The Art of Relevance
by Nina Simon
This book explains how museums and other nonprofit organizations can expand audiences and build stronger connections with targeted communities. The author is executive director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH).
“I believe relevance unlocks new ways to build deep connections with people who don’t immediately self-identify with our work. I believe relevance is the key to a locked room where meaning lives… Behind the door is a room that holds something powerful—information, emotion, experience, value… Relevance is the key to that door.”
“Instead of talking about ‘traditional’ approaches and ‘new’ ones, I find it more productive to talk about insiders and outsiders…” Continue reading
Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
by Ann Handley
Everybody Writes is a catchy title, although a more accurate one would be Writing Tips for Content Marketing.
Here’s the secret formula: “The multiplication signs are important, because if the value of any one of these things (Utility, Inspiration, or Empathy) is zero, then the sum of your content is a big fat zero, too… Utility x Inspiration x Empathy = Quality Content.” I think she means product—not sum—but I like the idea.
Everyone’s a Critic: Winning Customers in a Review-Driven World
by Bill Tancer
I must admit that I approached this book with a certain bias. Having read a lot of Amazon reviews, it becomes apparent there are a lot of games being played in the world of online reviews. Bill Tancer acknowledges the shenanigans, but focuses on using customer reviews to drive revenue and to provide competitive intelligence.
Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers
by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
“Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have are enough customers.”
“Traction is a sign that something is working. If you charge for your product, it means customers are buying. If your product is free, it’s a growing user base.” Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares draw from their own startup experience as well as interviews with some 40 other founders and marketing experts. The book starts with five foundation chapters followed by chapters explaining each of the 19 traction channels.
PayPay founder Peter Thiel says, “It is very likely that one channel is optimal. Most businesses actually get zero distribution channels to work. Poor distribution—not product—is the number one cause of failure.” Continue reading
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
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
A Gallery Without Walls: Selling Art in Alternative Venues
by Margaret Danielak
“This book is about selling art in alternative venues and in innovative, cost-effective ways” based on the author’s experience as an artist’s representative. What I like most about this book is that it opens the door to nontraditional sales channels, so you are not competing in the same sandbox with everyone else.