June 22, 2002
Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Go to Market Strategy
Friedman first assures us that this is not another book about selling on the web, but instead it is about the larger and more strategic issue of how to take products and services to market more powerfully in order to increase sales, market share, profits, and customer loyalty. He grants that the web is part of this system, but does not need to be the system. Although people have been going to market (finding/growing/creating an item and going face to face with a potential client and selling the item) for thousands of years, Friedman contends that the concept and process of going to market is dying out. Not yet dead, but dying. To revive the process, Friedman offers a revolutionized version, insisting that when going to market a company must become an aggressive integrated multi-channel organization, a carnivore. In his words:
This book will help you become a go-to-market carnivore, transitioning to a fully competitive and winning go-to-market strategy, based on a solid game plan to be implemented over the next 18 months. There is no sense in talking about incremental change here. If your goal is to grow revenue 3 percentthrow this book away.No, for the next few hours we are going after large game: double digit revenue growth and the slashing, at a minimum, of 10 to 15 percent of selling costsabsolute realistic results that have been achieved consistently by companies that have been serious about go-to-market innovation.
Overwhelmed by all this? Well, Friedman acknowledges that this type of strategic plan may appear mammoth, but he advises you to advance step-by-step. The last chapter is called Getting Started: The Ninety-Day Got-to-Market Action Plan and will help you do just that. If you cant quite imagine doing the complete carnivorous turn-around that Friedman described above, read the chapter, Aligning with Your Customers. Endlessly useful. Where can you go wrong in trying to find out what your customers want, than supplying them with it, and ultimately, gaining more customers as a result?
I also appreciated Friedmans aggressive writing style as it aptly fit his subject matter. He packs the book with charts and graphs, uses real world examples of companies such as Herman Miller, Marriott, and Charles Schwab to support his contentions, and provides tons of convenient footnotes (which I love because you can get to his references without having to flip to the end of the book). Friedman wants you to succeed in changing your go to market strategy, and with this book, Im certain you will.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.