Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide – A Book Review

Duct Tape Marketing Book by John JantschAfter you read John Jantsch’s book, Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide, you will understand that marketing should be an integrated part in all your firm’s business activities. The outcome of marketing is to create a complete system that will help “people who have a specific need or problem, to know, like, trust, do business with and refer you to others who have this same need or problem.”

Not being an American by birth, I must say that I had a problem understanding the full meaning of the duct tape analogy used in the book. (I’m not the only one.)

I would have liked to see a bit more story-telling regarding the name, Duct Tape, as an introduction to John Jantsch’s personal approach to the field of marketing. I got so curious after looking at the image of the Duck tape brand by Henkel Corporation on the book cover, that I had to do a search on the Internet in order to satisfy my thirst for historical background. That said, I am in hands-down agreement with Michael Gerber’s statement:

“This book is just like its namesake – Duct Tape – it’s good, incredibly smart, amazingly practical, and immensely sticky stuff. You can begin to put it to use immediately.”

The book is divided into three parts. The first seven chapters lay the foundation and describe the way to sticky marketing. The second part is focused on how to turn the stickiness into a full fledged marketing system. Chapter 14 concludes the last part, there you find out what works and learn how to say: “Let’s Roll!”

Every chapter of the book ends with some action steps in order to get going and move forward to implement the ideas into business activities. The book is filled with concrete examples of companies and an appendix with further reading material and resources linked to every chapter. It would have been great if the book had included an index with names and notes, but you could get hold of this kind of information by checking out the page for the book.

The author gives the reader a great boost at the end of chapter 4, by explaining the correlation between value and the price of your product or service. John Jantsch demonstrates the importance of offering value to the customer, in chapter 8. The hardcover edition of the book has a price of circa $25, but you get “over $450 worth of coupons and discounts on marketing tools and services inside the book.”  He also says:

“And, of course, overdeliver on the stated value. Don’t worry about giving too much away. Depending on what you have to offer, you will only enhance your status as an expert when you demonstrate, through your information products, that you do indeed know what you are talking about. The best news of all, though, is that most of those you compete with won’t offer anything like this.”

When you have established a relationship with a customer and they know, like and trust you, it is time to turn them into a “referral machine.” I must say that chapter 11, Ramp Up a Systematic Referral Machine, gave me a lot of fuel for my soul and I will look into the possibilities of speaking engagements, holding a workshop, creating a “win-win-win” situation and contacting a local chapter of the referral networking organization called BNI (Business Network International).

I want to end this review by using a quote from John on page 222 on how a blog is a natural marketing integration tool:

“From my point of view, though, one of the best reasons to have a blog is that it’s a simply one more very easy, very affordable method to connect with your prospects and integrate all of your marketing messages. Blogs also force you to write and research new content. No matter what business you think you are in, you are in the information business. Blogging creates information that can be used in a variety of ways.”

Read Duct Tape Marketing — I think you will like it.

* * * * *

Martin LindeskogAbout the Author: Martin Lindeskog is a “trader in matter & spirit” and a small business entrepreneur in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is a board member of the Swedish National Association of Purchasing and Logistics (Silf, Western Region). Martin also writes a long-standing blog called Ego.


Martin Lindeskog Martin Lindeskog is helping businesses use new media to boost their supply and value chain. Martin is a tea enthusiast and you can find him on his blog, Ego.

17 Reactions
  1. Good review Martin. The book really seems to be a good read and I agree that marketing should always be integrated to our business activities.

  2. It changed the way I was looking at marketing – so much so that I read the book 4 times in 4 months! Of course the book is just the tip. John’s blog is a wealth of resources for small business. I believe it is the right solution for small businesses. So much so that I applied and was selected to be in the prestigious DTM worldwide coaching network. So the book is good, but remember it’s just a start. There are authorized DTM coaches across North America so find one near you.

  3. I had read the Duct Tape Marketing Blog for a while and bought the book as a result. At first glance I was disappointed, no cutting edge technology or marketing challenges to hold myself accountable. Wagering through it, it dawned upon me that this is the type of marketing I have done my entire life. Past owner of several manufacturing companies, I was always the marketing guy, and this became my marketing reference and the most written in, dog-eared, highlighted and underlined book on my shelf. I guess that makes it a four star book!

    John has not stopped with the book, Pal Alto software has taken the book and used it as their new template for latest release of Marketing Plan Pro, the worlds leading marketing software, and has developed a complimentary set of products supported by a coaching network.

    But still foremost in my mind, if you want to stay on the leading edge, subscribe to John’s blog.

  4. I agree with your review and in interests of full disclosure I am a Duct Tape Marketing Coach in the Portland, OR and SW Washington area of the US. Self interest aside, I really like the book because it is practical. It is not a marketing text book that can only be applied if you have a multi-million (dollar, krona, Euro – insert your favorite currency here) marketing budget. This book works for small businesses.

    The point on blogging is right on the money. I have a blog and a podcast and I usually get more traffic on these sites than I do on my main web pages. In fact, depending on the key words, sometimes my website, blog and podcast will show up individually in a Google search!

