Author Archive

Hootsuite Ambassador’s Favorite Business Books for 2014

Posted by on Thursday, 18 December, 2014

Business-BooksAre you looking for some holiday reading? The Hootsuite Ambassadors have come to the rescue with their favorite business books for 2014. What can be better than a team of talented social media types curate a list for you?

Looking for even more business book recommendations? Check out the full list below in the link below the list. Special holiday thanks to the Hootsuite Ambassadors for sharing their faves. Did they miss any? Let us know in the comments.

The Most Popular Business Books

These books were nominated more than the others, and deservingly so.

H2H_eBook Everybody-Writes The-Art-of-Social-Media
Human to Human #H2H
Bryan Kramer
 Everybody Writes
Ann Handley
The Art of Social Media
Guy Kawasaki
and Peg Fitzpatrick

The Complete List for 2014

An Average Joe’s Pursuit For Financial Freedom – Michael Warren Munsey
Aziende di successo sui social media – Leonardo Bellini e Lorena Di Stasi
Comunicación pop del periodismo de marca a la marca personal – Davíd Martínez Pradales
Dataclysm – Christian Rudder
Difference – Bernadette Jiwa
El tao de Twitter – Mark Schaefer (also in English)
Everybody Writes – Anne Handley
Facebook, Surfen und Co – Jane Schmidt
Give and Take – Adam Grant
Hashtag. Cronache da un paese connesso – Niola Marino
How Not to Suck at LinkedIn – Joshua Waldman
Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online – Brian Halligan
Make Your Mark – Jocelyn K. Glei
Optimismo Para Periodistas – Marta Franco and Miquell Pellicer
Social Media ROI – Vincenzo Cosenza
The Art of Social Media – Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick
The coworking handbook – Ramon Suarez
The Happiness of Pursuit – Chris Guillebeau
The Innovators – Walter Isaacson
The Little Book of Big PR – Jennefer Witter
The Obstacle Is The Way – Ryan Holiday
The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
The Promise of a Pencil – Adam Braun
There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human: #H2H – Bryan Kramer
Thinking Big: How the Evolution – Robin Dunbar and Clive Gamble
Unofficial Book On HootSuite – Michael Allton
Virtual Freedom – Chris Ducker
Web Marketing That Works – Adam Franklin and Toby Jenkins

Favorite Business Books from 2013 and Earlier

And here’s the Google Sheets complete list of favorite business books, as chosen by Hootsuite Ambassadors.

Happy Holidays!

Book Review: Targeted

Posted by on Tuesday, 9 December, 2014

targetedI told a friend I was reading Targeted by Mike Smith. She asked “how could you write a book on SEM? Search engine marketing moves too fast”. She’s right.

Targeted was a NetGalley offering I pounced on. Targeting has been a marketing game changer in the last ten years, and something we’re still trying to understand and perfect. The blurb was also exactly what I needed:
“Part history, part guidebook, part prediction for the future, Targeted tells the story of the companies, individuals, and innovations driving this revolution. It takes readers behind the scenes—examining the growth of digital advertising, its enormous potential, and the technologies that are changing the game forever. Leading the way is real-time bidding, which offers advertisers unprecedented precision in targeting ads and measuring their effectiveness.”

Unfortunately, Targeted didn’t correspond to this descriptor.

What is Targeted about?

Targeted is part history. The first 56% tells the story of how search engine marketing developed. It includes elevator conversations with Jeff Bezos and the personalities that developed the technology in the ad auctions. The second half turns to digital marketing platforms while keeping the verbose narrative style. It’s very word-heavy with minimal statistics and images to break it up. Images may have been added to the final copy, but it was a nearly finished e-ARC, so I don’t think so.

There isn’t much to discuss about the first half. It’s well-written and very well researched. But it is a personal history of one narrow digital marketing tactic. I also suspect there’s either a little animosity against Google or it’s just dated. AdWords and AdSense were barely mentioned. About 45% in there was a descriptor of what I suspect is AdSense, but I was already skimming by then.

