Neil Mahoney’s second book concentrates on a topic that has been somewhat elusive to marketing and sales managers: the scientific analysis of results, or analytics. To his credit, Mahoney combines a discussion of more traditional analysis with the emerging world of online analytics.
The author begins with an interesting observation regarding the way in which businesses generally operate “on a quarter-by-quarter basis instead [of] from decade-to-decade.” Mahoney believes that though this kind of short-term thinking may have saved money, it has ultimately weakened certain businesses in the long run. In fact, this reality causes senior managers to accept marketing and sales analyses that may be shortsighted (counting inquiries instead of qualified prospects, for example), a point worth noting.
Next, Mahoney talks about analyzing the wants and needs of customers, as well as product positioning. He continues with discussions of prospect identification and development, the long-standing conflict between marketing and sales teams, and the basics of selling. Most of this material has been covered in similar marketing and sales books, but it serves as a solid review.
While Mahoney includes an informative chapter on traditional inquiry generation, he calls on Richard Burckhardt, an online expert, to author an additional chapter on web-based inquiry generation with a discussion of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Here, Burckhardt offers a list of “110 useful tips to master SEO,” which most readers should find quite valuable. Burckhardt also wrote the chapter “Social Media vs. SEO,” which, despite its brevity, contains some useful definitions and pointers. These segments of the book are perhaps the most useful.
Mahoney peppers the book with numerous anecdotes and case histories that serve as real-world examples. Marketing and sales managers will no doubt relate to these war stories.
While the content is solid and the author is well versed in the subject matter, the title may suggest a more in-depth exploration of analytics. For example, there is no discussion of database tools or techniques that have significantly improved marketing and sales. Additionally, the last three chapters—concerning business plans, startups, and product launches—are informative, but they seem out of place in the context of the larger topic being addressed. Finally, the book would benefit from boldfaced subheadings to improve readability.
Still, Neil Mahoney’s book nicely ties together long-standing marketing and sales principles with a more contemporary perspective that accounts for the impact of the digital revolution. Marketing and sales managers will likely benefit from this marketing professional’s authoritative counsel.