I received a complimentary galley copy for this Killing Marketing review. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission on sales.


Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost into Profit takes everything you know about marketing and turns it upside down. This Killing Marketing review focuses on how it can help small businesses change the way they think about marketing.

If you’re an SMB, you may think that the best way to raise brand awareness and generate leads is through traditional advertising and marketing. You may buy ads, promote social media posts and churn out press releases to get earned media coverage. While that approach isn’t dead, in Killing Marketing, Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose take a sharp right from conventional marketing wisdom. Instead of looking at marketing as an expense, they say, look at it as a profit center and use it to build experiences for your customers.

Once you get past this crazy idea, it makes a lot of sense. Growing a business is difficult, and traditional advertising is failing us. As the authors note, anyone can copy your business and steal your customers. What will set you apart is your content. Killing Marketing takes real-world examples, like the case of Terminus in Atlanta, and illustrates how these companies built a community. Terminus, a small B2B software startup, built a community by publishing on LinkedIn. Eventually, the company created an event that generated one-third of its customer base.

Killing Marketing also looks at how databases can help with targeting advertising. Some use email subscriber data to better target Google ads, for example.

The one thing that all businesses, regardless of size, need for success? Good content. Pulizzi and Rose stress this theme throughout the book. Content needs to be valuable if you’re going to “kill” your existing marketing strategy and give birth to a new one.

The Takeaway

As usual, Pulizzi and Rose have written a practical book chock-full of great advice. They even admit that they might be wrong and offer scenarios for that. The chapters written by Rose tend to be a little heavy-handed. However, if you’re looking for a marketing book that is different from everything else on your shelf, you need to buy this one.

To buy Killing Marketing:

Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost into Profit by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose. Available September 18, 2017 on Amazon.com; $12.99 (Kindle edition), $23.70 (Hardcover)