Book Reviews

 
Web Marketing

Guerrilla Marketing Online Weapons: 100 Low-Cost, High-Impact Weapons for Online Profits and Prosperity

Author: Jay Conrad Levinson, Charles Rubin
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Company
Publication Date: July 1996

Reviewer:Abby Leibel
Abby Leibel is the National Coordinator of the Association for Marketing Communications in Israel (AMCI). AMCI is a division of Coast 2 Coast Communications, Ltd. Founded in 1996 by Coast 2 Coast Communications, the association today includes over 100 Marcom Managers of High-Tech companies in Israel. AMCI is the only professional association in Israel for Marcom Managers in High-Tech export companies, and provides its members with regular newsletters, programming and monthly meetings designed to increase both their competitiveness and professionalism in the industry. Check out our website at www.amci.co.il

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When I looked at the listing of chapters and subjects that the book will review, I thought, “Oh, wow, this book looks great”. But, when I looked back at the name of the book, Guerilla Marketing Online Weapons by Jay Conrad Levinson, I thought what online? The listing under content reads like the shopping list of any business, “Your Company’s Mission, Advertising, Publicity” etc. Don’t these apply to the “real world” businesses as well as online?

Levinson begins his book by saying that you can use his weapons to “…Make your business a standout”. Having a company mission was one suggestion. Well, I thought every business nowadays has a mission and has figured out their product. This doesn’t seem to be directed towards online work. I continued on to the next chapter titled Planning and Organization. Here Levinson begins to delve into the Internet. In a section called “Marching Orders” he says that creating a listing of specific tasks to do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis is important.  He gives tools for the day-to-day work as well as the large strategic picture. In this chapter he also touches on the importance of keeping an E-mail address book and canned messages.

In the third chapter titled Presence, Levinson addresses a very important issue. Other than the design of the site, he discusses the importance of online writing and writing well. They’re not synonymous, he says. “In an air war, the best pilots have the most success; in the online marketplace, the best writers have the upper hand.” He then gives a few tools to help in the process.

In the next chapter, Levinson approaches the topic of Service. This is a topic we touched on in one of our monthly meetings. It is important to understand, Levinson says and most AMCI members seem to agree, that the Internet is up and running 22 hours a day. Information has to be accessible even on down office time. For instance, forms should be posted for easy access. Also, the site has to be organized well enough so that a customer or a prospective customer can find information on a product on his or her own. The next topic touches on Customer Comfort.

The next two chapters are about Advertising and Publicity. In the advertising chapter, Levinson touches on some print advertising for the site which I was disappointed with. After all, aren’t we talking about online? In his publicity chapter, Levinson, points to some PR tips (which is an entire book on its own) that again barely address the issue of publicity on the net, rather gives some tips on PR in general.

Next Levinson approaches the subject of Community involvement and Free Information. While I think that the subject of community involvement is important to businesses in general, I don’t think Levinson dealt with enough online subjects. The chapter on free information, however, I found to be very interesting. Levinson discusses the importance of giving information and sharing information on your site to “enhance your reputation as an expert”. He suggests posting and sharing everything from general information to books, to articles, to events and finally, publications. 

Levinson then has great ideas for giveaways. These are everything from screen savers to games to free software. All great products that carry your company name on them. The subjects of special events and referrals are then discussed. Levinson then teaches the reader some of the technical aspects of the Internet.

The last chapter serves as a pep talk and summation of the book. 
True, Levinson had some great ideas on marketing. However, not all of them are specific to the Internet, as the name of the book would imply.