Digital Marketing Books Catch-up
Sure summer is over, but if you did not get to your reading list, put two Digital Marketing books on the September catch-up list. The first is Igniting Customer Connections – which proposes a key paradigm on how companies need to win through combining exceptional experiences and driving customer engagement with those experiences. The second is Online Marketing Superstars. Here we dive into the realms of Digital Marketing, Analytics, Social Media, Content marketing, and basically – all things digital. It is a fun, light and fast paced read. It is a collection of short takes from multiple famous authors/bloggers. These two will help you catch up on the reading you missed in the summer. Superstars specifically is a great one to pick up for a quick review of the latest in Social and Digital Marketing.
Igniting Customer Connections – by Andy Frawley
Marketing’s ultimate goal is to make buyers of the prospects who are not even aware of your brand. We have long known that customer advocacy is an extremely important way to drive more business – both with the advocates and with those they influence. Andy Frawley’s book Igniting Customer Connections, highlights the importance of cultivating the ability to create advocates, and shows why they are so important to businesses (empirically, not just hand waving).
When a customer buys your brand offering, this is great. Better yet is when that customer likes the offering so much they become loyal to the brand, and advocate the product or service. Ultimately, this is the holy grail of modern marketing. However, Frawley also points out that the customer’s emotional state is equally important, associated with your offering or brand. To the right is an example of the emotive pyramid he proposes to explain the importance of emotion in the customer purchase cycle. He highlights this well pointing out that “top-tier loyal members are 111% more likely to be socially engaged and 540% more likely to be discussion shapers.” <Igniting Customer Connections, p24> More important yet is his observation that over an average year, “social engager purchases were 6.7% greater than for nonengagers.” <Igniting Customer Connections, p24> This point, is particularly important, as you can do the math for your own business to figure out how many clients you have, evaluate their average purchase values, and estimate what an increase in 6.7% of repurchases means to your business. These are the results that should encourage firms to deeply know their customer base, to help drive greater advocacy and loyalty among them.
Igniting’s main thesis is that there is customer Experience AND Engagement which work together to magnify your return. In fact, Frawley does a great job of providing evidence to show that this is the case from marketing research studies. The chart included from p87 of Igniting Customer Connections, shows an example of his research in which the higher emotional connection customers had with the brand, the higher share of wallet achieved by the firm. Frawley even coins the combined concept as the Return on Experience x Engagement or ROE2. Conceptually this is an critically important point as the key thesis of the book – which makes sense. However, even though I personally agree with this concept, and think it is a brilliant notion, this equation would have been more impressive had it been used as an equation to help the reader calculate their own brand’s score. This is not done. Igniting’s key argument could have been vastly strengthened with stronger empirical evidence supporting his equation, with a deeper discussion on the score, comparative industry benchmarks, and means to improving this score. Although he presents case studies which are important, they did not do a convincing job on supporting the ROE2 equation. Despite that, it is an fascinating concept for marketing – albeit philosophical.
In short, the ROE2 concept makes sense. Frawley has some work to do on showing the mathematical value of this equation he proposes, if it can be used as more than a conceptual notion. Conceptually, it does make sense. Ultimately, in the world of digital marketing, analytics rules. That means when you post what appears like an equation – it should be empirically justifiable, with examples. Igniting Customer Connections is an excellent read conceptually, and from that perspective, highly recommended!
Online Marketing Superstars – by Mitch Meyerson
What is beautiful about a book like Online Marketing Superstars, is that you get a quick review of key topics that various Digital Marketing gurus discuss in their latest books and blog posts. Do not look for depth in this one. Mitch Meyerson does an amazing job pulling in the stars of the digital world, but there are only enough pages in the book to do a quick summary and overview of each section. Given that we are all rushed, it is a super book for a quick catch-up on emerging digital marketing fields. Right now, with the massive amount of development and change, there will always be FAR more content on digital marketing than anyone has time to read. That is why I think Online Marketing Superstars is a great read for managers and marketing executives. This to make sure you are up on the latest, and on your game.
Impressively, Meyerson pulls together short chapters from various stars like Jay Baer, Kim Garst, and Craig Valentine. Each chapter is a short essay from the authors of their respective books – meant to whet the appetite with just enough content to capture the essence of each topic. Once you know which topic excites you the most, you can find that author’s deeper discussions on their blog or latest publication.
Strategy, Conversion and Mindset
Meyerson segments the book into three sections. He starts with Strategy, Conversion and Mindset in which each author describes the stages of building your own online platform, or driving a social media strategy. It runs through to the critical and ultimate holy grail question of Digital Marketing; ‘how to drive conversion.’
Section II discusses Traffic. Authors here review using microcontent (think Twitter and Instagram) to boost visibility, to PR implications, and the continued importance of email list building. Although email marketing has not been the sexy new thing in digital marketing, it is a mainstay and seems to be regaining its popularity. The drive now is to find ways to build engagement. Finally Eric Ward caps the second section with a discussion on the importance of continued link building (white hat methods, please).
Finally section III reviews the world of Apps. Critically important after the last Google enhancements emphasizing mobile technology and marketing in search. Authors here review a variety of social media topics like Facebook (driving conversion), Pinterest, Google+, Instagram in business, LinkedIn to connect with clients, and Twitter. It also touches on Video Marketing, podcasting, blogging and the impact of Mobile Marketing. It is refreshing to have all these various topics covered by a variety of different authors, as they each focus on one angle and how to best use a particular set of tools.
Success Secrets is a succinct read and quick overview of 23 different popular authors and bloggers in Digital Marketing. It is a great way to get a sense of the various authors, and their focused areas of interest, while giving the reader the core elements of their respective expertise.
If you only read one book on Digital Marketing this year – make it Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars. It will update you on all the core factions of Digital Marketing, in a well written and engaging style. Definitely a recommended and interesting read!
Author: Charles Dimov