The second half (from chapter 10 on) is the discussion of digital marketing platforms. Chapter 10 looks at the need for data; 11 is on privacy and 12 details new technologies. It’s all very fluffy, and a bit outdated. I was later proven wrong but one of my notes did ask if it was a subsequent edition because the most recent date reference at that stage was mid-2012. There was one example of effectively targeting in the privacy chapter, albeit not related to SEM or advertising. A privacy advocate graduate student merged data from several public sources to identify the then governor, William Weld’s health information. Governor Weld was in office in the mid-90s.

Targeted’s section on new technologies was just as dated. I was working with HTML 5 as a mobile app replacement two years ago, but Mike claims it hasn’t been accepted. Tablet usage stats are more than a year out-of-date, and the digital television discussion forgets to mention the decreasing number of people with cable. Yes, technology does allow for more choice within a household, but fewer households are choosing to use that medium.

Who is Targeted for?

Targeted is really two books. If you’re in the search engine marketing industry and want to know the stories that lead to the current technologies, read the first nine chapters. If you’re very out-of-touch and needing to get to know what digital marketing platforms are available for creative ad placements, then check out the last three chapters. Unfortunately, if you want to learn SEM or how to target your customers better, you won’t get it here. Google offers some great resources for free.

WestJet Owns Christmas… Again

Posted by on Tuesday, 2 December, 2014

WestJet_Owns_ChristmasOn the weekend I told my Canadian best friend to get me a job with WestJet. I was half-joking and it was my way of saying that they do amazing marketing.

This morning I woke to see WestJet has taken their campaign from 2013 Christmas and made it better.

Did you see last year’s campaign? The WestJet team placed a screen at the gate and via video link, Santa asked each passenger what they wanted for Christmas. When the passengers collected their bags at the other end, their chosen gifts were also on the baggage carousel. With tears in their eyes, people shared it around the world. People who didn’t know the Canadian airline suddenly knew of “the airline who played Santa”.

This year WestJet made it better. Instead of giving gifts to paying passengers, they visited a Dominican Republic community. Kids requested toys and skateboards. Adults requested washing machines and other things needed for work. Even a horse.

WestJet granted all the wishes (included the horse), AND threw the community a party. The kids saw their first snow – very Canadian. As WestJet Santa left, he gave his final gift: a playground for all the kids.

So how did WestJet own Christmas?

There is no sales message. The immediate recipients aren’t WestJet customers and have probably never flown in a plane. The actual action is a selfless, and expensive, act that will help the community for years to come. Sure, ticket sales will increase, but they could have run a Christmas sale to get the same rise.

Why Did WestJet Do It?

Brand loyalty. I live on the US side of the border, so I know nothing about WestJet’s service – they could be terrible. But now they’re known as the loving, caring airline, and that will go a long, long way.

Did you miss last year’s campaign?

and WestJet recruiters, let’s talk.

Who Controls Our Motivation?

Posted by on Monday, 1 December, 2014

Motivation“Along the way, we’ve come to believe that external motivation is the key to our success. That we need to be part of a degree program or a sales contest or have a boss looking over our shoulder to do our best work, to push us.

Of course, we were taught this by the marketers, industrialists and institutions that make a living by providing us external motivation…” – Seth Godin

Maybe because it’s 6am on a Monday morning, and I have been awake since 4, but these sentences from today’s Seth Godin post really irked me.

Or maybe it’s getting to the end of the Thanksgiving shopping frenzy and I’m a marketer disgusted by the “buy more” mentality who’s sensitive to marketers being blamed for society’s woes (let’s make products to enhance lives, not create clutter).

Seth Godin is a marketer, and a proud one, so I assume he’s taking some responsibility for his accusation. However, I feel the claim is a rather simplistic generalization. Seth does state that we, as a society, accept this and with the decentralization of marketing we have to start motivating ourselves – “reliance on the external fails us.”

The reliance of the external has always fallen on us. Generally speaking, we’ve chosen to let peer pressure, advertising, and other external forces motivate us. Marketers in the past (and lazy ones now) have just exploited that. I say, “generally speaking” because there is a locus of control.

