The UnReader

UnMarketing by Scott Stratten

People who know me well would not say I’m what you’d call “a reader.”

I read blogs, Web sites, magazines, and all sorts of other stuff online…but it takes something special for me to get through a whole book, let alone review and recommend one on my blog.

So with that in mind, you’ll appreciate that if I get through a 250 page book in a weekend, well it must be something extraordinary.

UnMarketing by Scott Stratten is such a book. You can buy it here , but don’t worry about clicking this link right now, I’m going to put it at the bottom, too, by which time when you’ll be completely in love with it. Just like I am.

UnMarketing covers customer/audience engagement using real life examples: from why a Vegas janitor changed Stratten’s perception of the hotel he was staying in, to everything social media, trust and experience gaps, why Zappos are among the best in the customer engagement business, and finally to why networking events are evil. You’re going to get a little of everything you need to begin UnMarketing yourself or your business.

Scott Stratten doesn’t fancy-up his words to sound smart. He is smart, and that’s what makes his writing smart. And funny.

I bought it for Kindle, and the clickable footnotes are a hoot. For example:

gets you the footnote:

See what I mean?

For most of us, when we buy a book that we hope will contribute to our education, we’re secretly also hoping that it turns out to be a worthless piece of junk that doesn’t teach us anything we don’t already know. In part because that allows us to feel smart about knowing as much as a published author, and also furious, because they don’t know more than we do and they got a book deal.

Stratten’s conversational style might trick you into thinking that he’s not delivering anything you don’t already know. But if you write off the content because of the style, you’re definitely not going to be smarter when you put the book down. Pay attention to the tips Stratten delivers and you’ll be well on your way to building your own UnMarketing social media presence.

You’ll read “Look what gets shared on Facebook or retweeted on Twitter. It’s not ads or pitches. It’s knowledge. It’s stuff that makes people say “awesome” and they need to tell others about it.” But you knew that, right? What you probably don’t know is how to apply that information to your own business in a way that’s meaningful to your audience. But that’s what Stratten gives us next.

Sometimes, Stratten evokes memories of one of my favorite Bill Hicks bits, sometimes he builds your confidence in your own efforts, and  and sometimes he delivers knock-out advice for how to not be a self-serving marketing douchebag (my words, though it wouldn’t surprise me if he’d used them at some point.)

As I devoured UnMarketing over the holiday weekend (much to the dismay of my girlfriend, who had to contend with monosyllabic responses to half-heard questions) I found myself saying things like “Damn right!” and “That’s what I said in my blog!” and “Well crap, that makes sense. How did I not think of that already.” Which is not how I generally read. But it is how I generally have epiphanies, and Straten’s book is full of opportunities for those.

You should read this book if you or your job has anything to do with marketing, social media, customer acquisition or retention, or customer service (and all jobs have something to do with customer service), or anything at all to do with dealing with anyone as a representative of your business. Pretty much you should read this book if you do anything that involves interacting with another human being, ever.

And you should click here to go to UnMarketing and buy the old-fashioned paper-based edition of the book, or the one for the new-fangled Kindle, or even as an audio-book.

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