An excellent, authoritative manual that demonstrates a deep understanding of its subject.




A sensible, seven-step process for developing an effective marketing plan.

As the founder and president of a marketing, communication, and sales-promotion agency, Fliehman (Customer Retention Through Quality Leadership, 1993) is eminently qualified to tackle her subject, and she does so with gusto here. This brief, straightforward book walks through each of her seven steps in concise chapters, each closing with an exercise designed to reinforce the content. Fliehman is consistently upbeat as she deftly describes her thoughtful steps, which approach marketing planning with a solid combination of the strategic and tactical. For example, Step 2, “Develop Purpose Statements,” discusses the strategic importance of a mission statement and then clearly delineates the difference between it and vision and values statements. On the other hand, Step 3, “Create Corporate Identity,” mainly digs into tactical details of specific elements of corporate identity, such as a logo, a typeface, and a color palette. A “bonus chapter” at the end of the book further expands on this step by covering how to build a graphic-standards manual. Thankfully, Fliehman doesn’t shy away from two areas that are typically the knottiest for marketers: budgeting and success measurement. Step 6, “Prepare Budget,” presents good advice for how to do so, such as by making an itemized list of deliverables, and it offers an example of how an agency and a client collaborated during a budgeting process. Readers may want to look closely at Step 7, “Implement and Evaluate,” because it contains such key sections as “Calculating Return,” “Projecting Results,” “Return on Investment,” and “Measuring Results.” The author also includes valuable examples of several specific types of marketing elements, including a brochure and a trade-show advertisement, along with measurement criteria for each. Fliehman prudently points out throughout the book that any marketing plan must be fluid and flexible so that one may easily modify it when it needs change—as they inevitably will. Overall, this book should be valuable to any marketer but particularly to newcomers to the field.

An excellent, authoritative manual that demonstrates a deep understanding of its subject.

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5393-7023-9

Page Count: 126

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...


A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.


A massive investigation of economic history in the service of proposing a political order to overcome inequality.

Readers who like their political manifestoes in manageable sizes, à la Common Sense or The Communist Manifesto, may be overwhelmed by the latest from famed French economist Piketty (Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century: Inequality and Redistribution, 1901-1998, 2014, etc.), but it’s a significant work. The author interrogates the principal forms of economic organization over time, from slavery to “non-European trifunctional societies,” Chinese-style communism, and “hypercapitalist” orders, in order to examine relative levels of inequality and its evolution. Each system is founded on an ideology, and “every ideology, no matter how extreme it may seem in its defense of inequality, expresses a certain idea of social justice.” In the present era, at least in the U.S., that idea of social justice would seem to be only that the big ones eat the little ones, the principal justification being that the wealthiest people became rich because they are “the most enterprising, deserving, and useful.” In fact, as Piketty demonstrates, there’s more to inequality than the mere “size of the income gap.” Contrary to hypercapitalist ideology and its defenders, the playing field is not level, the market is not self-regulating, and access is not evenly distributed. Against this, Piketty arrives at a proposed system that, among other things, would redistribute wealth across societies by heavy taxation, especially of inheritances, to create a “participatory socialism” in which power is widely shared and trade across nations is truly free. The word “socialism,” he allows, is a kind of Pandora’s box that can scare people off—and, he further acknowledges, “the Russian and Czech oligarchs who buy athletic teams and newspapers may not be the most savory characters, but the Soviet system was a nightmare and had to go.” Yet so, too, writes the author, is a capitalism that rewards so few at the expense of so many.

A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-674-98082-2

Page Count: 976

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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