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Does Marketing Need a Playbook?

On Wednesday, I had a book review published in The Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required) on “The Elements of Influence,” the first definitive system for out-smarting an opponent, managing a brand, protecting a reputation, and orchestrating word-of-mouth that introduces The Playmaker’s Standard™, a new essential language of 25 irreducible plays, by Alan Kelly, CEO and Founder of The Playmaker’s Standard ™.

Here’s the gist:

“Much space in the book is devoted to the Playmaker’s Table, a variant of the periodic table that sorts Mr. Kelly’s 25 strategic plays into three groups: Assess (plays of the Assess type are “characteristically subtle, typically passive, and are often used to monitor and profile other players and marketplaces”); Condition (these are “moderate, often indirect, and are frequently used to encourage or suppress actions or to influence or reform the sentiments of other players”); and Engage (“active, usually overt strategies whose purposes are to destabilize players and marketplaces”).”

In my eyes, maneuvers used by business leaders, advertising executives, public-relations managers, politicians, are a lot more about art than science. In fact, a lot of playmaking, as Mr. Kelly dubs strategy, can be credited to pure luck.

What’s your take? Do business leaders and marketers, campaigners and bloggers, political junkies and fans of popular culture need an organized system to help plan every move they make? Do they need a new lexicon to assess both their own and their competitors moves?

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