Weekend Reading: “Launching to Leading” by Ken Rutsky

For the 109th episode of The Marketing Book Podcast, I interviewed Ken Rutsky, author of Launching to Leading: How B2B Market Leaders Create Flashmobs, Marshal Parades and Ignite Movements.”

If you think about the different stages of a company’s successive stages or levels toward market leadership as an evolution, this book walks you through how to know where your company currently is and how to advance it to the next stage.

It also explains what keeps companies from moving ahead.

Of course, everyone wants to be a market leader. Market leaders enjoy financial success, create wealth and have recruiting, selling and market power that is almost always disproportionate to their actual product and solution advantages.

But how do you do that when a competitor has already established a foothold (and insertia with their customers)?

You do it by tilting the playing field in your favor by using what Rutsky calls “Viewpoint Stories.”

A viewpoint story converges on the biggest business changes impacting your customers and the most disruptive benefits that your solution delivers in response to those changes.

The author explains this concept of changing the context of the market conversation toward your company…

We live in a challenging time for marketing and sales professionals in B2B markets. Information flows freely, markets are crowded, and buyers only engage on their terms, in their context, and on their timeline, not ours. Because of this , our old approaches don’t work and we need to take new ones.

Buyers don’t want to listen to us until they are ready to. To win, we must breakthrough a cacophony of noise and clutter and not only capture their attention but also powerfully communicate our unique value. But to lead our market, that’s not enough. We also must tap into and exert influence over the context of the market conversation. Organizations that do this tilt the playing field to their advantage and become market leaders.

A bit more about the book…


Douglas Burdett

Douglas Burdett is the Principal of Artillery, a B2B marketing agency and is host of The Marketing Book Podcast. He is a former artillery officer, Madison Avenue ad man and stand-up comedian.