This I Know

Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence

Publisher: Knopf Canada
Canada's most famous adman spills a career's worth of marketing secrets, so anyone can compete with the best in their business--whatever that business might be.

Big companies spend a fortune marketing their wares and services. Can yours? Invariably people ask advertising veteran and CBC Radio host Terry O'Reilly one question more than any other: How does a little business compete with the big guys? After decades at the helm of an award-winning advertising production company, and over a decade exploring the art and science of marketing for CBC Radio, O'Reilly delivers all the answers they--and anyone with something to sell--ever wanted to know.
     Following his bestselling Age of Persuasion, O'Reilly collects a lifetime of marketing wisdom into an indispensable guide to competing for your customers' attention. From understanding what business you're really in and foregoing the extra mile in favour of the extra inch, to the benefits of counterintuitive thinking and knowing an opportunity when you see one, This I Know will help anyone understand the fundamentals of good marketing strategy and building the relationships that turn good marketing into great results, no matter how big or small your budget.


When you create a message with emotional content, it attracts people. Leadership consultant Edwin H. Friedman puts an even finer point on it, saying, “People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them.” Emotion pulls, it doesn’t chase....
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“[F]ourteen sturdy, anecdote-infused chapters cover[s] the basics of marketing . . . in an engaging, memorable way. . . . [T]he book will keep you happy and engaged as you grapple with that marketing puzzle.” —The Globe and Mail

“Canada’s most famous adman spills a career’s worth of marketing secrets, so anyone can compete with the best in their business—whatever that business might be. . . . [A]n indispensable guide to competing for your customers’ attention. . . . This I Know will help anyone understand the fundamentals of good marketing strategy and building the relationships that turn good marketing into great results, no matter how big or small your budget.” —Loan Stars


“An informative and entertaining insider’s look at marketing and advertising through the ages.” The Globe and Mail
“[Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant] bring their insiders’ knowledge to this entertaining and enlightening book. . . . Readable and informative. Readers will come away with a better understanding of how advertising works (especially those of us who think ads don’t work on us). . . . An engaging book that will help people understand a medium that pervades every aspect of modern society.” The Vancouver Sun
O’Reilly and Tennant are exceptionally talented writers. . . . I’ll put it on my shelf alongside Ogilvy On Advertising, George Lois’s The Art of Advertising, Luke Sullivan’s Hey Whipple, Squeeze This and other favourites. Its strength is the writing. In a straightforward, popular style that is perhaps as close as words on a page can get to O’Reilly’s engaging delivery on radio, The Age of Persuasion is an easy-to-read and often subversive primer on marketing, advertising and branding.” The Globe and Mail
“O’Reilly and Tennant have a refreshingly earthbound approach to their profession. . . . O’Reilly and Tennant pull back the curtain and show us the backstage workings of some of the most famous and successful brands in the world. . . . It is far more than a book-length version of the [radio] show.” Ottawa Citizen
“Fans of Terry O’Reilly’s CBC Radio show, The Age of Persuasion, will welcome this very readable account of the advertising world. . . . Entertaining and informative. . . . No doubt some will think that much of The Age of Persuasion’s ‘snap, crackle and pop’ gets lost when transformed from radio into print. . . . Yet sometimes print works better than radio. . . . The charm behind The Age of Persuasion is that it is written from the perspective of two people who love what they do. . . . Many amusing little stories and factoids . . . help make the text zip along, just like a well-crafted TV commercial on a Super Bowl afternoon.” Winnipeg Free Press
“Offers an insider’s look into the art and science of big-money persuasion. Every page contains some minor revelation about the ad world. . . . A good read.” —Vancouver Courier
“Advertising is Mr. O’Reilly’s job, one that he is very good at. He has won 400 awards over three decades, was recently inducted into the Marketing Hall of Legends. . . . Like the duo’s radio show, the book attempts to explain and demystify advertising, and is aimed at the regular people they reach through their work as advertisers.” —National Post
“O’Reilly and Tennant, the ad men team behind the Canadian radio series The Age of Persuasion, offer a witty and insightful look at the perpetually evolving advertising industry. With an eye-catching page design, featuring interchanging text formats, dictionary entries, and full-page shaded myth debunkers, the authors keep readers engaged through technical passages with servings of fun factoids. . . . The authors are gifted communicators, and their conversational narrative covers successful advertising tactics, such as how to effectively market to ‘Yoots’ (anyone in that Holy Grail demographic of under age 20), the impact of YouTube, the power of song and multisensory experience. Appealing and informative, this ragbag of pop culture references, jokes, anecdotes, solid research, and advice will be indispensable to marketers or anyone curious about the power and ubiquity of advertising in modern culture.” Publishers Weekly
“A terrific look into how advertising, marketing and culture are all inexorably intertwined. A great read for anyone interested in branding . . . a must-read for any student of advertising.” —Rick Boyko, Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter, Ex-Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy North America
“If there’s one brand that advertising has failed miserably at making people understand, it’s advertising itself. This book goes a long way in correcting that, now if they could only do the same for car dealers.” —Bob Kuperman, former President and Chief Executive, DDB Worldwide, New York division
“Language is art. Advertising is art. Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant really deliver on that in this book. The Age of Persuasion made me stop, think and realize that everything we do as marketers (day in and day out) can matter . . . and should be better. Because, in the end, advertising is not just about persuasion. It’s about the stories we tell and how they connect with real people and what those real people do with those stories. The Age of Persuasion is one of those great stories.” —Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image and author of Six Pixels of Separation

“As a public broadcaster, I’m contractually obligated to despise advertising, and by extension to despise those who create it. Somehow two ad men—Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant—slipped through my defenses. The Age of Persuasion will be enjoyed by those inside the ad world, but it’s more than an insider’s guide. It’s a funny and fascinating window into a part of our culture that’s too little considered by outsiders like me.” —Jesse Thorn, Host & Producer, PRI’s The Sound of Young America
“I loved this book. I thought I had a pretty good idea of everything that’s happened in the history of American advertising, but I didn’t. I do now. The book is thorough without being heavy-handed, fun without being flippant, full of fascinating facts that fill in some voids that needed to be filled in. . . . Keep it by your bed.” —Bob Levenson, Chairman and International Creative Director, DDB International; Vice Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi, New York and Scali McCabe Sloves, New York
“Just when I thought I heard all of the cool stories about the grand old world of advertising, Terry and Mike have created an intriguing read that will fascinate both everyday people absorbed with the ad game as well as dyed-in-the-wool ‘mad men’ and women.” —Ignacio Oreamuno, President, IHAVEANIDEA and Portfolio Night

The Age of Persuasion provides a wonderful romp through the history and inner workings of advertising. I am not sure what I enjoyed more, the insight and wisdom about the ad business or the wit and charm of the storytelling; either way it’s a great read for all of us living in The Age of Persuasion.” —Doug Checkeris, CEO, North America MediaCom
“Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant blend history, stories, wisdom, hundreds of facts and just plain fun into an original, compelling, entertaining and insightful perspective on the impact of creative communication on our culture and on our everyday lives. It is a terrific book!” —Bob Schmetterer, Chairman and CEO (Retired), Euro RSCG Worldwide
The Age of Persuasion must be read by anyone in the business of marketing goods and services, creating or placing advertising and those who aspire to such noble things. This book is a fun read and a wonderful combination of historical and contemporary context.” —John P. Hayes, Jr., CEO, Third Avenue Media