An essential marketing manual for both the uninitiated and the experienced.

Inside Content Marketing


A guide to branded content that offers a newer, hipper version of “publish or perish.”

Digital media continues to expand and transform, and the field of content marketing—in which advertisers create branded, sponsored works, including magazine and newspaper articles, websites, and even TV shows—is no exception. Cramer organizes her debut in a way that will enable readers to focus on the sections that most apply to them: “The Marketer’s Mission,” “A New Road for Journalists,” or “Publishers and the Custom Content Boom.” However, she encourages everyone to read all three parts, because understanding the roles and concerns of one’s counterparts is the key to effective collaboration, she says. Along the way, she offers several concrete examples of successful branded content, such as a New York Times article on women’s prisons sponsored by Netflix and its hit series Orange Is the New Black. Likewise, she presents an in-depth case study involving Del Monte Foods, green beans, and Thanksgiving, following the project from conception and execution to its results. There’s a fair amount of jargon here—understandably so, though it’s easy to roll one’s eyes at terms such as “client on-ramping.” The way Cramer introduces quotes from experts uses a long-winded format that often lists names, titles, positions, companies, and quote sources, and this becomes obtrusive to the point that some readers may want to skip right over them, much like much-maligned banner advertisements. Overall, the author suggests, the most entrenched resistance to branded content comes from journalists, who tend to view it as unethical or otherwise beneath them. However, Cramer, and others, points out that all media companies operate under editorial parameters. At the end of the second section, she alliteratively renders the bottom line: “Hemming and hawing (with a heaping side of hand-wringing) over the ethics of these tactics won’t do anyone any good if there is no newsroom left to worry about compromising.” Resistance may be futile as so-called “digital natives” set trends and increase their purchasing power, but this good-natured book makes the pill a tad more palatable. After all, Cramer cautions publishers, “If you’re still resisting custom content, you’re already years behind your customers.”

An essential marketing manual for both the uninitiated and the experienced.

Pub Date: May 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-937290-06-1

Page Count: 208

Publisher: CyberAge Books

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2016

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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 timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.


An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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