Soundview Executive Book Summaries


Book Review: The Zappos Experience

by Joseph Michelli

When business book authors seek companies that exemplify superior abilities in areas such as innovation, product development and talent development, a small list of names rapidly fills the pool. If asked, readers could name the top five with little effort: Apple, Google, Amazon.com, Facebook, and Procter & Gamble. In fact, the first three, respectively, are the top three companies named on FORTUNE magazine’s 2012 list of the 50 most admired companies. When the discussion turns to customer service, a new name joins the list: Zappos.com. In The Zappos Experience: 5 Principles to Inspire, Engage and WOW best-selling author Joseph Michelli explores the wildly different way of thinking that powers one of the strongest customer service engines in today’s global marketplace. The Zappos Experience is now available in multiple digital formats as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

Michelli’s familiarity with corporate giants is second to none. His previous books have profiled Starbucks, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, and Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market. If there is a single quality that distinguishes Michelli from his contemporaries, it’s his ability to blend elements of a company’s history with critical insight into how the company’s finer points can be replicated in the reader’s organization. Other authors get distracted by providing more biography than takeaways. Michelli’s five principles connect Zappos’ outstanding philosophy of building a great culture to a reader’s attempts to increase employee engagement, connect with customers and provide a truly exceptional service experience.

Zappos’ abilities as a service provider were a key factor in the company’s 2009 acquisition by Amazon.com. Readers will be fascinated by what Michelli discovered about the acquisition and the linchpin that helped Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh confirm the deal. Needless to say, Amazon.com’s third-place finish on FORTUNE’s most-admired list in 2012 is tied to some extent to Zappos’ service culture.

To download your copy of The Zappos Experience, visit Soundview’s Web site Summary.com.

Special Note to Soundview Subscribers! Don’t forget to listen to Soundview’s Author Insight Series featuring Joseph Michelli. He provides some additional insights about Zappos that you won’t hear anywhere else. Log in to your Soundview online library and check it out!

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Book Review: The Thank You Economy

by Gary Vaynerchuk

Upon picking up the Soundview Executive Book Summary of author and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk’s book The Thank You Economy, one concept should leap out at readers. Vaynerchuk wants you to provide one-on-one attention to your company’s entire customer base. This sounds like a considerable challenge to companies whose customers number in the thousands or tens of thousands. The fact that he believes social media is the tool with which to accomplish the task may do little to lighten the burden of this challenge to the reader. However, as the audiences who attend his speeches would likely report, Vaynerchuk is quite persuasive in getting his point across.

The Thank You Economy isn’t a social media primer, for those readers fearing another business book that spends half its pages going over well-tread ground. Instead, Vaynerchuk uses a fascinating array of examples from companies of all sizes to demonstrate the right (and, in some cases, wrong) way to use social media to connect with customers. He also devotes a section of the book to the importance of building a social culture within the organization, a process that begins with executives. Decision-makers quickly realize that Vaynerchuk is arguing the critical importance of connecting with customers is not a responsibility to be passed down the line.

The word to which Vaynerchuk returns time and again in his book is “opportunity.” While he may be referring to social media as the opportunity your business can’t afford to miss, there are those who would point to his book as an opportunity for advancement unto itself. For that, Vaynerchuk certainly deserves a thank-you of his own.

To get your copy of the Soundview Executive Book Summary of The Thank You Economy visit Soundview’s Web site Summary.com.



Business Learning in Bloom with Three New Summaries

If you check your calendar today, you’ll notice that the first quarter of 2012 is rapidly coming to a close. How are you progressing on your personal and professional goals for the year? What about your people? Are your interactions with them leading to increased success for both sides? With spring upon us, it’s time to do what’s necessary to help your ambitions begin to bloom. To that end, here are three great new Soundview Executive Book Summaries to help your business development efforts:

 

by John C. Maxwell

The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell: The concept of 5 levels of leadership is one that John C. Maxwell has taught all over the world. The levels represent stages in leadership development starting with being the boss who people follow because you have been appointed as their leader, to reaching the pinnacle of leadership, when you are followed because of who you are and what you represent. In The 5 Levels of Leadership, you will learn how to master the ability to inspire people and achieve results. Maxwell details each level of leadership and provides a clear path to reach the next.

 

 

 

 

by Harrison Monarth

360 Degrees of Influence by Harrison Monarth: The best leaders influence those who are below and above them, as well as people external to the organization, such as customers and partners. In 360 Degrees of Influence, Harrison Monarth provides advice on how to gain the trust and respect of those around you and how to expand your influence well beyond your immediate environment. Providing valuable insight into human emotion and behavior, Monarth reveals the secrets to knowing what people are thinking and feeling — maybe better than they do.

 

 

 

 

by Gary Vaynerchuk

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk: Gary Vaynerchuk’s Thank You Economy principles are about the way we communicate, the way we buy and sell, and the way businesses and consumers interact online and offline. Companies and brands are now competing on a whole new level in an entirely new business era. The Thank You Economy reveals how businesses can harness all the changes and challenges inherent in social media and turn them into tremendous opportunities for profit and growth.

To get your copies of these summaries in all of Soundview’s digital formats, visit Soundview’s Web site Summary.com.



Content: The Currency of the Web
March 9, 2012, 11:00 AM
Filed under: Internet, Marketing, Soundview Live | Tags: , , ,

Build it and they will come. That’s what some companies believe about websites. All you need is a snazzy website and a Google adword account, and everyone will flock to your site and spend their money. But there’s much more to it than that.

