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Apply the customer-centric methodology that has doubled the sales of many websites

When we first launched Smart Insights nearly ten years ago, we chose a brand name that hinted at the power of using a data-driven approach for businesses to get more from their online marketing. For even longer, I personally have had a passion for helping businesses learn about the latest digital analytics techniques and best practices through my training, consulting and writing. Since we launched, in our member resources, I and our expert contributors have worked hard to share best practices with our members on using digital analytics with the aim of increasing their conversion rates. At the same time, we have worked hard to improve our member onboarding experiences and increase our own conversion rates to our free and premium memberships    So I’m delighted to review Making Websites Win, a…

Book review: Watertight Marketing - Delivering long-term sales results by Bryony Thomas

We know from our research published showing how businesses manage digital marketing, that many businesses don’t have a defined marketing strategy. In fact, more than half of businesses we surveyed (56%) didn’t have a marketing strategy, an even higher proportion than the 46% who didn’t have a digital strategy! So when Bryony Thomas offered to share her advice on approaches to use a more planned approach to marketing, I was delighted to be able to publish these to help marketers looking to create a marketing plan. The techniques Bryony has shared in her popular series of posts on marketing planning on Smart Insights are based on the techniques she recommends in her book Watertight Marketing: delivering long-term sales results which I have been taking a look at recently to review our marketing approach.

The Watertight marketing approach

The book gets off…

Ideas, examples and a process to develop your online value proposition (OVP)

I’m really pleased that Jay Baer of Convince and Convert could speak recently in our webcast. He explained three blueprints and examples of how companies can develop their Youtility.  Jay is one of the great original thinkers who shows how to apply social media and content marketing to get business results. Dan and I have been following his ideas from his blog for a couple of years now. The talk and slide deck are now available

Youtility talk

Youtility slide deck

Book review:  Optimize - How to attract and engage more customers, by integrating SEO, Social media and content marketing by Lee Odden

We read a lot of new marketing books at Smart Insights since we like our advice to include different perspectives and we enjoy seeing how different writers explain what works and what doesn’t. We have had a few requests that distilled reviews of books would be useful and it would be useful to hear more from the authors. So here we are. I’ve started our series of reviews with this book by Lee Odden since Lee will be talking at our next webcast on Creative Content content marketing and I thought it would be a good way of introducing Lee if you don’t know his acclaimed TopRank online marketing blog already. You can register free for the webcast …
I met Mel Henson at last year's ECMOD conference where we discussed the pleasure and pain of book writing. She was hard at work on a new book on copywriting: [amazon-product text="Flicks & Clicks: How to Create Websites and Catalogues that Sell More" type="text"]1907722041[/amazon-product]. There are relatively few new books on online copywriting and if you want to review your approaches, I highly recommend it. It's full of practical tips and examples blending on and offline copywriting. So, we arranged to have a chat about what works and what doesn't in online copywriting.I hope you find Mel's ideas helpful? What are your pet hates or peeves with online copy? 1. What inspired you to write "Flicks and Clicks?" When I first specialised in copy for home shopping, I discovered that there is real ‘science of…
We love this book, Get Content. Get Customers by Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett because content is at the heart of today's marketing and it does a fantastic job of explaining the why and the how of online content marketing. The authors advice is summarised in the top 10 content marketing lessons which we review at the end of this post. If you need to push content up the agenda in your organisation, and many need this, then we definitely recommend this book, but with one caveat we give at the end of this review. I think it succeeds because it blends both practical, structured advice on creating a content strategy, plus many small, but specific case studies from many sectors to inspire you to develop a content strategy.

The B.E.S.T. formula

As an example of the structured practical guidance, we liked this formula for creating a content marketing roadmap. B.E.S.T stands…
The surge of interest in social media over the last two or three years has been accompanied by a surge in social media books seeking to demystify the topic - and I have had lots of requests for recommendations of the best books. Everyone's preferences for books to help improve marketing practice differs, but I think what most look for are practical guidance and tips; tools to apply to help analyse and improve performance and a framework to bring all the tactics together to help with planning and process.  Examples of companies who have successfully applied the principles are also essential and learning from failures is good too, although those aren't naturally publicised. For social media, I think marketers also need guidance on how to use the specific types of social media presence and how they integrate with other digital media such as email marketing. A useful framework for types of social media…
My tip for the best book to help you with your marketing in 2010 isn't one of mine, or one on social media, although recommendations on this will follow soon since I have had a lot of questions about the best book on social media recently. Instead, my recommended book is on marketing analytics. Please recommend the books which you think will help marketers most across the whole of marketing to the comments. TIA! The main audience for this book is arguably for web analytics specialists who will probably have already devoured the book and enjoyed the great chapter on careers advice. But I think there are gems for all involved in marketing in this book which will help you get the most out of your traditional or online marketing in 2010. In fact, I think the book's title is much narrower than the content which covers many aspects of customer insight…
I love the expression Cult of Analytics! Two reasons. First, it's a great name for a book. The book in question is from Steve Jackson which is in the Elsevier E-marketing Essentials series for which I'm editor. In a future post, I'll explain the techniques I've found useful from the book, in particular, the REAN framework which I have succesfully applied in some recent consulting projects. [amazon-product]1856176118[/amazon-product] [amazon-product region="us"]1856176118[/amazon-product] Second, it highlights the difference between companies that are successful in their digital marketing and those that lag behind. This post highlights how Amazon has successfully applied the principle of developing a "Cult of Analytics" to drive its success.

Amazon's Culture of Metrics

The expression "Cult of Analytics" highlights one of the reasons behind Amazon's success - the culture that their CEO Jeff Bezos has instilled, almost from Day 1. In Amazonia:Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot.Com Juggernaut, an excellent book charting Amazon's early growth from…
One of the most interesting aspects of digital marketing currently is watching and advising companies developing strategies for how Twitter can support their business.  I did a roundup in Feb 2009 on different approaches businesses are taking in their Twitter strategy. So, I was pleased to receive a review copy of the Twitter book by @timoreilly who is best known for first defining the Web 2.0 concept and has over 600,000 followers (not bad for a business bod) and @SarahM who is a Twitter specialist who describes herself in her bio as  the 21st user of Twitter. This post gives a brief review of the book and highlights, what for me, were the 10 most  useful practical tips for companies developing their Twitter business strategy. Since I like to be useful, I'll also summarise some of the tools I found useful in the book which I wasn't aware of. …