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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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.


“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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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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