If you ask a friend or colleague about the marketing concept of a “platform” and why your business needs one, you are bound to get a different answer every time. The term “marketing platform” now falls into the category of “ambiguously overused and poorly implemented” marketing buzzwords.  It leaves many business owners (and consumers, frankly) confused. The Ultimate Guide to Platform Building , by Wendy Keller was written to provide a clear definition of what a platform is, why you need one, and how to actively build one that helps your business bring in more revenue.
What is the Ultimate Guide to Platform Building About?
Ultimate Guide to Platform Building is a guide for business owners that defines what a marketing platform is, why it’s important, and how to build that platform using the same tools as the media industry. Platforms, as the book shares in the first chapters, matter to business owners because they increase revenue potential for less effort. Platforms are the reasons that cereal companies pay for a picture of an athlete or fashion designers beg celebrities to wear their clothes. With a platform, a celebrity like Kim Kardashian can get millions to pay attention to a previously unknown restaurant, store, or fashion line, helping that business potentially gain leads (and revenue) well into the future.
Most business owners know what a platform is, intuitively, but don’t know the answers to the basic questions about them: How do you build a platform? How do you maintain one?
That is where this book comes in. It starts by introducing readers to the basic principles behind strong platforms (“Giver’s Gain”, focus, value exchange, etc.). Ultimate Guide to Platform Building then guides readers through common tools used to build or grow platforms including webinars, eBooks, social media and speaking opportunities. Using this combination of principles and tools, Keller wants business owners to gain more control of the platform-building process. Platforms, as the book demonstrates, have to be carefully cultivated to reach their income potential. Without an understanding of that process, all of the potential leads and revenue that could be going to your business will find their way to another platform.
Keller  is a recognized industry expert in the field of publishing starting at age 16 when she became a reporter. Keller went on to work for PR Newswire and other companies, eventually founding her own book publishing and marketing agency.
What Was Best About the Ultimate Guide to Platform Building?
The best part of Ultimate Guide to Platform Building is the specific answers Keller provides for the vague concept known as marketing platforms. As shared above, the term “marketing platform” has become a marketing buzzword that lacks specific, actionable meaning for many business owners. Keller’s book defines the term and provides tools (along with specific advice on how to get started with them) for readers who need it.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
While Keller’s book goes a long way in detailing the fundamentals of platform building (especially with the basic tools), it could use more attention on providing examples of platforms during different stages of their development. Many readers will understand the necessity of having a platform, but may not understand the effects of having a platform on their bottom line. This could be remedied with case studies showing a business before it begins platform building and after. This will allow readers to see how platforms develop throughout their journey, which could be the subject of a future book.
Why Read the Ultimate Guide to Platform Building?
The Ultimate Guide to Platform Building is a great book for business owners who want to develop or refine their presence in the community using online or offline methods. While many marketing advice books discuss the term “platform”, they don’t often discuss the fundamentals of building one nor do they provide detailed information for using the tools involved with platform building. Keller’s book does all that, giving readers access to the strategies that helped business brands launch into platforms in the first place.