A cobweb-clearing manifesto on how marketing must adapt or die.




A comprehensive guidebook to a massive, ongoing revolution in the world of marketing and advertising.

Marketing analyst and popular corporate speaker Legg has at last written a book, and readers who are already familiar with his speaking style will know something of what to expect: punchy delivery, cut-to-the-chase presentation of facts, and plenty of innovative thinking. He writes as if his readership consists entirely of CEOs, but his book will also appeal to general readers who are interested in how social media and “Big Data” are changing the business landscape. The author breaks his subject down by providing quick, basic looks at various business goals, such as delivering value to customers while establishing long-term relationships with them; making a profit; and dominating a market (or, as he puts it, “crush[ing] your competitors’ hopes and dreams beneath the heels of your Converse sneakers….You know, the fun stuff”). He reassures readers who’ve already attended business school that the fundamentals that they learned—product, placement, price, promotion, and so on—are all still sound. But he also notes that business leaders need to adapt to the world of constant connectivity and data sharing and that they aren’t adapting often enough or fast enough. Legg also points out—brutally but undoubtedly accurately—that many businesses that he’s studied are suffering because they accepted mediocre performance from their marketing division. Indeed, his book has a tough but effective chapter on whether “it’s time to hand your CMO [chief marketing officer] a cardboard box and have security ready for an escort to the front doors.” The author uses shotgun blasts of straightforward, often funny prose to present a What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School for the age of Twitter. For example, at one point, he insists that a ground-up reinvention of the entire concept of marketing isn’t necessary; that is, there’s no need to “toss out the baby with the bathwater”—but one must also acknowledge that the former infant now “wears skinny jeans, has multiple lip piercings and tattoos, carries a phone that costs more than your first car, and spends half his waking hours staring at some sort of backlit screen.” (The book also includes one chapter by CEO Jon Cook of the marketing and advertising agency VML.)

A cobweb-clearing manifesto on how marketing must adapt or die.

Pub Date: April 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-692-66929-7

Page Count: 148

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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