This book review covers the 2nd Edition of No B.S. Direct Marketing by Dan Kennedy…more fully, “Direct Marketing For Non-Direct Marketing Businesses”. Let’s clarify that last point. Traditionally, “Direct Marketing Businesses” have been defined as mail-order, catalogue or online companies that directly solicits orders for business. So, “Non-Direct Marketing Businesses” are everything else…you might say the majority of businesses.
In fact, this book is really the “nuts and bolts” blueprint for the GKIC style direct response marketing that Dan Kennedy prescribes. It is primarily aimed at business folks who are NOT familiar with direct-response marketing. However, even experienced practitioners will find this a useful recap of fundamentals…and a reminder to implement what they already know!
The book kicks off with an introduction titled “The End of Advertising And Marketing As You Know It”. Essentially this is a primer on why what you see BIG BUSINESS doing in advertising and marketing is NOT appropriate for small business and why direct response is the best approach to build a successful business.
The main part of the book is divided into 3 sections – Foundation, Application and Resources.
Section 1, Foundation, makes up the bulk of the book and is pure Dan Kennedy. Over the course of 11 chapters, Dan lays down his “10 Rules To Transforming Your Business Into An Infinitely More Powerful Direct Marketing Business”. For example, Rule #1…
…There will ALWAYS be an offer or offers.
In addition, he explains the “Kennedy Results Triangle”, the effective combination of Message, Market and Media along with the importance of putting together a marketing SYSTEM that delivers reliable and consistent results. There are examples to illustrate key points and also a couple of interviews to provide some further insight into the ideas and concepts presented.
Section 2 is made up of 2 chapters which are effectively case studies in how to apply the Kennedy-style direct response model. One chapter is from lawyer Ben Glass and the other from Craig Proctor, real-estate sales maven. Even though these are “guest” chapters, both are well written and contain plenty of top-quality material.
Finally Section 3 is firstly a list of businesses (and their websites) to provide further examples of these ideas in action. Secondly, details of the various Dan Kennedy products and programs.
The book is a great primer and blueprint for anyone new to direct response marketing. One other good point is how it clearly sets out the rationale for direct response. However, the book is stronger on setting out WHAT to do, but less good on showing HOW to do that (even though it provides plenty of pointers). The reality is that this book is a starting point and other resources will be needed to actually implement the ideas.
This book and The Ultimate Marketing Plan: Target Your Audience! Get Out Your Message! Build Your Brand!
(also by Dan Kennedy) together are a great starting point for anyone new to direct response marketing. The business owner serious about getting better results will want the GKIC “Magnetic Marketing” program as well.
No B.S. Direct Marketing also deserves a place in the library of any serious marketer as a concise summary of the key principles and ideas behind direct response marketing.