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The Marketing Book Podcast: "The Automatic Customer" by John Warrillow

The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry by John Warrillow


John Warrillow is the creator of The Value Builder System™ where advisors help company owners increase the value of their business. Previously, he founded Warrillow & Co., a subscription-based research business dedicated to helping Fortune 500 companies market to small business owners. He is a sought-after speaker and popular Inc.com columnist and is also the author of "Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You."

I’ve started a few businesses in my life. I’ve had a radio production business, a design agency, an events company, a quantitative research business, and a software company. I’m involved in my second subscription business, and while subscription businesses are in many ways more rewarding than the others, they are also more challenging in many respects.

The Host's Perspective:

These days, just about anything you need can be purchased through a subscription. And when you think about it, it actually makes buying easier. Before I read this book I didn't realize how many products and services I already subscribe to.

So in the book, John explains that you are now competing in the new subscription economy, and it's up to you to decide if you're playing defense or offense.

Warrillow explains that subscribers, or "automatic customers" are the key to increasing cash flow, igniting growth, and boosting the value of your company.

The book has three parts: The first part explains why subscribers are better than customers. Then he goes into the nine different subscription business models. Your business will fall into one of them. The last part of the book goes into detail on how to go about building your subscription business including all the math behind it.

If growing your business (and possibly selling it one day) is on your mind, you'll want to read this book.

Listen to the interview:

Show Notes

The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry by John Warrillow

The Automatic Customer (Book Website)

The Value Builder System

Finish Big by Bo Burlingham

The Leaders Guide by Eric Ries (Kickstarter)

The Greater Fool Weblog by Garth Turner

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Douglas Burdett
Douglas Burdett
The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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