Social Media Case Studies, Book Reviews

UNcanny Insights From UnMarketing

The new book UnMarketing from Canadian viral marketer and Twitter gadfly Scott Stratten takes the rules and purees them, Blendtec style.

Here’s what makes UnMarketing an unusual, yet worthy use of your marketing education time:


Unlike so many marketing books, Stratten doesn’t overcomplicate the subject matter. He believes that common sense should prevail, and that UnMarketing success is rooted in the creation of everyday “wow” moments. His self-deprecation adds a hilarious, warm tone throughout.


Like Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It, Stratten dictated some of the book, and it reads very conversationally. Also, there isn’t a narrative or progression in the book, but rather a collection of 57 short observations, lessons, and anecdotes. For readers that consume material in bits and pieces, this format is ideal. You can easily read UnMarketing over time in 10 or 15-minute chunks.


Sacred cows are slaughtered in UnMarketing, both in the material and in the book’s packaging. (The faux testimonials on the back of the book are priceless, including:

“This book is the greatest business book in the world, besides mine.”

– Author who only gives testimonials for people who give him one in return

Stratten’s rant against direct marketing – “People still teach courses on how to cold-call better! That’s like finding a better way to punch people in the face” is one of the more memorable examples of his outlook.


One of the most commendable aspects of this book is Stratten’s gift for boiling down a marketing principle to its simplest form. His “Pull and Stay” advice; segmenting customers into barrels; platforming; social currency, and other concepts are instantly applicable to real world marketing challenges fitting a wide variety of circumstances. The examples and mini case studies he presents provide insights that leave you nodding your head and thinking you could adopt the same approaches.


Stratten has a knack for gaps. The two sections in the book on the Trust Gap and the Experience Gap are among the strongest in UnMarketing. Both are wake-up calls for marketers, and make the case that separating marketing from day-to-day customer experiences is an impossibility. Greg Verdino’s excellent book MicroMarketing hits on similar themes. Stratten writes: ”

The space between the best services, often what a new customer receives and the worst experience is what I call the Experience Gap. As a business owner your goal needs to be having no gap at all, optimizing every point of contact with your customer.”

A tall order, to be certain. I wonder how Stratten feels about companies servicing customers differently, based on their online influence?


The best parts of UnMarketing are when the author uses his own circumstances to make a point about the importance of people and customer experience. His tale of his switch of coffee loyalty from Tim Horton’s to McDonald’s is a documentary-style account of how real people perceive and are impacted by business details we all too often take for granted. Based on consistency of product, suitability of packaging, and convenience of location, Stratten shifted his daily coffee habit – to the tune of perhaps $30,000 in lifetime value, underscoring the ultimate importance of every customer acquisition or defection. (I wrote a post a while ago called Social Media Excellence and a Side of Fries about the importance of people to McDonald’s)

As you might expect, UnMarketing is not your typical marketing and business book. It’s a boullabaise of advice and observations on social media, viral marketing, and customer experience, with a side order of social media how-to. There are a few sections devoted to the mechanics of Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and other social media operational specifics. Because they are relatively high level overviews, these aren’t the strongest components of the book, and if you want details on Twitter or Facebook best practices, I recommend Kyle Lacy’s Twitter for Dummies and Mari Smith and Chris Treadway’s Facebook Marketing an Hour a Day.

But, if you’re looking for an always-interesting, impactful, funny, practical book to get you excited about marketing again, you should pick up a copy of UnMarketing. Scott Stratten is a compelling character with panache and wit, and he puts these strengths to great use in his first book. He’s on the road now on the UnMarketing book tour of 30+ cities. If he’ll be near you, check it out.

Facebook Comments


  1. says

    Nice write up. I am half way through the book and appreciate the short snippets versus LONG chapters. I also appreciate his willingness to share his past mistakes for the readers benefit. One more note – so many are commenting on how funny this guy is (footnotes are worth the read alone) but this guys advice is down right ethical and that is hard to come by in the marketing realm these days.

  2. Anonymous says

    Jay – Thanks for the review. I was planning to get the Kindle version today, and this confirms that I was making the right decision. Scott is entertaining and authentic – I’m looking forward to reading this one.

  3. Regina Meyers says

    Jay, by far the best, most-rounded review I have seen. Appreciate the recommendations of other authors,too. I was just introduced to you and Scott via twitter. Great info from both of you. Thanks so much.

  4. says

    Jay – Great review. I guess I better read the book before Scott arrives next month for #UnBookTourSLC, right? Who is going to post a blog review of YOUR new book (raising hand now).

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory

  5. Guest says

    I really don’t want to be one of those people that trashes an author online but the thing I have never understood about Scott is the claims he makes all over the web. He talks about disclosure and openness but I have never seen his ” 60 million” videos independently verified or helping a client make $5 million dollars in 7 days. If there actually is independent corroboration that i apologize in advance. If not then people need to take a deeper look at his claims and ask some serious questions.

  6. says

    You raise a fair point. I have found Scott to be exceptionally ethical in every way. But, let’s say he’s only generated 20 million views. Does that really impact the value or validity of what he’s teaching? I don’t think it does.

  7. says

    Fair enough. Almost as valid as an anonymous “guest” comment on a blog questioning my credibility? :)

    I will spare Jay’s blog the list of the 70 videos we did, outside of YouTube, since most of them were made before YouTube existed.

    But if you want to take a peek at our most recent project, we’re very proud of it. and you can “independently verify” the 80,000+ views so far in the past 10 days since uploading it since this one is hosted on YouTube. I’ve even left the stat breakdown public so you can see all the views are organic, not off-shored to get views (like some video companies have done).

    It will probably hit 100k by this weekend.

  8. Guest says

    If his videos only secured 1,000 views in total would his credibility still be the same? This kind of smoke and mirrors claims hurt the credibility and standing of the rest of us who work in field. If his claims are correct there should be no reason not to openly publish the results to be in a sense “peer reviewed.”

  9. Guest says

    If his videos only secured 1,000 views in total would his credibility still be the same? This kind of smoke and mirrors claims hurt the credibility and standing of the rest of us who work in field. If his claims are correct there should be no reason not to openly publish the results to be in a sense “peer reviewed.”

  10. says

    Whether or not you believe Scott has sufficiently proven his success, to assert that it is somehow “smoke and mirrors” is over the line. And I would venture to say that Scott’s work in the field is helping the credibility and standing of the rest of the industry, because he’s out there banging the drum, and making the whole concept seem viable and achievable for a wide range of businesses that otherwise might feel it’s out of their budget, comfort zone, etc.

    I frankly could care less if anyone ever watches one of his videos. His value as an educator and coach and the spotlight he’s shining on the video creation business is lifting all boats, not just his own. Not to mention the fact that about 3% of the book is about video stuff.

  11. letstalkandchat says

    If you’re looking for webinar software, then check out Evergreen Business System. Its perfect for marketers and let’s you automate the scheduling of your webinars, build your list, and even follow up with your webinar registrants. If you’re going to buy Evergreen Business System, then you might as well get a free bonus! So check out and you’ll get a great bonus that tells you how to create a webinar, what is a webinar, and a blueprint for making a successful one. None of the other people offering bonuses are offering this. Hurry in case the guy (some dude that worked on Lord of the RIngs) offering the bonus decides to pull it down.

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