I received this book for free from Kate Tilton's Author Services in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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In the blurb for Propel, Whitney Keyes promises:
This title shows you how to identify opportunities at your fingertips and use them to build market share, boost brand loyalty, and generate more revenue fast!
And she follows through with this promise.
The full name of the book is Propel: Five Ways to Amp-Up Your Marketing and Accelerate Business, and it takes a small business owner through making a marketing plan. I’ve known of Whitney’s work for a while now. Seattle’s very like that. I’ve always loved that she’s practical with her marketing advice. In Propel, she’s no different.
As I mentioned, this book takes you through building a marketing plan. You’ll be given exercises and research activities that’s take you through from a SWOT, to executing a plan that’s right for your business. I particularly love that Whitney uses examples from a mix of companies, small and large. Because she’s from Seattle and I currently live in Seattle there was an added bonus of learning more about the city’s businesses. Like Whitney, I didn’t know about the B&B in Greenlake. I wish the Chocolate Box still did their tours of several local chocolate factories. If you’re ever in the area let me know. I’ll make you a list of the yummiest chocolate factories in the region.
The start of the book contains a glossary, which is perfect. So many people go into business without knowing the terminology. Placing the glossary at the beginning means there’s no skipping and terminology is in sync.
Now everyone is using the same words, it’s time for the marketing plan. Whitney uses a five principle model as a template: strategy, story, strength, simplicity, and speed. I’m not going to go into detail on them. You’ll need to read the book. And do the homework at the end of each chapter. These homework exercises are all about you and your business. By the end of the book you have a marketing plan for your business. This is where you’ll learn about each principle, why it’s important, tactics related to it, and hear stories about businesses like yours going through the same activities. The non-fluffy version is that each chapter will have you writing your mission and values, and SWOT analysis and media plan.
Who Should Read Propel?
People who have been in business, don’t have a marketing background but know they need to know more can always go deeper into marketing theory than Whitney takes you. But she gets the balance of what you need to know, when your time is also accounting, human resources, manufacture or service, and sales. You don’t have time to know marketing theory inside out I have a bachelor’s degree in marketing and definitely don’t know it all), Propel will give you what you need.
Propel has just been released as an audio book, which is why Whitney offered me a copy to review. Personally, I think I’d go for a print or electronic copy. My audio book listening is in the car, and I wouldn’t be able to do the homework while driving. Then again, I’m also more visual so maybe it’s my style. You have choices to match you. I just recommend you read it and do the homework.