What is the Locus of Control?

The locus of control is a personality psychology concept that measures the extent someone believes they can control external events. The concept was developed by Julian B Rotter in 1954 and is one of the four dimensions of core self-evaluations – one’s fundamental appraisal of oneself – along with neuroticism, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. Someone who believes they can control future events (i.e., career success, test results) scores high on the test. People who attribute others as the reason for success or failure would score low on the test. It was the teacher; I got lucky, etc. They don’t feel they can control events because the outcome is dependent on another person or thing. This often leads to a “why bother” attitude and lower levels of motivation – “why should I bother working hard, my teacher/manager/insert authority figure hates me” . It is a continuum, and my 6am research didn’t discover numbers of people at each point on the scale. Again, it’s a continuum, so how you score as a child needn’t control the rest of your life.

Why is the Locus of Control Important for Marketers?

It’s very important as a motivation consideration. Seth said, “we’ve come to believe that external motivation is the key to our success”. This is not true and for some has never been true. Locus of control studies in academia have shown that people who score higher do achieve higher academic scores, When all the people in the studies had already decided (or had been told) they needed a degree for success, being part of a degree program was not a motivator, despite Seth’s claim that society has been conditioned for this.

Marketers need to understand motivation and the locus of control in their audience personae. We aren’t the sole motivator. We don’t own the locus of control score in our customers. So a general sales contest or any external force we use is likely to fail. Seth warns what the external, i.e. the motivation, is falling on us. People have already taken and own that motivation and to believe otherwise is naive. As marketers, we need to stop being lazy in thinking we can control customers to fit our needs (buy more to boost our results) and fit our products, services, and advertising to them. Let’s stop making large cars and advertising telling people their lives will be better with them. Let’s make the products or services that will improve their lives. It’s not easy, and may result in lower sales in the short term, but is more accurate, ethical and representative of society.

Do you know your locus of control score? Accurate? Times for some changes? What do you think?

Book Review: We Are All Weird

Posted by on Wednesday, 26 November, 2014

we_are_all_weirdI like this time when things are slow enough to start demolishing my To Read tower. That’s why I’ve just read a book from 2011 – We Are All Weird by Seth Godin.

Like all of Seth’s work, it’s a quick, light read, while challenging the status quo. Any good marketer has already moved beyond mass advertising, and onto “weird”. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many good marketers.

In this book, Seth gives some colorful examples to show that we now need to target tribes, and markets have shrunk to become more discerning. He takes the standard market bell curve and shows how since 1977 the curve has flattened as more “weird” or non-normal customers have changed the distribution. While reading this, I wondered if the curve has changed or if we just need to acknowledge multiples “normals”.

normal bell curve

He uses the term weird to define anything different from the typical normal. Remember those days when we actually watched television on a TV, and on the station’s schedule? That’s normal. Normal is rushing to the mall from Thanksgiving dinner to ensure you get the best deals because we’ve been conditioned to do so. This is the kind of behavior that we, as marketers, have grown to love. It’s predictable. It’s reliable. It’s now also dying.

Amusingly, in We Are All Weird, Seth does the ultimate “normal” thing for business book authors. The last chapter is the ranty, soapbox chapter that doesn’t seem to fit, but authors seem to insist on. I only skimmed it. It added new ideas when the book was concluding, but didn’t add value. You can skip it.

I do love the use of a traditional theory to show why we need to change our thinking, and even three years later in a fast-paced industry not enough have got the message.

Who Is We Are All Weird For?

Probably not for social media marketers, because that’s a group that understands how targeting and human behavior has changed. This book would help traditional advertisers, and those doing marketing but either hasn’t got a marketing degree or has studied marketing. An hour reading will help them understand the underlying theory.

We Are All Weird is another book confirming my marketing ideologies, and I think I need to break from that. If anyone can recommend any good marketing books that will challenge my worldview, please let me know.

Plugin by Social Author Bio