Business in Vancouver newspaper is now featuring a regular column of business book reviews, including a main review by Jan Wallace, the Head of the David Lam Management Research Library at UBC, and capsule reviews by Treena Chambers, the Marketing Technology Co-ordinator at UBC Bookstore.

You can view the inaugural column below.

This article from Business in Vancouver March 2-8, 2010; issue 1062

Book Reviews: Holding the purse strings

Too Busy to Shop

by Kelley Murray Skoloda

Praeger, 2009

“In the U.S., women now control $3.3 trillion in consumer spending, are responsible for more than 80% of the household buying, control more than 50% of the wealth in the country, make 62% of all car purchases and take more than 50% of all business trips.”

Brand marketing executive, MBA and mom Kelley Skoloda has published a quick read that accomplishes two things. It convinces readers that women, especially those between 25 and 54 years old, are far from a niche market – rather, they are a major purchasing power that has not been well-served by traditional marketing methods. It also provides many well-researched suggestions for marketing to women and details interviews with successful marketers to this group.

Skoloda, herself in her mid-40s, is well-positioned to talk about the concept she coined “multi-minding” – the phenomenon of juggling not only tasks, but thoughts, reflections and plans all at once – during a business meeting, fitness class or while driving the car.

Companies wishing to reach such overloaded consumers must learn when they are open to messaging, and to whom they will listen.

Women pay attention to local media sources – is the brand engaging local as well as national media? Are my key messages short and piquant enough for this swamped group? Can I help provide solutions to my customers’ busy lives together with my product messaging? Am I using a variety of methods to reach my target audience, from social media such as mommy blogs, to targeted e-mails (think dinner recipes and shopping lists arriving at 4:30 p.m.) to search engine optimization? And perhaps most important, how is the marketing effort sustaining relationships built with customers during the product launch?

This is a practical book, not a scholarly effort. It’s filled with real-life examples of marketing strategies, tips and techniques. Even more importantly, it drives home the message that nearly every business today needs to create marketing that reaches out specifically to women. •

Jan Wallace is head of the David Lam Management Research Library at UBC’s Sauder School of Business.

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

by Carmine Gallo

McGraw-Hill, 2009

Ever watch a Steve Jobs presentation? Communications skills coach Carmine Gallo lays out 10 steps that can help you bring the same enthusiasm to your work. Whether you are a fledgling speaker or a professional presenter, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs contains a multitude of useful ideas that will help you engage your audience.

The Value of Nothing

by Raj Patel

Picador, 2010

Sustainability is a powerful word. In The Value of Nothing, Raj Patel challenges the prevailing view of economics by revealing the hidden social and ecological costs of our current consumptive markets. He argues passionately for an engaged politic to demand dramatic changes in our financial system – and makes us smile while doing so.


by Daniel Pink

Riverhead, 2009

Just call it Motivation 3.0. In Drive, Daniel Pink moves us beyond external motivation and into a system of intrinsic motivation. Drawing on behavioural research, he examines the roll of autonomy, mastery and purpose in motivation, and creates a motivational tool kit for managers. Pink wants everyone to consider his or her purpose in life and communicate its essence.

Reviews by Treena Chambers, marketing technology co-ordinator at UBC Bookstore.

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