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Book review: Personality not included

Personality not includedRohit Bhargava is the author of the leading “Influential Marketing Blog” (IMB) and is a founding member of the 360 Digital Influence team at Ogilvy. That means he is no “feather weight” in the world of marketing.

His first book “Personality not included” is a solid attempt to explain to marketers why many of the old corporate habits of dealing with their customers and the general public iare obsolete. Who came up with all the stupid policies anyway? If you are in marketing you might not find that book ground breaking because it just reiterates what you can read in the blogosphere pretty much every day. Rohit is not as radical as Seth Godin would be.

Actually Rohit is a very good showcase for his own book: He has a mind of his own and has no problems sharing his thoughts. At the same time he works for a large organization with over 10,000 employees. He is a watch and learn case for many guys who think that blogging and working a corporate job simply don‘t go together.

This is a book that everyone in business can read and get something out of. It is not too academic or plastered with acronyms that nobody but 50 people in the world would get.

So if the book is not ground breaking in my eyes, why should you read it?

  1. Stories: Rohit has a lot of first hand experience to share and throws in many other stories to add to his theories. That is valuable information for any marketer.
  2. This book will make you more conscious about your marketing. Many potential readers might apply some principles of the book in their daily work already (myself being one of them). Rohit makes a good effort of structuring and organizing what many of us “feel” is the right thing to do.
  3. It might give you some more ammunition when you are arguing with other in your organization on what is the right thing to do: How open do you want to be to the public? How do you portray yourself? How do you deal with your mishaps? Sucking a little less than your competition would be nice, wouldn‘t it? :-)
  4. Power to the people: The book makes a very strong case that the employees of a company are their strongest asset – if they are empowered and have a face and aren‘t just XYZ employees. Companies embracing this thought will advance and it will   make our (corporate) world a nicer place to live in.

The book has only 6 chapters in part one. Rohit explains that almost all marketing books tend to be most interesting until chapter 6 and then become repetitive or boring. So he stopped right there. But then he continues with a nice hands on part that serves as a good reference point for making changes to your own organization (or the ones of your clients).

So even if you are super-smart and know much more than I do you can read the book, put a check mark on every page and know that the top guys at Ogilvy don‘t know more than you do. That should be worth the price of the book.

Note:
Rohit is a humble man: He only gave himself 4 stars for his own book. Many people will disagree and give him 5 stars and I know he will continue to be in high demand.

The story of the book continues on his blog www.personalitynotincluded.com. There‘ll be some additional lessons to be learned on that site as well.

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