Are You Tuned In? Marketing Insights From An Amazon Bestseller

Dharmesh Shah
Dharmesh Shah



For those that follow this blog, you know we're big fans of David Meerman Scott.  We think his best-selling book " New Rules of Marketing and PR " is a must-read for all modern marketing mavens. 

David recently co-authored a new book:

Tuned In :  Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead to Business Breakthroughs

I had the opportunity to review an early draft of the book several months ago (I read it on my last trip to Mumbai, India).  It was riveting.  And, I'm not just saying that because David is an advisor to HubSpot (which he is) or because he mentioned HubSpot in the book (which he did -- thanks David!) but because the book is insightful and useful .  And, it addresses a question I have struggled with for years:  How do you increase your chances of building a runaway success of a business? 

Seems I'm not the only one that liked the book.  "Tuned In" climbed the charts to #1 last week and is still in the Amazon Top 100 bestsellers.  Not in the business category, but overall .  That's impressive.

So, my advice is to go read " Tuned In ".

In the meantime, I have captured some of the key points from the book that I found particularly useful.  Apologies if some of them don't make the most sense out of context (did the best I could while still being reasonably pithy).

Building A "Tuned In" Business

1.  The tuned in company constantly listens, observes, and understands the problems that buyers are willing to pay money to solve.

2.  From the makers of the market-leading "Victor" brand of mouse-trap on the failure of a new "better mouse-trap" they launched to beat the Victor:  "We should have spent more time researching housewives, and less time researching mice."

3.  Focusing on your competitors is a tit-for-tat game that rarely produces a market leader. 

4.  Your existing customers represent a small percentage of your opportunity, they have different market problems than non-customers. 

5.  Existing customers frame their view of your future based on incremental improvements to their past experiences.

6.  Your opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant. 

7.  Don't assume that because you're an expert in a market or industry you know more than your buyers about how your product can solve their problems.

8.  Communicate directly with your potential customers.  It's hard to get "tuned in" if there's someone in the middle.

9.  Most businesses try to buy their way in with expensive advertising or beg their way in by convincing media to write about them.  Be different.  Say something useful and interesting.

10.  You don't have to be the first to identify a market opportunity.  The founders of Intuit (makers of Quicken) joke about having had the 47th mover advantage.

11.  Semantics can make a difference.  Disney does not build rides, it "creates adventures".  It calls employees "cast members".  They wear "costumes", not uniforms.  They serve "guests", not customers. 

12.  Nothing important happens in the office; the answer you're looking for is outside your building.  Go talk to potential buyers.

13.  Don't use your salespeople for conducting buyer interviews.  Great sales people are great at sales -- not necessarily figuring out what will sell. 

14.  Absent any real data, conference rooms are just full of opinions.

15.  Data trumps opinion every time.

16.  Ask yourself:  Is the problem you are solving urgent?  Is it pervasive in the market?  Are buyers willing to pay to have this problem solved?

17.  It is too easy to build marketing programs around what the organization wants to say rather than what the buyer wants to hear.

18.  Tuned in companies think like a publisher and create compelling online content.


You can see David Meerman Scott speak live at the Inbound Marketing Summit on September 8 in Cambridge, MA.

If you've read the book or have comments on some of the above points, please leave a comment and extend the conversation. 


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