I read a lot. Mainly fiction but I also read a fair bit of marketing strategy. In the main these books are OK and I typically “learn” something every time. But just occasionally, as was the case with Product Marketing for Technology Companies by Mark Butje they really make an impact. The Jelly Effect – How to make your communication stick by Andy Bounds is one such book.
If I’m honest, the structure is not completely intuitive. The main subjects – Networking, How to sell more, Referrals and Presentations don’t really gel together for me. The introductory concepts are excellent and each section in isolation is well written and full of information and new ideas but I’m not sure they all belong in the same book about effective communication. Perhaps that’s just me.
The title refers to the idea that if I throw enough information out there some of it will be relevant – it’s like throwing jelly at a wall – eventually some will stick. But should we ask our prospects and clients to wade through mountains of communication before we share the most important facts with them? Andy bounds believes not. Instead he thinks that we should plan how we communicate by first understanding the audience, understanding their needs and understanding the value we can bring to them and then placing that value proposition front and centre in our communication.
Andy Bounds’ USP, if you can describe it as that, is his communication skill developed due to his very poor eyesight. In fact Andy’s mother is totally blind. As a child Andy had to help his mother “see” the environment around her and as such from an early age had to learn how to communicate a) just enough information b) the most important information. Consequently his communication skills have been honed to the point of no wastage. Andy has taken this skill into the business world and has developed exercises to help marketing and sales folks to communicate effectively and to get results.
There are some great exercises in the book about how to boil down a value proposition from a series of positive facts (a variation on the “so what” test). And Andy’s ideas around AFTERs (a similar concept to “benefits instead of features”) are really well observed. I’ve recommended the book to a number of clients and the feedback has always been very good. Andy is obsessive that any communication should be relevant and aimed at getting the right result. His writing style together with the spacious layout of the book and the easy to read exercises make it very easy to follow.
If you’re looking for a book to challenge you about the way you currently communicate with your clients and to freshen up your marketing communication then put this on you Xmas reading list.