Pull, by Keith Chambers: Don’t judge a book by its cover

Ian Lurie

I’m always reading one marketing book or another. My typical M.O. is to read it a chapter at a time, switching to my favorite fiction/science fiction for a break in between. That’s because most marketing books have the personality of a Michael Bay Transformers remake.
Right now that marketing book is Pull: Marketing Secrets the Fortune 100 Use by Keith Chambers. I’m about 1/2way done. Pull is, in many ways, a marketing course in a book. It starts with basic concepts behind branding, benefits and calls to action, models how marketing creative should look and read, and then explains how you can apply the techniques in the book to your business. It mixes this in with the author’s own opinions about what makes for great marketing – he talks a lot about the ‘remarkability paradigm,’ for instance.
The interesting part, though, is that I’ve not had to switch to another book for that between-chapter break. Since I have the attention span of a spastic gnat, that’s a good indication this book is a great read.

Keith, get a different cover

My only beef so far is with the cover. For a guy who talks a lot about great marketing creative and how it works, man, you missed the boat here. The cover has quotes like “Success made easy!” superimposed over a huge golden egg. It looks a tad like some of the hideous web pages selling magical marketing kits that I so frequently shred on this blog.

Storytelling writing style

What keeps me engrossed in this book – I know, normal people don’t get ‘engrossed’ in marketing books – is the storytelling style. Chambers mixes in lots of anecdotes of good and bad projects, successes and mistakes and campaigns that impressed him. In some ways it reads like a good Caples or Ogilvy marketing book. It keeps me entertained.
I give this one a thumbs-up. If you’re looking to learn more about marketing, get tons of examples of what works and what doesn’t and enjoy the experience, pick up Pull.


Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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  1. Thanks for the review, I usually find books like this boring too, so I’ll pick this one up sometime. Always looking for educational content that’s actually interesting to read at the same time.

  2. Hey Ian,
    Thanks for the review. You and I have a similar M.O. I usually read 3-4 books at a time. This almost always includes a business/marketing/internet book.
    I’m often engrossed in marketing books…even with the most challenging (read boring) books.
    Maybe it is because I mix in so much great Science Fiction 🙂
    I’ll pick this one up!

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