I recently spoke at Pipecon, in Toronto. They had asked me to give the keynote speech, and I was more than happy to. After my presentation, many people asked me to list off the many books I had referenced during the keynote. I had a hard time doing so because there were over 2 dozen different books and research reports referenced in my 1 hour speech. People then asked that I begin a reading club, and so this is the first attempt at this.
Book #1: The One to One Future, by Peppers and Rogers circa 1993
In 1993 Peppers and Rogers wrote “The One To One Future”. It is a book on One to One marketing and the future of marketing. It is the basis for some of the best modern marketing theories, and a classic book for any modern marketer. You should not be able to call your self “educated” in marketing if you can not grasp many of the concepts outlined in this book. You should be able to quote this book, understand the lines of logic which follow from it, and keep it close by. It’s a book which I consider to be marketing canon, and the best place to begin the book club.
Here are a few notable quotes from it:
“It is information about individual consumers that will keep a marketer functioning in the 1:1 future. Without individual information, as opposed to market or segment information, 1:1 marketing would not be possible.
– Peppers and Rogers 1993
They wrote about the need to track people, and talk to people on a 1:1 basis before the technology ever existed. Despite what some people might claim, marketing automation didn’t exist until 1999. This comment from Peppers and Rogers was published in 1993. A full six years before the first full modern marketing automation tool (Eloqua) was created. That is called visionary!
“ When individual consumer information is added to the equation as an asset, the competitive battleground shifts. Using individualized information, you can achieve economies of scope, which can make your competitors’ economies of scale relatively less decisive. “
-Peppers and Rogers 1993
They write about the “Economies of Scope” which is a reference to the scope of your information on a single person. The more information about behaviors, preferences, and person the more relevant you can make your interactions and increase your brands value in your prospects eyes. It is only in our most recent time that we can use this information for truly dynamic content distribution, and the “Zero Click” website. It allows for even farther reaching things such as predictive experiences to take place.
“You must operate in realities, not abstractions of realities”
-Peppers and Rogers 1993
This is by far my favorite quote in the book. It is the best way to answer subjective opinions from marketers (or CEO’s) in a poignant and simple phrase. When your boss says, “I think”, you can respond with “the data shows”. Remember it is not what we think, but rather what the audience member infers, which matters. We must learn how they think, and that answer is held in their minds, waiting for us to extract it via questions, and data analysis. Excellence is not achieved via subjectivity, but rather from listening, and constant rigor.
Life Time Customer Value: Peppers and Rogers outline the idea of tracking LTV on individuals, yet the best technology of the day was very limited at doing this. Modern technology can allow us to get very close, yet it is our business reporting methods which keep us from tracking it. It is a multi year number, which is not often accounted for in annual business repots. Consider how you would track, prove, and validate marketing spend if your business put an emphasis on the LTV rather than ACV (annual contract value), MRR (monthly recurring revenue), or other short term measures.
What metrics could you track to do this? Slack the brand new communications application is already compensating their sales team on Net Promoter Score (how likely a customer is to recommend the product to other customers), rather than explicitly on closed/won. This may prove to be a new and better way to value customers, and for business to lower their churn rates, rather than investing heavily in mass publishing.
This is just one example of the many questions this book should open up for you. Peppers and Rogers book, The One to One Future” is a book all B2B marketers should read. It is written with a lot of B2C references, but will get you in the right frame of mind to understand modern marketing. It is amazing to see this concept was written about back in 1993, six years before the technology ever hit the market.
Please share your favorite quotes below