The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader: A book review by Bob Morris

12-powersThe 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader: How to Succeed by Building Customer and Company Value
Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise
McGraw-Hill Education (September 2016)

How to create or increase demand as well as add value and dominate in a VUCA marketplace

I cannot recall a prior time when competition in the global marketplace was more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous than it is today. What to do? That is, how to create or increase demand in that marketplace? Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise wrote this book in response to those questions.

They concentrate on three “truths” that serve as a foundation for the recommendations they offer:

1. “Your power lies in the space where customer and company needs overlap: the Value Creation Zone [V-Zone].”
2. “Success in marketing is about mastering the ‘The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader.’”
3. “You weren’t born a marketing leader. You must become one.”

The twelve powers are best revealed within the narrative, in context. Barta and Barwise briefly discuss them in the Introduction (Table I.1, Pages 7-8) and devote a separate chapter to each. In the Introduction, they also include a brief profile-test assessment exercise. “You can take a more complete version of this profile-test” by visiting the website they designate.

They make brilliant use of several reader-friendly devices, notably “Your central question: [fill in the question]” at the beginning and “Critical Questions You Must Answer” at the conclusion of Chapters 1-12. The former alerts readers to the chapter’s focus; the latter challenges readers to apply what they have learned to their own circumstances. These and other devices help to facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key material later.

Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise are to be commended for the valuable information, insights, and counsel they provide. This material will help leaders in almost any organization (whatever its size and nature may be) to achieve success by building customer and company value.

I presume to make another point that I think is critically important to achieving that strategic objective: The process of creating or increasing demand does not address marketing issues; rather, it addresses business issues. Everyone involved – at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise – must understand that.

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