My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
What makes Olalah Njenga’s book, 37 What Were They Thinking Moments in Marketing different from other how-to business books is its candor, humor and insider thrill the reader gets when reading about the so-called business professionals getting it all wrong. Njenga develops the titualar 37 scenes of the “getting it all wrong” part into teaching moments on how we all can do better by becoming more self-aware. Many of the mistakes her subjects make have to do with the fact they only think of themselves and that they don’t take a broader view of their actions. This book is so relevant and readable because it comes from Njenga’s experiences. Her voice is real and authentic, plus she’s not afraid of saying, “That woman pissed me off.” (read “And You Are Who?” for why this woman did so)After Njenga lays out the etiquette-busting scene, she then gives the color analysis of what went wrong while briefing her reader on the proper marketing course.
Three scenes stood out for me: One was Marsha in “When in Doubt Strike It Out” who hands out business cards with crossed out contact info; then PR exec Audrey in “Drop and Give Me 20” who wears exercise clothes to a media networking event, and lastly Turner in “Perfection is the Killer of Execution” who wants Njenga to keep researching his market before he’s ready to have her implement his marketing plan.
Over and over again, the perpetrators of these “What Were They Thinking” moments don’t plan ahead and don’t think about how their actions reflect upon their personal brand. One of the best things about this book as a small business owner is that I’ve seen almost all of these mistakes committed and feel better, thanks to Njenga, that I’m not the only one who wonders what’s going on here.
This book is a fun, yet informative read and it’ll make you perform a self check before you’re labeled a marketing misfit.
Olalah Njenga is the CEO and Senior Marketing Strategist at YellowWood Group, a strategic marketing firm in Raleigh, NC that helps growing and mid-size companies align marketing strategies with sales goals. She is also the creator of Marketing with Ease, a marketing system that helps small business owners breakthrough marketing challenges to have more fun with marketing.