Town INC – Book Interview

Town_IncHeidi Cohen interviews Andrew Davis

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for readers looking to improve their marketing?

The most important piece of advice I give marketers today is: Get rich. Target a niche.

In a global marketplace and a world where it’s increasingly difficult to be everything to everyone, the smartest marketers commit to a niche.

They end up selling products and services at higher margins, build legions of loyal customers, and clearly communicate their value in a world filled with commodity content.

Q: What was the inspiration for your book?

My first book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the power of partnerships, was inspired by all the great partnerships we had built at our marketing and advertising agency over the course of a decade. I decided, as I sold the company, that it would be a great idea to share what we’d learned about building profitable partnerships.

The inspiration for my latest book, Town INC, came after I traveled to fifty American cities trying to figure out why some were booming and others were bust. It turns out a whole host of businesses market the place they do business more than the business they do and I found it fascinating.

Q: What is the key concept behind your book?

The key concept in Town INC is simple: fill in this blank:

Our city is the ______________ capital of the world.

For example, Cleveland is the Content Marketing Capital of the World. Any content marketing agency or content marketing technology vendor is immediately more credible because they come from Cleveland. In fact, the better you market the city or town you’re from the bigger you can build your business.

In some research with Northeastern University we worked to quantify the power of a claim like “Nashville is the Country Music Capital of the world.” It turns out that the a town with a claim generates $2.9 B more each year than a similar town with out a claim. That’s powerful.

Q: What do you want readers to take away from your book?

I hope readers of Town INC realize that they can reduce the costs of doing business, increase their margins, and impact an entire local economy when they embrace the ideas in Town INC No matter how big a city, or how small your town, it’s a select set of business visionaries pursuing and audacious claim that are really making an impact in today’s world. Be a visionary.

Q: How do you describe yourself professionally?

Today, I travel the world speaking and writing. I used to run a digital marketing agency and spent a few years working for the Muppets. One day, I plan on relaxing on a boat in the Virgin Islands full time!

Q: What are 1-3 books that inspired your work/career?

  • Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell has made a huge impact in my career.
  • The Wizard of Ads, by Roy H. Williams is such a great resource for amazing marketing insight and smart creative thinking. I love this book.
  • Everybody Writes, by Ann Handley, significantly changed (for the better) the way I write. I’m deeply appreciative of this book!

Q: What is the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome?

The biggest challenge I’ve faced in my career is building my own business. It’s unbelievably rewarding, but – like everything – it has its ups and downs.

Q: What’s something unusual or fun that most people don’t know about you?

My wife and I have a boat that we spend most of the summer on here in New England.

Q: Is there a piece of content, a social media campaign or a marketing campaign that you worked on that you’re particularly proud of?

I’m particularly proud of a column I write every quarter in Chief Content Officer Magazine called Unsolicited Advice. Here’s a recent example:

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Thanks, Andrew.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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