    The other chapter I like is the one on referrals. Very few small businesses take a sustained, systematic approach to referrals and yet this can be an inexpensive and effective method of increasing sales leads. The book is written from a US perspective so some of the referral techniques may feel too over the top for more conservative cultures but they can be adapted to fit. Besides it probably is a good thing to be slightly out of one’s comfort zone!

  5. Martin,
    I’m really grateful for your review. I had just posted about John’s blog and overall concept at my Dun & Bradstreet blog — far more generic than your solid review. I need to go back and edit mine to include a link to your review!

    Being an American, and one who has used a lot of duct tape (literally), I loved the metaphorical title. I carry a small roll on backpacking trips, when traveling, in my truck, in my car. The stuff is legendary!

    What the book and, more so, John’s blog(s), have done for me as a marketing guy is remind me of systematizing. Particularly, Michael Thompson’s comment on referrals is the most relevant for me (Thanks Michael for reminding me to revisit the concept. Referrals: I love blogging, writing, networking, but taking a referral-based approach and focus to one’s business is often the one that delivers increased sales.

  6. Nancy Beth Guptill

    Hi Martin,

    I want to thank you for such a great review of “Duct Tape Marketing” by John Jantsch. For complete transparency, I too am a Duct Tape Marketing Authorized Coach located in Canada – Atlantic Canada for that matter. I have been a marketing expert for over 20 years and what attracted me to Duct Tape Marketing is the simplified approach that John outlines in his book and on his blogs. Duct Tape Marketing is perfectly suited Small Businesses.

  7. Martin,
    You did a nice review of a book I hold on a favorites shelf in my business library. Thank you. There are so many books on the topic of marketing and so many are either overly academic or ego-centric tomes. Neither extreme makes it easier to market your small business products or services. John’s book does.

    As you pointed out, “each chapter ends with some action steps to get going . . .” that’s so true. The practicality of this book is what’s always struck me. Once you get John’s message of WHAT to do and HOW to do it . . . you’re challenged to make sure you DO do it, too.

  8. I really enjoyed John’s book, especially Chapter 10 which focuses on media attention and using press releases. It was quite practical for small businesses.

    — Anita

  9. Elizabeth Walker

    I thought I knew a lot about marketing from 20 years in the ad business in North America and Europe, but when I found John’s newsletter and then his book it really changed my approach.

    In fact, we had a great chat about this today with one of our biggest clients. John says “Install the system. Work the system” and it has made a huge difference in our business.

    Michael’s right about referrals. Another of my favourite John Jantsch lines is “What would you have to do every day to get every one of your clients to recommend you?”. We try to make this our words to live by.

    The third thing we’ve learned from John is to be fearless: don’t be afraid to share ideas; give them away for free. Don’t be afraid to say “Here’s how we work” and decline an opportunity if a prospect doesn’t buy into your system. Don’t be afraid to share what your values are, or put your child’s soccer tournament before a business meeting.

    Everyone we have shared the book with has had the same positive response you did. Thanks for letting us spread the word!

  10. Martin Lindeskog

    Arthur Bland, Randy Vaughn and Donny Vaughn, Josep T. Dager, Michael Thompson, TJ McCue, Nancy Beth Guptill, Bill Doerr, Elizabeth Walker, Anita: Thanks for your comments!

    Please keep ’em coming! 🙂

    Do you know how many Duct Tape Marketing Authorized Coaches there are in North America? I wonder if John Jantsch has a plan to establish coaches in Europe and the rest of the world.

  11. Hi Martin,
    Great review of Duct Tape Marketing. This book is literally changing the statistic of small businesses that make it. Your comments are dead on and you managed to pluck out very key concepts. As a Duct Tape Marketing Coach in Canada, I can tell you John’s concepts have changed the lives of the small business owners we have worked with. It truly is simple, affordable and practical marketing!

  12. Martin,

    Your review and opinion of Duct Tape Marketing has boosted my confidence in suggesting to anyone involved in sales and marketing that this is a “must read” tutorial. It clearly surpasses other “how to” books by guiding the small business owner toward the creation and implementation of their own marketing plan!

  13. Martin Lindeskog

    Cidnee Stephen & Wayne Philippe: Thanks for your comments and kind words. Reading all the comments on my post, I get the picture that John Jantsch’s work has had a great impact on many small businesses around North America. Do you think this marketing guide is applicable on the European market?

  14. Martin,

    In my experience, everyone appreciates fair, honest treatment in business and personal transactions. Mr. Jantsch advocates open communication without manipulation. He stresses educating prospects and over-delivering on promised value when people become customers.

    I believe Mr. Jantsch has written a universal guide that crosses continents!

  15. Thanks for linking through to my review of this book, even if I was like you and didn’t understand the duct tape analogy.

    I thought the book was very strong on lead generation to attract new customers but I would have liked to have seen more about the marketing hourglass idea and how creating a customer is only the end of the beginning of your marketing.

  16. Great review! I am looking forward to read the book.

  17. I am glad I stumbled upon this blog and this article especially now I am going to have to get my hands on that book!

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