Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday: “Grapevine” by Dave Balter and John Butman

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Grapevine: The New Art of Word-of-Mouth Marketing by Dave Balter and John Butman makes an excellent point: the best marketing in the world—the most effective, the most reliable—is word-of-mouth marketing. The problem: advertisers can’t drum it up, no matter how hard they try. Lasting, powerful word-of-mouth happens only when products and services are the real deal.

Read this book because you’re interested in marketing and business … or maybe because you just want people to start commenting on your YouTube videos already.

Key Takeaways

  • Genuine word-of-mouth is not “buzz.” It’s not the latest thing that everyone is talking about right now. It goes far deeper than that, and lasts longer.
  • People love talking about the stuff they buy. We do it all of the time. But why? The reasons are discussed in Grapevine. They include: the desire to educate or help, the desire to prove our knowledge, the desire to find common ground, the desire to validate our own opinions, and the pride of ownership.
  • Notable quote: “There’s a tiny part of the brain, the hypothalamus, that among other things helps regulate sexual urges, thirst and hunger, maternal behavior, aggression, pleasure, and to some degree your prosperity to refer. The hypothalamus likes validation – it registers pleasure in doing good and being recognized for it, and it’s home to the need to belong to something greater than ourselves. This is the social drive for making referrals.”

About the Authors

Dave Balter is a seasoned entrepreneur and founder of multiple successful companies. He has a deep understanding of consumer behavior and marketing strategies, with a particular focus on word-of-mouth marketing and customer engagement. Balter is known for his innovative approaches to building brands and creating impactful marketing campaigns. He has authored the book “Grapevine: The New Art of Word-of-Mouth Marketing,” where he shares insights and strategies for harnessing the power of word-of-mouth to drive business growth.

John Butman is a renowned author and storytelling expert. He specializes in helping individuals and organizations communicate their ideas effectively through compelling narratives. Butman’s expertise lies in the intersection of business, leadership, and storytelling, and he has collaborated with numerous executives and entrepreneurs to develop their communication skills and craft powerful narratives. He has co-authored several books, including “Breaking Out: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas,” which offers practical advice on storytelling and thought leadership.


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