The No-Fluff Marketing Playbook

Why This Playbook?

Marketing is Messed Up!


There is a lack of definite marketing know-how and that is causing sub-optimal marketing performance. If this resonates with you and you are looking for a solution, skip reading further and move on to other sections.

Mismatch in business stages and marketing frameworks

  • Enterprise leaders, startup founders, small business owners and marketers working across these organizations confuse marketing frameworks leading to a hotchpotch of tactics, leading to poorer marketing programs, and stressed out marketing teams. I have heard in detail about at least two such examples of gigantic, colossal, massive marketing mess created at mid-stage startups due to gaps in basic know-how. Disasters!

Marketer's role is getting diminished

  • This happened perhaps as SaaS products gained massive traction via growth marketing frameworks with acquisition at its core.

Content marketing targetted at marketers has done quite a lot of damage

  • Click-bait articles with titles such as 'marketing is dead', 'segmentation is dead', 'this is a new hack' clutter the marketers daily reading. More worrisome is such articles misguide the stakeholders which marketers are accountable to.

  • The content is made deliberately long-form to please Google (i.e. for SEO). Time-constrained marketers find it difficult to sift through.

  • The new age terms such 'growth hacks' are abused in many print and kindle books. A tool to say prepare a gif image is also included as a 'growth hack'.

A zillion books, blogs, and courses talking the same sh#* and charging for it

  • Writing book is a new visiting card - hell it is even an awareness and acquisition channel ("find discount code at the end of this book for new course"). Nothing wrong. But then a lot of kindle books and even paperbacks are talking the same stuff over and over again. Worst, they are compounding the confusion around different marketing frameworks.

  • And since it is a book, pages need to be filled, and authors ramble. [ Wait, am I doing the mistake same here? 😊 ] You - dear marketer - don't have time. You want actionable stuff, quickly.

No standard knowledge body to at least frame fundamental principles

  • Marketing concepts get twisted (using 4Ps to analyse competition 🤔 ) rather than using better models such as 'business model canvas'.

  • Marketing education in b-schools seemed to be skewed towards FMCG / CPG marketing. Do they have track on new age marketing?

Wrong hiring

  • Wrong hiring starts from the marketing JD itself - growth marketing, product marketing branding building, and corporate marketing - all the terms are used liberally for one single position. It becomes then extremely challenging for a newly hired Head of Marketing to manage with are already inside via such a wrong hiring.

Confusion around terminologies

  • "Wait, did you say send emails to leads OR prospects OR did you mean customers?". 😊

  • "We are looking for a Product Marketing person who can build strong brands and achieve aggressive growth targets?" 😊

Low entry barrier has led to many experts than you can count:

  • There is very low barrier to entry to the marketing profession and even more to the marketing thinking. Once can't blurt out a recommendation to a data scientist, but one can always very confidently recommend marketers on the next best tactic or strategy.

  • On top of that, instead of welcoming this world-view, marketers tend to oppose it. A feeling of professional insecurity drive some of them to come up with vague terminologies, models and BS to create a fictitious entry-barrier; it backfires resulting in marketers loosing reputation.

It is challenging and overwhelming for marketers to keep themselves updated given how rapidly marketing technology and marketing-in-action is evolving.

Mark Ritson's Talk.

This Playbook's Promise

  1. Actionable marketing know-how to validate whether you are on the right track.

  2. A marketing knowledge body collaboratively built by marketers who know their stuff.

  3. Free, forever.

A Collaborative Effort. Join in. 👋

I hope to collaborate with many smart marketers out there to add to this playbook and make it more robust, and practical over time.

If you wish to collaborate on this book, reach out to Shantanu at this email ID

Goes without saying that upfront credit will be given to you as co-contributor of this book. If you wish to stay anonymous about certain content and still wish to contribute, your name will not be attributed to any particular content, and yet you will feature on the contributors page.

Copywriters, and graphic designers are welcome to provide edits, and beautiful and consistent graphics throughout the book. Let's make it awesome.

This is Work-in-Progress

You will come across some pages filled with useful content while other pages with just the headings mentioned. There are a ton of things in my head which I want to include in this guide. 😊

This guide is a work in progress started in August 2020 (yeah, during Covid-19 pandemic, and hopefully we will live through it!). So be patient, while I slog through and build this guide piece by piece.

Please also pardon a ton of typos and spelling errors. My thoughts are spinning faster than I can type. 😊

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