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Book Review: Propel Five Ways to Amp Up Your Marketing and Accelerate Business by Whitney Keyes

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Effective marketing skills seem to come easier to some business owners and managers than to others. Being born a good marketer is mostly a myth. Marketing is a process and as such anyone willing to adhere to the process can and will be able to market his or her company to success.

A new book, Propel Five Ways to Amp Up Your Marketing and Accelerate Business by Whitney Keyes (Career Press, 2012) details many elements of the marketing process along with a few new ideas to help readers reach the tipping point in their marketing efforts.

Keyes starts off writing, “…there is a process for creating the right marketing equation, needed to move your business forward so you can reach your goals.” She goes on to detail five mistakes many companies make in their marketing plans including:

Being impatient – giving up in the marketing process too soon can be a deterrent to success
Overachieving – doing anything and everything
Obsessing – putting all the marketing eggs in one basket
Getting overwhelmed – not sure which of the marketing tools to use
Being overconfident – often times businesses think they have enough customers and don’t need to do any further marketing

Keyes counters the mistakes with five principles she has developed over the years she has worked in marketing. She writes, “As I said before, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to every organization’s unique marketing dilemma. But there is a rock-solid approach that works like a charm every time.”

The five principles are the backbone and focus of the book and include:
• Strategy – setting your course for success
• Story – using real-world case studies and interview to tell your company’s story
• Strength – boosting efforts by extending reach
• Simplicity – keeping the marketing plan and process straightforward
• Speed – accelerating and moving forward

Keyes talks of the difference between the marketing tools including marketing versus advertising versus public relations. She also writes about the meaning of vision, a statement that sums up hopes and dreams, mission, putting the vision into action and values, the core beliefs of a company.

Goals, objectives and smart objectives are also detailed. Smart objectives, according to the book, include having clear objectives that are specific, can be measured, are assignable and realistic and are time-related.

Keyes also covers the SWOT analysis, branding, the power of publicity, blended media, partnering and cultivating good relationships. In the end, she offers reasons why business owners and managers may not get the results they were hoping for including missteps in marketing or competing with something unexpected where the message or the story gets lost.

Propel Five Ways offers details and uses for all of the standard marketing tools as well as offering a few new ideas and techniques. The five principles the author writes about cover the basics of the “marketing mindset” regardless of the tools being used. Persons new to marketing or those that have a marketing plan that doesn’t seem to be working will gain a better understanding of the need for the marketing process.

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