careful when switching allegiance.
Another factor I feel was not addressed well in the book is the performance of the teams. Since these are sports outfits, sports is more about winning. He does not address his strategies that ensured that the teams won the championships; and for the record, none of the teams ever won the championship. For the general revenue of a sports team to increase, it has to win championships. Maybe there are other teams that never applied complicated marketing strategies as the teams he managed but got higher net returns than the teams he was associated with only because they posted good result on the scoreboard and won championships. Therefore it might take more than just marketing for maximum returns.
At this point I will honestly hesitate to say that the book changed my opinion on matters concerning marketing and sales. I still believe that for a business entity to increase its sales exemplary levels. Apart from improved marketing, it also takes good team work, something that the author has not said much about, to enable good returns. Suppose the marketing division of a company is working overtime all over the media to ensure that marketing is done to the optimum; and on the other end the production department is producing mediocre goods. Definitely that will not do any good to the sales of the company. In fact it will ruin the sales of the product as a whole. Therefore it takes good coordination and communication to ensure good sales. Marketing is just one of them, but definitely not the only one. The author has portrayed marketing as the sole of principle step to take when sales improvements are needed for a particular product, which should not be the case.
As noted above, the quality also dictates the sales. Products of higher qualities will definitely get good sales as compared to those of a poorer quality even if the organization producing the inferior product spends overtime in marketing. In the case of a sports team, quality is measured by the output on the court or the pitch. For increased jersey purchases, broadcasting audience as well as tickets purchase, the fans and spectators need to be assure that they are not going to regret spending their money by displaying a good game.
Therefore, I agree that marketing absolutely plays an important part in the sales of a product, it might not be the most important as the writer suggests in the book.
I partially agree with some of the views of the book. I agree that marketing is one of the most important aspects to be considered when increasing the sales of a company. It is also very true that to ensure effective marketing; the staff should be subjected to goods training. This will enable them to know how to relate with different kinds of customers. There is a different way of dealing with an elderly as there is for younger peers. Marketing education can also help the salespeople to learn about etiquette and euphemism which are very important especially when dealing with older people. The education helps the salespeople to learn on how to approach a matter in the event of disagreements and misunderstandings with the clients. This will determine whether the business entity will maintain or lose customers since the salespeople are the ambassadors of the organization to the market.
However, in cases of monopoly, where the product in question is an essential commodity, I would not recommend the views of this book. In a monopoly market where the product is essential, less marketing can be carried out but still ensuring that the high returns are met. This is by ensuring the standard of quality for the commodity is kept at an all time high level. Good customer care services can also be used to increase the sales of commodity in a monopoly market especially when dealing with complaints and enquiries from clients. Therefore the intense use of marketing depends on the type of market as well as the level of competition in the market. A product may be enjoying latent monopoly in the market due to the mediocre competition from its competitors. Therefore to maintain or even increase sales, the quality of the product should not be compromised but increased consistently.
However, I would not mind recommending this book to my professional peers. This is because apart from some limitations here and there, it has well outlined marketing strategies that can give a businessperson the skeleton or outline of drawing their own marketing plans. It also has inspirational words that can change the mind of a person from a disparity to hope-filled. It encourages small businesses which are faced with stiff competition from more superior players that critical thinking can help them outwit or share the spoil with their superior peers.
The Takeaway Message from the Book
We should never write ourselves off when approaching a financial hurdle. In the book we can note that the outfits that the writer has dealt with have honestly not even come close to winning the championship for a long time. However, despite their shaky record on the court, he manages to convince the fans to be confident when associating themselves with the outfits. This helps in increasing sales.
I have also noted that one needs to think critically if they want to increase returns. One way is by reducing g the costs of production and reducing deductions. By directly dealing with the broadcasting of their games, unlike the other NBA teams, Portland Trailblazers managed to eliminate deductions incurred when radio stations were involved. The Trailblazers managed to pocket all money earned from advertisements and other services, partly of which used to go to broadcasting stations,
These are some important techniques which can help business turn around its successes if implemented well.