18 brilliant books on word of mouth

Remember books? Yeah, those things that are like really long blogs, made up of a massive string of tweets, which we used to call ‘sentences’. You can download them onto an ereader or, if you’re really old-school, buy them all wrapped up in paper like a sweet-smelling present from the past.

Most of us are now doing the former; last year, Amazon’s sales of ebooks outstripped those of print books for the first time. But the problem with ebooks is they’re difficult to share, and sharing is surely the moral imperative of our time. What’s more, I am a massive personal advocate of the print book as the ultimate in innovative technology (I’ll be talking more about that at an upcoming event on ‘Writing The Future’ with The Royal Society and the Arthur C Clarke Award – stay tuned).

So here at 1000heads London HQ I oversee a modest library from which any ‘Head (or trustworthy friend) can borrow. Our selections are crowdsourced internally, with an ongoing budget for purchasing any decent suggestion.

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Should you work for free?

That depends on what you mean by “work” and by “free.”

Work is what you do as a professional, when you make a promise that involves rigor and labor (physical and emotional) and risk. Work is showing up at the appointed time, whether or not you feel like it. Work is creating value on demand, and work (for the artist) means putting all of it (or most of it) on the line.

So it’s not work when you indulge your hobby and paint an oil landscape, but it’s work when you agree to paint someone’s house by next week. And it’s not work when you cook dinner for friends, but it’s work when you’re a sous chef on the line on Saturday night.

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Six Business Mistakes You Should Never Make Twice

Failure. It’s a word no marketer, business owner, entrepreneur wants to hear, but it can be a valuable lesson. Earlier this year, I wrote about the one mistake retail brands make when it comes to Twitter: not engaging with customers on a regular basis.

That’s one big failure.

Alan E. Hall has seen many related mistakes during his 40+ years as a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and venture capitalist.  Like most of us, he’s made his fair share of foolish business mistakes along the way. Some even caused the end of a venture.

He’s watched others make mistakes in their businesses as well, some very visible.  Fortunately, Hall learned something powerful and vital from each mistake, no matter the outcome.  Big lesson learned: Don’t make them again.

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Where Social Is Going in 2013

Here’s my prediction: Social will get the ‘third degree’ in 2013. I’m starting to see some backlash in the press about social media marketing. The avalanche of startups in the social space over the last couple years are causing VCs to hold their wallets. And Facebook’s stock recovery isn’t happening fast enough.

And so it goes. Nothing to fear. The evolution is almost predictable. Think back to the industry ‘movements’ in the 90s – such as ASP, CRM, Web 2.0, Web/TV convergence.  All of them followed a similar path, and yet, have become ‘mainstream’. ASP = Cloud. CRM = Social CRM. Web 2.0 is just the way things work on the web. And the Web/TV convergence is happening in Social TV. We had the right ideas…just a lot of creative destruction to figure things out, including the nomenclature.

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How The USPS Decision To Stop Saturday Mail Delivery Will Affect Marketers

By now you’ve all heard the news I presume. The news from the United States Postal Service that they will stop delivering first class mail on Saturdays (packages will continue to be delivered six days a week) starting this August. Whether this means an increase in other channels such as email, mobile, radio, and so on, is obviously not known, yet.

Rest assured though marketers across the country, those who currently included direct mail as part of their integrated marketing strategy, are busy making plans for the switch.


At least they better for be for August will be here before they know it.

A little over a year ago I wrote a piece entitled Direct Mail: Alive And Kicking. In that article I touched on survey conducted by Target Marketing magazine, the channel that delivered the strongest ROI for customer acquisition for B2C marketers was direct mail. Direct mail also scored the highest among B2C marketers for customer contact and retention.

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My New Title, CHO… Shifting Your Mindset by Shifting Your Focus

I recently circulated a Facebook Post where I announced that my corporate title at Collective Bias was soon to change from CSMO (Chief Social Marketing Officer) to CHO. But I didn’t explain further, and it got everyone guessing what CHO stood for.

It was a great exercise. People guessed all KINDS of things, such as:

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How One Brand Won And Lost During The Same Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is now two days removed but most assuredly it is still a topic of discussion among sports fans and marketers alike as we discuss the highs and the lows from the play on the field and off it on their mobile device, via social media and of course around the good old water cooler.

For the record I did predict the Ravens would beat the Niners in Super Bowl XLVII. I had the final score at 31-27 but hey, I was close enough. And no, I had no great insight, I just figured the Ravens would find a way to win, which they did.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03:  Ray Lewis #52 ...

So while the sports fan in me would love to write a piece about the game itself and specifically why I think the Ravens won, in this forum and in this context, the name of the game is branding and advertising. I’m sure each of you have your own personal favorites or perhaps you’re like me and were not “blown away” by any one particular spot

Before I get to the one brand I think both won AND lost in Super Bowl XLVII, let me not-so-gently remind everyone that in reality we don’t what spot won or lost and we won’t know for some time.


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What Brands And Marketers Can Learn From A Flight Attendant

The word “transparency” has become quite popular over the last few years. It is most often used in the social media world and anything related to anything in the online space for that matter.

The need for brands, marketers – truthfully all of us, to be completely transparent is paramount in today’s world.

What Brands And Marketers Can Learn From A Flight Attendant image 300px Pan Am 1970s flight attendant14This past July I wrote an article A Transparent, Live Case Study Of A Company Going Social which told the story of a company called Domo, its CEO Josh James and his very forward-thinking ideas on the use of social media among his employees.

So that’s one example of the use of the word “transparent.”What Brands And Marketers Can Learn From A Flight Attendant image trans

Back in 2010 I wrote a piece entitled About that whole transparency in social media thing…

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Exploring the Fifth and Sixth Ps of Marketing

For years I’ve written about how the 4 Ps of Marketing, Product, Place, Pricing, and Promotion represented a dated perspective of customers and markets. In an era of connected consumerism, one could argue the merits of any of “Ps” and whether or not they’re still relevant. I suppose that’s a debate for another time. Instead, I’d like to introduce of two additional Ps that will propel a decades old concept and modernize it for a social economy.

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