Google has so designed their search algorithm that a website really needs to provide relevant content in order to rank high in search results. And this relevancy is factored into their adword program as well. So how to you create a site that will be found?

Jon Wuebben is a search expert who has the answers. In his new book Content is Currency, Wuebben explains the importance of content marketing, which he defines as “the act of sharing tips, advice, and other value-added information as a means of converting prospects into customers and customers into loyal, lifelong, repeat buyers.”

Here are Weubben’s eight steps to content success:

  1. You learn who your customer is and where the pain points are.
  2. You develop consistent, relevant content in multiple channels.
  3. You let go of all control, and let your ideas spread.
  4. People share your ideas and link to your content.
  5. People find your content through social media and search engines.
  6. Prospects and customers start relying on your expertise—the relationship begins.
  7. You become the trusted solutions provider in your industry.
  8. Your customers tell others about you.

To really understand how content and search relate, I would invite you to join Soundview and Jon Wuebben on March 15th for our webinar Developing Powerful Content for Web and Mobile. Wuebben will also be taking time to answer participant’s questions. Invite your whole marketing team to sit in and see what you can do to strengthen your website.



How Businesses Are Using Video

I recently ran across a great article written by Jimm Fox of One Market Media on the many business uses of video. I’ve listed his main categories below, and you can check out the full article for more details.

  1. Customer Reference – video helps with collecting and showing customer testimonials, case studies and interviews.
  2. Product & Service Promotion – companies use video for product presentations, demonstrations and reviews.
  3. Corporate – corporations provide their company overview, executive highlights, facility tours and more with video.
  4. Training & Support – video is the latest thing in employee training, sales presentations and maintenance support.
  5. Internal Communication – video is now being used for business plans, company achievements, event coverage, employee orientation and health & safety education.
  6. Marketing – video promotions can take the form of commercials, viral video, content marketing and landing pages.
  7. PR/Community – video press releases are becoming more popular, along with video PR materials and community relation pieces.
  8. Events – at an event, presentations, roundtable discussions and Q&A with experts can all take place in video.
  9. Other – videos are also being used for recruitment, vlogs (video blogs) and research/surveys.

On the internet search side of the equation, research shows that a webpage with video is 30% more likely to end up on the first page of search results in Google then the same page without video. Google is now giving preference to video content in their search algorithm.

At Soundview, we are following this trend carefully, and have expanded our own offerings to include video. Our iPad format of each business book summary includes a video introduction from our Editor-in-Chief Sarah Dayton.  We now produce Executive Insights, a series of videos which interview active executives regarding key business skills. And we’re developing additional video content to be released soon.

Video increases engagement time, deepens emotional connections, and gives your company more trust and credibility with your customers and other stake-holders. And the cost of entry is becoming less every day with new technologies and web tools. If your company or organization is not currently using video, now is the time to jump in.



How to Capture New Markets

What do James Watt’s steam engine and Apple’s iTunes have in common?

For both of these innovations the inventors looked beyond their competition to invent a whole new market. Watts transformed the world, as steam engines were harnessed to power new motors not conceived of before. Although iTunes was not as world-transforming, it completely changed the music industry and the way we listen to music.

But how does an individual or company be that one that captures a new market? Stephen Wunker provides the answers in his book Capturing New Markets. In a comprehensive manner, he first builds a case for the importance of new markets, then explains how to assess what doesn’t yet exist, and from there lays the foundational steps for how to capture that new market.

As Wunker states, “In business as in comedy, timing is everything.” And so he devotes a whole chapter on how to know when is the right time to enter the market. The business history books are filled with companies that did, and didn’t, get that timing right.

Perhaps you or your company is looking for that next great idea in your industry. If so then you’ll benefit from attending our Soundview Live webinar with Stephen Wunker on January 19th. Wunker will review his strategy for capturing new markets, and will be taking questions from participants along the way. Join us by registering for How to Capture New Markets, and invite your colleagues. You can fill a conference room since registration is per site.



Book Review: The Third Screen

The Third Screen by Chuck Martin

Author and self-proclaimed “mobile evangelist” Chuck Martin feels that we are in the midst of the biggest technical revolution in human history. In The Third Screen: Marketing to Your Customers In a World Gone Mobile, Martin helps readers capitalize on the technology that dominates the daily existence of the majority of their customers. His strategy-packed book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary. Appropriately enough, readers can check out the summary in formats for a variety of the mobile devices described by Martin in his book.

Martin’s ability to be in touch with his intended audience is evident from the first page. His writing style itself could serve as a how-to for enhancing a business’s methods for communicating with its mobile audience. The Third Screen delivers information in the same short, high-intensity bursts that satisfy someone scanning his or her iPhone for information. One of the key takeaways for readers is Martin’s emphasis on thinking small. The delivery of information needs personalization, a shorter lead time and presentation that is formatted for (not adapted to) mobile devices.

If you have any doubt about whether or not your business needs to increase its involvement in mobile offerings, ask yourself this question: what are you using to read this blog post right now? The Third Screen will cover everything from search to apps to location-based marketing. It’s the one book your company needs to read if it intends to make its mark in the mobile sector.

To download a copy of the Soundview Executive Book Summary of The Third Screen, and to learn more about Soundview’s unique approach to mobile learning, visit Soundview’s Web site Summary.com.