A Really Enjoyable Book of Insightful Stories
4.25 out of 5 stars
I have to start this review off by stating that I both went to school for marketing (after trying 3 other majors first). I am fascinated by marketing and the different things/ways that marketers are able to get us as consumers to spend our hard-earned cash. AND that I have worked marketing-adjacent for the past 6 years (I work in Advertising Technology). So, I point this out to make sure that as a reader of this review – you understand that I love marketing and I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to it. So I’m going to be reviewing it from that lens.
So, Bronze Seeks Silver starts off with an introduction from Zucker with a little about who he is and then jumps right into stories related to the different positions and jobs he’s held at various companies. Now, that can sound like he’s just showing off, but it’s nowhere near that. Just hearing about the job search reminded me of my recent excursion into looking for a new job and it was MUCH easier to find a job with LinkedIn, the Internet, etc. But each different story from each part of Zucker’s life was a little lesson on its own. And it didn’t feel like an “I messed this up so you should do it this way” it wasn’t even a “and now you need to do this” but it was a really neat and interesting basically mini case-studies that showed what happened, how it was handled and how he’s taken that into every job since then.
I won’t point out any of the lessons since if that sounds interesting to you, you should definitely check the book out. But know that they’re not all marketing-related. Some of them are just ways to deal with difficult people or competitive coworkers. Some are around how things played out because of choices he made or ways that he went about things. It all felt very “realistic” and helpful even in today’s job market. Mat feels like one of those people that I would find at a job and I would instantly try and siphon off as much information as I could since that’s the best and fastest way to not only learn about the company and the industry but the best way to make lasting connections and ensure that you’re successful in your career. You don’t have to do all of the work – you have to learn from those before you who have and adapt that to your current problem.
Overall, I really enjoyed my reading of Bronze Seeks Silver. I think that Mat had a lot to share and he did with this book. Sometimes books like these just feel preachy or like someone trying to make a quick buck. But Bronze Seeks Silver was full of really interesting stories from a creative career in marketing (as the book states).
Since this is an audiobook review, I wanted to talk about the audiobook quality. I’m always a little wary/worried about a self-produced, self-recorded audiobook. And for good reason, I’ve heard some really bad ones over the years. Zucker does a fairly good job at narrating his own work and I honestly think that some of the stories were definitely better told directly from him. But, saying that there were some things that I want to call out so that an audiobook listener doesn’t feel misled by my review. There are some mouth noises, there were some weird gaps in the audio, a few times Zucker powered through a sentence when he probably should have backed off. And the room that it was recorded in has random noise (I think it was cars passing by, but I couldn’t tell) along with that “empty room” feel that you get when it’s recording more than just your voice (think hearing the room around someone when they talk instead of just them). Now, I point these things out because I know that a lot of audiobook listeners are brutal when it comes to these issues in books from a professional. Zucker is not one when it comes to audiobooks and if you think that will bother you but this book sounds good to you – I highly suggest you pick up the ebook version of it.
Marketing was destiny for Mat Zucker – the perfect cocktail of creativity, art, and salesmanship. Half-guidebook, half memoir, Bronze Seeks Silver surfaces 30 years of lessons from an ad veteran in selling brands, building relationships, and managing careers.
Follow Mat as a secretary at an ad agency paying his dues; as a writer, learning how to copy accents from West Virginia libraries and researching the phenomenon of spanking parties; then as a rising creative leader creating global ad campaigns, meeting everyone from Mike Strahan to Alicia Keys.
With this candid and hilarious telling, Mat gives aspiring marketers the gift of what he’s seen and learned.