Summertime is here! As the pace of work slows a bit and you escape to the beach or the mountains, it can be a great time to catch up on reading.
So, what will you bring with you? Here’s a list of fantastic business reads for the digital and social era. Some are classics. Some are new. Some are edifying. Some are inspiring. All will help shift your perspective and bring new insights to you and your organization.
Enjoy your downtime. You deserve it. And, happy reading!
by Bob Lord & Ray Velez
Over the course of their careers, Bob Lord and Ray Velez have had a front row view of the convergence of marketing and technology. As CEO and CTO of Razorfish, a large, global digital marketing agency, they provide their unique perspective on how to succeed in the digital and social era.
Bob and Ray make the case for close collaboration between marketing and IT departments and provide a blueprint for culture and business process change. They explain the new landscape of customer expectations and dive into technologies such as interactive marketing, cloud computing, omnichannel commerce and ubiquitous computing.
“The villain throughout this book is the silo.” – tweet this
by Nilofer Merchant
By now, much has been written about the impact of social media on business. Most of this has focused on opportunities to leverage social media from a marketing or customer service viewpoint. Much less, however, has been written about how social media changes more fundamental aspects of business. How will social media change the way we approach strategy? Will it impact the structure of firms? How will it change how people work together as well as corporate culture? And, how will social media help unlock more of the talent that exists within each individual?
In her book 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra, Nilofer Merchant addresses these topics, exploring emerging themes and raising new questions for us to consider.
“Anyone can, but not everyone will.” – tweet this
by Harley Manning & Kerry Bodine
As two of the most prominent thought-leaders in customer experience, Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine couldn’t have chosen a better time to write their book, Outside In. Businesses across many different industries are recognizing that creating positive, compelling experiences for their customers is more important than ever. Leaders in customer experience have superior financial performance and sustainable success.
However, customer expectations are increasing every year, and the proliferation of digital, social, mobile and physical touch points makes creating consistently great experiences very challenging. Harley and Kerry offer practical advice and share success stories from leading firms.
“You need your customers more than they need you.” – tweet this
by Vala Afshar & Brad Martin
Vala Afshar and Brad Martin assert that the digital and social era provides businesses with the tools to extend their values, core beliefs and guiding principles to their employees, customers, and partners. This creates an unprecedented opportunity for social and cultural transformation.
Social collaboration—with mutual benefit for all involved—is the key to true connection and requires the ability to listen, learn, share, engage and add value in a way that’s scaled and amplified like never before.
Vala and Brad argue that the transformation to a social business requires technology, but technology should not be the focus. To truly benefit from the opportunities of the social era, businesses must focus on culture and people first and foremost.
“A social business simply cares more.” – tweet this
by Jay Baer
Jay Baer is one of the most widely-recognized thought leaders in marketing today, and he’s working to turn traditional marketing upside down. Instead of marketing that’s needed by companies, Youtility is marketing that’s wanted by customers. It is marketing that is useful, helpful, personalized and provided for free. It is the key to building long-term, trust-based relationships and customer loyalty. And, it is very effective in cutting through the clutter of the advertising and marketing that’s bombarding people every day. It is pull marketing, that which is desired by customers, rather than push marketing, that which only interrupts and annoys customers.
To win attention these days, marketers must start with a new question: “How can we help?”
“The difference between helping and selling is just two letters.” –tweet this
by Ted Rubin & Kathryn Rose
Ted Rubin and Kathryn Rose make a very interesting observation in their book, Return on Relationship. The social and digital era has brought focus and attention to developing relationships with customers and nurturing them over time. This, oddly enough, almost takes us back full circle to the “before mass advertising days” of traditional, face-to-face selling.
Ted and Kathryn encourage business people to drop efforts to tie social investments to traditional Return on Investment (ROI) metrics. Instead, they advocate thinking about the true value of social strategy in terms of Return on Relationship (ROR). ROR is a back-to-basics measurement approach to assessing how well you’re developing true engagement with customers.
* Oh, and one more thing, Ted wears cool socks, which you’re sure to discover if you follow him on Twitter.
“Relationships are the new currency.” – tweet this
by Dave Birckhead
I’d like to round out this reading list by humbly adding my own eBook. I wrote The Epic Collision of Marketing & Data to serve as a conversation starter to explore how marketing, technology and data are coming together in rapid and powerful ways. The purpose of the book is to: cut through the clutter and hype surrounding big data and marketing; provide clear, straightforward descriptions; and present ideas and concepts that can immediately be put into practice.
The book is also published on a new platform called Snippet that makes it an ideal beach read. Snippet is available via a browser, iPhone or iPad and has totally re-shaped the reading experience to allow better navigation and social interaction while reading.
I hope you enjoy the book!
“Marketing is going through the most significant, technology-fueled transformation in its history.” – tweet this