calkins bookWhile I have little patience for business books, I frequently refer to Breakthrough Marketing Plans, by Kellogg Professor Tim Calkins, and I often suggest that my clients purchase a copy (or two). Both Tim and I spent 10 years at Kraft Foods in brand management, and Tim’s book essentially teaches the Kraft methodology that we learned there for creating strategic marketing plans. Now a wildly popular professor at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Tim has perfected terrific, step-by-step directions for developing thorough, practical, usable marketing plans. Along the way he also does a tremendous job of distilling the best practices of how some of the country’s best marketing companies develop their brand plans. The Twenty Strategic Initiatives chapter deserves a special shout-out for its examples of strategic initiatives, related tactics and measurement suggestions. It’s a great standalone resource and it is especially helpful for marketers who sometimes struggle with the differences between strategies and tactics. The book is a great introduction for people who want to learn about marketing and it is also a terrific refresher for more experienced marketers.