Outside In

outside-in

Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business

by Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine

“Customer experience is how your customers perceive their interactions with your company. Once you understand that, you can manage your business from the outside in… To achieve the full potential of customer experience as a business strategy… you must manage from the perspective of your customers, and you must do it in a systemic, repeatable, and disciplined way.”

The benefits of providing exceptional customer experience are “higher revenues resulting from better customer retention, greater share of wallet, and positive word of mouth, plus lower expenses due to happier customers who don’t run up your service costs.” One example from the book is a $1.7 billion per year savings in customer service costs and bill credits as a result of Sprint simplifying its confusing plan options. Continue reading “Outside In”

Contagious

contagious

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

by Jonah Berger

Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has studied why certain ideas and products get talked about and shared more than others. He refers to the “psychology of sharing” and identifies six common attributes: Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, and Stories.

Berger puts the hype of viral marketing in context. “Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 percent to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions.” However, “Research by the Keller Fay Group finds that only 7 percent of word of mouth happens online… Continue reading “Contagious”

Marketing Above the Noise

marketing-above-the-noise

Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters

by Linda J. Popky

Grounded in fundamentals and guided by strategic objectives, Linda Popky puts the hype around social media and big data in perspective. “It’s time to move the discussion away from today’s latest hot marketing tools and tactics to what really counts: convincing customers to trust you with their business—not just once, but time and time again.” Continue reading “Marketing Above the Noise”

The Brand Challenge

the-brand-challenge

The Brand Challenge: Adapting Branding to Sectorial Imperatives

Edited by Kartikeya Kompella

The Brand Challenge consists of four general branding topics followed 11 sector-specific chapters, namely: luxury, retail, business-to-business (B2B), media, financial services, non-profits, fashion, hotels, cities, technology, and football (soccer). Each chapter is written by a different author. Continue reading “The Brand Challenge”

Fans Not Customers

fans-not-customers

Fans Not Customers: How to Create Growth Companies in a No Growth World

by Vernon W. Hill II with Bob Andelman

Vernon W. Hill II founded Commerce Bank in 1973. In 2007, the bank “was sold to Toronto-based TD Bank for $8.5 billion, producing a 30-year, 23 percent annual shareholder return. Everyone profited, including shareholders and team members.” In 2010, he co-founded Metro Bank, bringing the same service culture to British banking. In Fans Not Customers he reveals the secret sauce of his business model. This book is about branding, differentiation, corporate culture, and organic growth, but the dominant theme is providing exceptional customer service. Continue reading “Fans Not Customers”

TED Talks Storytelling

ted-talks-storytelling

TED Talks Storytelling: 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks

by Akash Karia

The premise of this book is that “the best speakers on the TED stage were the ones who had mastered the art of storytelling.”

The first 30 seconds are critical. “Opening with a story is a tested and proven method for grabbing audience attention and keeping your audience mentally engaged.” Continue reading “TED Talks Storytelling”

Life’s a Pitch

lifes-a-pitch

Life’s a Pitch: The Essential Guide to Presentations

by Terry Ward

Terry Ward uses a broad definition of the word presentation. “Every time you want to persuade, motivate, or inspire, you are making a presentation… The spoken word is a persuasive media… If you want to move people to action, speak to them.”

“The most important aspect of being an effective presenter is your state of mind… We are talking about adopting a state of mind that is listener focused…The more you disappear into your message, the more your audience will trust and respect you… The speakers we remember most are the ones who talked to us in plain English and with sincerity and simplicity. They were authentic in their intentions to bring value to the listeners.”

A recurring theme in this book is to keep things simple and concise. “Present only information that is CORE—concise, organized, relevant, and essential—to your listener… Make it simple and easy to understand… In fact all four essential elements of communication—behavior, content, interaction, and state of mind—benefit from a focus on keeping it simple.” Continue reading “Life’s a Pitch”