Archive for the ‘ marketing-books ’ Category

Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

Jab Jab Jab Right Hook

It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review here, but I’m bringing it back with the best marketing book I read in 2013: Jab, Jab, Right Hook (affiliate link to Amazon, if you wanna buy it). It’s amazingly well written and manages to not only educate but inspire. Gary convinces you “this shit is important” and has lots of colorful examples that make you laugh, but also effectively drive his points home. It builds upon his previous books, all of which I’ve enjoyed, with the final component which is how to make the sale from social media – which I think is very important, as social media sells when done right.

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Mobile Marketing – An Hour a Day by Rachel Pasqua and Noah Elkin

Mobile Marketing An Hour A DayI recently got a copy of Mobile Marketing: An Hour a Day by Rachel Pasqua and Noah Elkin and have been excitedly reading it over the past week or so and wanted to share a few thoughts here on why this book deserves space on your bookshelf (or Kindle/iPad/Mobile Reading Device). The book starts by painting a clear picture of the current mobile landscape and helps marketers brainstorm the questions they need to answer in order to devise a mobile strategy for their brand or website. After these introductory chapters, the book then dives into plenty of detail on various topics including mobile web design, apps, SMS, mobile SEM, mobile social, and so much more, with each topic being a new chapter. The book is very comprehensive yet very accessible, making it a great “go-to” resource for anyone who is interested mobile, no matter what skill level or training you currently posses. It is also a great book as it can be read cover to cover for those who want to learn it all, or just picked up from time-to-time and explored as needed as each chapter could be read as a standalone guide on the topic it covers.

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The Art of Client Service

The Art of Client Service

I finished reading “The Art of Client Service” by Robert Solomon over the weekend, and really enjoyed it. It’s a good, quick read (I finished in about 2-3 hours) that’s great for anyone in advertising, although especially useful for Account Managers/Directors and other frequently client-facing folks. Unfortunately it is not available in Kindle Edition, so I had to resort to reading a hardcover, something that I do so infrequently it felt foreign to me – but I digress…

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Search and Social – The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing

Search and Social - The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing

The book, Search and Social – The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing, is now out in book stores and shipping from Amazon. I have had the privilege of working with Rob Garner, the author, for four years here at iCrossing, and honored to serve as his technical editor for the book. The book serves as a go-to guide for marketers looking to get the most out of their content through real-time SEO and social media marketing. It’s a great playbook full of ideas and explaining how search engines and social media work hand in hand to propel content and dissemination messages to your audiences. It has a ton of actionable tips, so it’s a great read from anyone from a novice to an advanced internet marketer looking to hone their skills, audit their strategies, or come up with new ideas to bring to the table.

As I noted earlier, I served as the Technical Editor for this book. This entailed reviewing each chapter to check technical accuracy, suggest enhancements, or provide technical feedback as it relates to SEO, Social Media, Web Dev., etc. It was really fun, and mind-blowing to watch Rob crank out chapter after chapter of work. Rob is an encyclopedia of knowledge, and knows the history and the people of search marketing better than anyone I know. It was very cool to work with him and see him put together such a comprehensive and excellent book that sums up the philosphy & approach we at iCrossing have been executing on for years. It was also fun to work with the Wiley/Sybex team and learn the book publishing & editing process – there is a TON of work that goes into creating a book, in case you were wondering. Again, a lot of props to Rob who worked through all of the writing and editing, and took all of the feedback we could throw at him with grace too 🙂

I won’t write a full book review as obviously I’m terribly biased here, but I do recommend you pick up a copy. Buy it here on Amazon; Search and Social – The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing.


Book Review: Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence - the psychology of persuasion

The following is a review of the book Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD. 

I recently picked this book up for two reasons: firstly, I found out that the author, Dr. Robert Cialdini, was going to be the keynote speaker at Pubcon this year, and although I was unable to attend Pubcon, I knew that if he were selected as the keynote he must be really, really good.

Secondly, he’s a distinguished professor at Arizona State, right in my backyard, and has a grant for ASU students that my lovely fiance was awarded this year for work on her dissertation on Clinical Psychology.

It was as if the universe was telling me to read this book, so I complied…and I’m super glad I did. I definitely recommend you pick up a copy (feel free to click one of the links in this post to do so – full disclosure though, they’re affiliate links).

The book is based on Dr. Cialdini’s research into how effective sales people are able to influence/persuade people to buy things they may not have necessarily wanted. He spent years infiltrating and studying the minds of used car salesman, tupperware parties, boiler room stock traders, waitresses, you name it.

These studies, along with other scientific research & tests, were able to draw some commonalities on different “weapons of influence” that these salespeople will use. These weapons are all based on “shortcuts” that humans rely on to make quick decisions when they don’t have time to fully analyze a decision – for instance, this brand of ketchup is very popular, therefore it must be good, so I’ll buy it. These shortcuts are a necessity of life – without them, we’d have to carefully analyze every purchase decision, which would make routine tasks like grocery shopping take forever – but unfortunately, many less-than-scrupulous salesman (or “compliance professionals” as Dr Cialdini calls them) have found ways to take advantage of these shortcuts and exploit them.

The weapons of influenced outlined in the book are:

  1. Reciprocation – I give you something (like a free sample) and you feel compelled to return the favor (by buying a whole box)
  2. Commitment & Consistency – I get you to publicly admit you believe in something (like a political cause), then you’ll feel compelled to take an action to be consistent with that declaration (by donating to PAC in support of that cause)
  3. Social Proof – if other people like something (this is our most popular model!), you’ll want it more
  4. Liking – if the salesperson is likable/relatable, you’re more likely to purchase from them
  5. Authority – if an authority figure tells you to do something, you’re more likely to do what they’ve asked
  6. Scarcity – items marketed as “for a limited time only” are especially likely to result in an impulse buy, especially if there is competition perceived for the time (think of the Black Friday sales for the first 50 shoppers)

Cialdini rightly points out that these shortcuts can be reliable indicators of quality & desirability to guide our purchase decisions, and that he’s not advocating we ignore these shortcuts altogether. Instead, we should be weary of those who try to exploit these shortcuts through fraudulent or misleading tactics.

As a marketer, the weapons of influence seem like very effective tools to help be more persuasive when explaining recommendations to clients, or helping them market their products better. But like Cialdini, I agree that these weapons should only be used benevolently – when the claims being made are truthful and sincere.

As a consumer, I’ve definitely fallen into many of the traps by so-called compliance professionals, and will definitely try harder to identify these sales-traps as they occur, analyze the decision more clearly, and walk away from products/deals that I only want because of an artificial trigger being manipulated by a salesperson.

Editors Note: I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and am going to try to do “book reviews” on my blog to both share those books I really enjoyed and also help process & retain the information I picked up in each book. It’ll also force me to update this blog more, which would be nice. This is the first one of hopefully many more to come…