When you are done with the Kotler, Ries & Trout, Seth Godin and Cialdini, do read Jessie Paul’s playbook for modern marketers, ‘Marketing Without Money’.

The title is misleading, I must tell you straight away - and does the book a great disservice.

At least four friends winced when I showed them the book, with an “Oh, a get rich fast kind of book you see at airport bookshops.”

It took me a full five minutes to explain no, it was not, it’s actually a book about new age marketing, and hugely useful for both start-ups and established brands.

I’d say this is the best marketing book I’ve read this year – and I read a lot.

The book seamlessly bridges old-time, classic marketing with the post-modern, never missing a beat.

If you started working in the 90s or early 00s, learnt the craft of brand building from cigar-wielding gents in their 60s and 70s, and were later dragged kicking and screaming into the underbelly of a beast called Digital, populated by brand gurus in their early 20s, this book is for you.

Likewise, if you were born with a mobile device in your hand and spend most of your day – or night – driving leads to your Amazon store, this book will power your brand’s mojo to stratospheric levels.

Ok, wait, so who is Jessie Paul?

Jessie set up the marketing functions at Infosys in the early days, and later played a key role in the transformation of Wipro.

Currently, Jessie runs a successful business advisory and is an independent director on the board of many companies.

Jessie is also a bit of a digital evangelist — she has been demystifying digital marketing since the early 00s. If you head over to LinkedIn, past the dreadful resume section, you’ll bump into her incredibly popular newsletter at some point.

Now, a few reasons why you should consider buying or stealing this book.

Let me try to put it in the form of questions both freshly minted or battle-scarred marketers ask on a daily basis:

What’s the difference between old style and new age marketing?

How can I leverage the power of a highly digitised, socially connected world?

How can I think like a challenger brand, even if I have a 100-year-old history?

How can I build a ‘get noticed’ ecosystem at little or no cost?

What’s my brand’s DNA? How do I go about figuring out what it is?

What’s personal branding? Does it help me or my brand?

What are the different brand levers I can use like Archimedes moving the earth?

What are the many brand channels I can use — media relations, awards, etc?

All these questions are answered in much detail, in the language you and I would understand off the bat.

Illustrated with — and this is the best part of the book — case studies on how both large, heritage brands and start-up (“upstart”) brands can think like challengers, and in particular leverage change drivers.

It’s also loaded with insights from business leaders, DIY charts and tables, low- or zero-cost tips, examples and anecdotes to hone and sharpen your marketing approach.

The case studies of Xiaomi, Hyundai, Infosys, Paperboat, iD Foods are a treat. Actually there’s a case study on every other page, and if you read the book for this and only this, it’s worth it.

Finally, a word to the wise. What makes a brand a brand is being redefined as I type.

The success markers are no longer what they were even 10 years ago.

Marketers can no longer get away with flippant 90s definitions like “A brand is an intangible marketing concept”. With measurable metrics in every twist and turn of the buyer’s journey, it’s as tangible as it gets. It’s about views, shares, likes, RTs, even trolls.

And this book will help you negotiate the minefields of Brand building 3.0.

Happy reading. And Jessie, please consider a better title next time. Though I’m going to read it anyway.

(Shubho Sengupta is a digital marketer with an analogue ad agency past. His current interests are at the intersection of culture and technology. He can be found at @shubhos, pontificating on food, fetishes and football. )

About the Book:-

Marketing Without Money: An Essential Guide

Jessie Paul


₹599/ 223 pages

Check out for the book on Amazon