Book Review: UnMarketing by Scott Stratten

UnMarketing: Stop Marketing Start Engaging by the self-proclaimed “social media Jedi” and Canadian viral marketer, Scott Stratten, is an excellent reference guide for anyone who wants to better use social media to earn trust and build lasting business relationships.

The title is taken from an entirely new approach Stratten has about marketing where he suggests marketers need to unlearn their old tactics and methods and quit marketing to people in ways they wouldn’t want to be marketed to. Customers want to buy from people they know and trust, not from whoever feeds them the most aggressive sales pitch.

Stratten teaches you how to ditch the old marketing mindset and become an unmarketer. Instead of entering each business opportunity looking to close a sale, Stratten suggests using it as an opportunity to engage with potential customers and build lasting relationships. A strong relationship with a customer produces valuable repeat business versus a one-time sale made by pitching at them, Stratten argues.

Stratten’s conversational tone of writing and snarky humor make it easy to devour the delicious knowledge and expertise strewn across each page. You’ll find yourself nodding in agreement as he explains exactly how you can use today’s social media tools to engage your audience. Essentially nothing has changed even though the tools are brand new. People do business with those they know and trust. Simple. You already know how to do it, you just haven’t been told how to do it quite like this.

Stratten doesn’t over-complicate anything. In fact, he lists mistakes people make when they try to make social media more complicated than it is. The book is very beginner friendly, but chances are if you’re reading this blog you’re not a beginner anyway. Rest assured there’s plenty of pearls of wisdom in there for people who use social media day in and day out.

When I said it was a reference guide I meant exactly that. It reads like no reference guide I’ve ever read but I’m constantly referring back to the chapters in my mind whenever I’m connecting with people on Twitter or through my blog. It will no doubt prove to be more useful in my career that any marketing textbook I read in college.

Many companies you enjoy doing business with are likely already taking Scott’s approach, which is why you do business with them. Whether you realize it or not, the companies you do business with most often are those who are best at unmarketing themselves. It works.

At the risk of revealing too much, I will end by simply encouraging you to read this. I give it my highest recommendation. Be prepared to go to your next conference without a single business card after reading this book. Sound crazy? It actually makes perfect sense.