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 readable, persuasive argument that our ways of doing business will have to change if we are to prosper—or even survive.


A well-constructed critique of an economic system that, by the author’s account, is a driver of the world’s destruction.

Harvard Business School professor Henderson vigorously questions the bromide that “management’s only duty is to maximize shareholder value,” a notion advanced by Milton Friedman and accepted uncritically in business schools ever since. By that logic, writes the author, there is no reason why corporations should not fish out the oceans, raise drug prices, militate against public education (since it costs tax money), and otherwise behave ruinously and anti-socially. Many do, even though an alternative theory of business organization argues that corporations and society should enjoy a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit, which includes corporate investment in what economists call public goods. Given that the history of humankind is “the story of our increasing ability to cooperate at larger and larger scales,” one would hope that in the face of environmental degradation and other threats, we might adopt the symbiotic model rather than the winner-take-all one. Problems abound, of course, including that of the “free rider,” the corporation that takes the benefits from collaborative agreements but does none of the work. Henderson examines case studies such as a large food company that emphasized environmentally responsible production and in turn built “purpose-led, sustainable living brands” and otherwise led the way in increasing shareholder value by reducing risk while building demand. The author argues that the “short-termism” that dominates corporate thinking needs to be adjusted to a longer view even though the larger problem might be better characterized as “failure of information.” Henderson closes with a set of prescriptions for bringing a more equitable economics to the personal level, one that, among other things, asks us to step outside routine—eat less meat, drive less—and become active in forcing corporations (and politicians) to be better citizens.

A readable, persuasive argument that our ways of doing business will have to change if we are to prosper—or even survive.

Pub Date: May 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5417-3015-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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