Managing ecommerce performance for your company requires you to come up with the smartest and quickest solutions at just the right time. This can easily become quite stressful when you need a resource outside of your spectrum of experience, but don't know exactly where to look.Here at Ometria we've had the chance to sample more than a few pieces of literature on subjects in and around ecommerce, and have found some real jewels amongst all the business-speak.
The following book list is a weekender mix for all you ecommerce decision-makers out there, whether you're thinking of improving your marketing, your conversion metrics, or you would simply like some experiential advice from a thought leader or two. I have divided this post into three sections with three suggested titles each; the first centers around thought leadership and performance, the second marketing and sales, and the third on stats and data.
Thought Leadership & Performance
1) The Icarus Deception (publ. Dec 31, 2012) by Seth Godin, is at the top of our list to ease you into some interesting and actionable advice. In fact, Seth's ability to see ahead of the curve means that he delivers astute advice and thought leadership in an easily digestible way. In his latest book, Seth argues that unlike Icarus' untimely destruction by flying too high, we should not judge ourselves by how well we 'play it safe'. Conformity and obedience have their place in schools, but not in the creative side of business - which is especially true of the current digital atmosphere. Seth Godin once again convinces us that we should change how we work, how we might view our work as art, and most importantly, how we can implement those changes.
2) Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (publ. May 21, 2013) by Jocelyn K. Glei. This book is a concise Spark Notes of the most personal thoughts and ideas of all the major thought leaders in marketing and creative media. It is first and foremost a sampling of pearls of wisdom, and a good introduction for someone unfamiliar with the likes of Seth Godin, Steven Pressfield and Scott Belsky. This is also a super-easy read, with plenty of whitespace and quotes, which would make it the perfect beach companion. Inspiring.
3) Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It (publ. May 30, 2013) by Mitch Joel, is a highly anticipated title that illuminates the need for todays digital game changers and marketers to adapt both themselves and their companies to new technologies and business practices. He outlines what tools you will require to make these adjustments, and how to implement them into your business and life. I thought this was a great addition to the list because despite the fact theres a lot of information to digest, its presented in a compelling way and is easy to read. For those of you who arent already Mitch Joel fans, this book is a great place to start.
Marketing and Sales
1) Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage, and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing (publ. April 30, 2013) by Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella, is a comprehensive social media blueprint for 'Lead Generation' - a term which is now fully embedded in the new media lexicon. The publication date on this book couldnt be any better as Marketers and Social Media Managers continue to grapple with the increasingly important and elusive wisdom of crowds. The methodological approach to conquering social leads through key brand engagers is great if you have been wondering (like most digital decision-makers) how to get the ball finally rolling with social media leads. This book differentiates itself from the sea of other marketing titles because it offers a new perspective on who influences markets, and how you should be interacting with them to get the best leads - and how to calculate ROI.
2) High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service: Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce (publ. June 1, 2012) by Micah Solomon, is a highly relevant title in this group because it talks about one of my favourite subjects - Customer Service! (Read more about my thoughts on Customer Service here). Customer service guru and consultant Micah Solomon offers an overview of the latest trends, applications and social media tools to keep your customer service in tip top shape.
3) Mobile Influence: The New Power of the Consumer (publ. June 11, 2013) by Chuck Martin, is a newly published title on our list and it tackles a very current problem. Everyone knows that mobile marketing is on the rise (If you didnt, see this post), but because of its relative novelty, many companies are still grappling with whether / how to implement mobile marketing campaigns. Chucks handy Mobile Shopping Life Cycle model replaces traditional sales funnel models, and allows companies to visualise the differences in strategy that they must make to stay ahead of the game.
Stats and Data
1) The Numerati (publ. Aug 12, 2008) by Stephen Baker, is now five years old but the message is just as relevant now as it was in 2008, and that has much to do with where its author saw the mathematical modeling of humanity is headed in the future. Well, the future is here, and the reason this book of case studies is on our list is because it not only makes for a thrilling weekend read, but also because its message about privacy is especially pertinent. We live in an increasingly digital world thats run by a mathematically-savvy elite, and where certain companies know more about our personal lives, preferences and identities than we perhaps do ourselves. This book is a compelling work of journalism and research, which is especially insightful on the privacy debate and whats really at stake in our data mining future.
2) Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die (publ. Feb 5, 2013) by Eric Seigal, is an introduction to Big Data that delves into what predictive analytics can do today, without too much high-tech jargon. This is not a technical book for developers; rather it help Marketers learn more about how predictive analytics can serve their companies. It is filled with examples of how real companies like Google, Facebook, etc. have been using Big Data to create actionable insights into customer behaviour and purchasing decisions.
3) The Blue Line Imperative: What Managing for Value Really Means (publ. Aug 2, 2013) by Kevin Kaiser and S. David Young, is hot off the presses - a groundbreaking perspective on how to create value for your company. It goes without saying that with an increasingly crowded digital environment, companies need to understand value more than ever in each and every one of their decisions. Kaiser and Youngs approach, which they call Blue-Line Management or BLM, is both readable and insightful, while it teaches you which metrics and tips to follow in order to create long-term success.
Happy weekend reading!