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Chase One Rabbit by David Parrish

The full title of this book by David Parrish is

“Chase One Rabbit: Strategic Marketing for Business Success: 63 Tips, Techniques and Tales for Creative Entrepreneurs”.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the FOUR stars level, this means it’s in the good to very good category.

Here is what I wrote.

A good introduction to strategic marketing that deserves to be read by many small business owners

Although this book is targeted towards entrepreneurs in the creative industries, I believe it deserves a much wider audience of small business owners. The general messages in the book apply to all sectors and whilst the examples and stories used are from creative businesses, they are easily understood.

The main purpose of the book is to introduce the ideas of strategic marketing as opposed to operational marketing. You’re probably familiar with operational marketing because it tells you how to use marketing media – how to have a good website, how to get ranked in search engines, how to use display advertisements in newspapers and magazines, how to create a direct mail letter or how to use social media. It’s probably how you think about marketing.

Strategic marketing takes a higher level view and asks you to think carefully about who your target customers are. What special skills and abilities are there in the business that will help to create extra value for customers and differentiate you from competitors. Once you’re clear on your target market(s), you then need to think about the specific marketing messages that will resonate well and get the responses you want. Only then should you start thinking about the best way to communicate these messages by marketing appropriate marketing media choices.

The book is split into sixty odd short chapters and is very easy to read. Each chapter ends with the key points, a section on what to do next and links to related chapters.

I’m 100% in agreement with the importance of strategic marketing and, although I like the book a lot, I didn’t feel I could give it the full five stars. Here are the reasons:

1 I didn’t agree with the chapter that basically said that search engine rankings are not important in people based industries. My counter argument is that the Internet has become the main way people safely search for information and in tightly focused niches, there is even more importance in being found easily. I only found the author because I was searching for marketing experts for creative industries when I felt a potential client needed more specific advice than I could give.

2 The general advice on selecting a niche is to choose one where you have a competitive advantage or where the niche can be considered as attractive because of the demand and supply conditions. The author focused on the first and I can’t remember him mentioning the second. If you’re going to take this higher level view, I believe you need to be aware of the trends and how they are likely to change. Specialising feels like a big risk and you need to do it on an informed basis.

3 Whichever way you look at it, strategic marketing is half the story. You either need to combine it with operational marketing practices or you need to line it up with your internal operational strategy. I accept that you can have “accidental” competitive advantages and strengths but, more often, they are hard to develop. It’s usually a result of deliberate policies and decisions. The book doesn’t consider the situation where a particular niche is being badly served, therefore giving an opportunity to a business who sees that it can develop a competitive advantage and then commits to do so.

Even with these misgivings, this book is an important read that will counteract a bias towards operational marketing thinking.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free Business SOS consultation with me.

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