Pursuing Growth

10 March 2016

Pursuing Growth: Practical Marketing Tips for Business Owners
by Brent Banda
Published by Mile 84 Press
Review by Shelley A. Leedahl
$30.00 ISBN 9-780973-136913

The back cover blurb on Brent Banda’s Pursuing Growth: Practical Marketing Tips for Business Owners makes a grand claim: “The insights in this book will help you increase revenue and profit in your business.” Inside, a dozen business people also herald Banda’s marketing acumen. Joe Pulizzi says “If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, this is the type of blocking and tackling information you need to stay on top of customer needs and demands.” Christian L. Braid, president of Braid Flooring & Windows, says “If you have the slightest of aspirations to improve your business, 10 minutes with this book will send that feeling into hyper drive.” With commendations like these, I not only want to read the book, I’m also a smidge inclined to believe I could learn enough to start my own successful business!

Banda – the Saskatoon-based force behind Banda Marketing Group – is a marketing strategy consultant who’s helped “almost two hundred companies” improve their businesses over the last twenty years. Aside from coaching business owner-managers, he’s also taught Advertising, Professional Sales, and Marketing Management at St. Frances Xavier University, and now he’s marketing his own knowledge in this handsomely–packaged and well-organized softcover.

Anyone who reads a lot will quickly appreciate the high production values here: snow white paper, adequate line spacing, a comprehensive Contents page, and ample titles and subtitles. Banda also provides a diverse collection of motivational quotes from well-known individuals – including JFK, B.B. King, Warren Buffet, and Einstein – to launch each of his chapters.

The author\consultant offers suggestions for many of the challenges faced by owner-managers, ie: where best to allocate time and money; how to increase profitability through market penetration; the role of social media in marketing; the importance of customer dialogue; and the special concerns involved in a family business. His advice is often supported by relatable examples, ie: regarding “Push Versus Pull Marketing,” he uses the children’s toy Tickle Me Elmo to illustrate how pull marketing was used: when the product became unexpectedly popular in 1996, retailers were able to radically raise its price from the original $28.99 into the hundreds, and “Some reports suggest that the toy fetched as much as $1500.” He also points to how technology has changed how consumers now buy cars (presently they often arrive at a dealership after having already having completed much internet research), and how this has changed the role of automobile salespeople.

Banda’s well-written material goes well beyond common sense, and I expect this is why he’s proven a popular consultant since 1997. Again regarding social media and marketing, he writes “ … the relevance of social media is rooted in the human need to build relationships.” How interesting, and not something I’d considered before. I also learned some new terms from Banda, ie: “the floor” is “the lowest price you can charge without losing money.”

Chock-full of clear, valuable, no-nonsense information from an industry expert, this book’s a good investment for anyone operating an owner-managed company. See www.pursuinggrowth.com.


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