Thursday, November 27, 2014

Book Review - Twitter is not a Strategy by Tom Doctoroff

Tom Doctoroff is CEO of Asia Pacific for JWT.  A couple of years he wrote What Chinese Want, a look at consumer and brand culture in China; now he’s followed it up with  Twitter Is Not a Strategy, a look at how the principles of brand building must not get lost in the age of real time marketing, and bought, owned and earned media.

The book contains some insights form the East, but this one is much more globally focussed, and It’s a good summary of why branding is still important now.  The book is broken down into the principles of how communications work, looking in turn at consumer behaviour, ‘the brand idea’ and engagement ideas, finishing off with a look at new rules for online content.

He looks at a number of communications case studies, including many he likes, like LEGO, Honda, KIT KAT and Oreo,and a few he doesn't, like Dove (he thinks it fails to communicate enough about the brand in its 'empowerment' ads).  He also rightly takes a swipe at some of the poster boys for real time marketing, like Arby’s ‘Pharrell’ stunt, and asks how much it really achieved for the brand.  For a physical book it seems very up to date in terms of many of the case studies that it references, which is very good.

My main criticism would be the title.  I don’t think many are arguing that Twitter is the answer for many brands, but that Twitter should be used as a way of targeting and amplifying campaigns in other media.  As such the title (& use of a version of the Twitter mascot, and the distinctive Twitter blue) seems to be both dismissing Twitter and riding on its coat sales at the same time.  For example the book currently appears in the top 20 Amazon results in books for the keyword ‘Twitter’.

Buy this book if you want a good, up to date primer of how traditional thinking on branding and marketing must still be applied in the social and real-time age.

You can also see Tom discussing the book in the video below

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