Need to stretch yourself? We’ve teamed up with the Digital Training Academy to bring you reviews of some of the must-read books for boosting your insights in digital marketing, digital strategy and succeeding in business today. These are among the most popular books in their management training programmes. And we’re looking for your reviews too… email your review or the details of the book you’d like to review, to the team here at the Digital Book Club: Tutors@DigitalTrainingAcademy.com


Head First Word Press

Jeff Siarto
O’Reilly
ISBN 978-0-596-80628-6
$34.99 / £26.99

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Another solid title from the Head First series at O’Reilly. This series champions making the complex simple and the instructional design of the training books give some early wins for the reader as they gradually build up to complex technical installations. WordPress has become one of the most popular website platforms and is part of the wave of technologies that collapsed the cost of website builds.

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  • 23 September 2010
Google Analytics

Justin Cutroni
O'Reilly
ISBN 978-0-596-15800-2
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Solid, well structured, detailed and insightful; this is the perfect companion for anyone implementing Google Analytics.

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  • 23 September 2010
Googled: The End of the World as We Know It

Ken Aueleta (Virgin Books, 2010)

Digital Strategy data - Googled: The End of the World as We Know It
Danny Meadows-Klue digs into the latest analysis of Google and finds a must-read for everyone in the industry.

The internet made everything available, Google made anything findable. Google has changed our worlds and our lives in a way unparalleled by any other brand. It’s become synonymous with the web and its name a verb for searching. Every industry sector has been touched by it and its presence extends into every country at every level. Whether you’re a marketer by trade, or a newcomer finding that the web has landed in your job goals for the first time, it’s hard to imagine discovery in search engines not being high on the agenda. As search engine marketing has grown to become the critical link in connecting customers with companies, interest in search marketing has crossed from the geeky world of search engine optimisation and mainstreamed.

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  • 23 April 2010
Secondomics

Graham Bower (Polymath Books, 2009)
Could coming second be your winning strategy? During 15 years at the heart of the internet industry, we’ve seen the businesses behind hundreds of good ideas collapse. For every Google, Facebook and Twitter, there have been a thousand failures. Why? Being on the leading edge means living at the bleeding edge. Resources are burned fast as teams invent the products, the processes and the routes to market. That’s why, in developing business strategies for digital media, we often find ourselves coaching management teams on the benefits of Second Mover Advantage. Why invest everything you have to trail-blaze when you could coast in second, getting 80% of the rewards for 50% of the effort? That’s why when we sneaked an advanced draft of ‘Secondomics’ we found a book that proved that this was one of the missing principles of success. From economics to psychology, game theory to biology, first time author Graham Bower has uncovered one of those principles that helps explain how the world works.

Full review coming soon – just waiting for the final draft of the book. Release candidate edition is available on Lula.

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  • 26 March 2010
The Twitter Book

Tim O’Reilly and Sarah Milstein (O’Reilly Media, 2009)
Twitter: micro blog, presence application, new era messenger tool, the next Facebook – whatever you think about this funky young platform, you have to acknowledge that it’s become the new ‘must-have’ for every big marketing strategy. This is the first book to properly tie it all together in a clear, simple and effective way.

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  • 26 February 2010
Don't Make Me Think

Steve Krug (New Riders, 2005)
In 'Don't Make Me Think', author Steve Krug, a professional web usability consultant demystifies the subject of how people use the web with clear, practical--and often amusing--common sense advice and succinct examples.

The basic design principle is that the consumer should not have to think. i.e.: Don't Make Me Think. All the various points and tips focus n the premise that the users should be able to navigate around a well thought out and well designed site with minimal pain or strain.

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  • 27 January 2010
Join the conversation

Joseph Jaffe (Wiley, 2007)
Joseph Jaffe challenges the status quo of marketing, bringing a confrontational freshness to the channel mix and the nature of consumer engagement. In the digital landscape brands need to build awareness and image by taking part in conversations, and this book explains both why and how. Firms need to accept a step-change in their relationships with customers, and ‘Conversations’ is a great catalyst for encouraging them to dare to think of a taking leap beyond the standard media plan or campaign idea. Marketing is changing, but not all firms will adapt.

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  • 21 December 2009
Who let the blogs out?

Biz Stone (St Martin's Griffin, New York)
Billed as a 'hyperconnected peek at the world of blogs', Biz Stone unpacks the rise of blogging and delivers a simple, accessible, 'how to' guide for those who want to get to grips with one of the latest crazes to hit the online mainstream. Publishing tools that would have cost $100,000 a few years ago, are now given away for free, letting anyone enjoy the benefits of powerful content management systems. But the technology is only the starting point: what should you write and why? Stone has some intriguing answers.

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  • 25 November 2009
Me++

William J Mitchell (The MIT Press, Massachusetts 2003)
Chronicles of the future don't come richer, better grounded or more intense than Mitchell's trilogy of the networked world. Me ++ untangles the way fleshware weaves into the urban futurescape with such clarity and intensity you're left reeling. But here's a warning: if you are one of those who 'want a simpler life, choosing to unplug and to live off the grid in Idaho', then this is not for you. Mitchell describes himself as an electro-nomadic cyborg; 'Disconnection would be amputation. I am part of the networks, and the networks are part of me. I show up in the directories. I am visible to Google. I link therefore I am'. Mitchell is head of the MIT Lab's academic program in Media Arts and Sciences, and former dean of MIT's School of Architecture and Planning.

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  • 29 October 2009
The Communications Challenge

Julian Saunders (ed) (2004)
The Communications Challenge addresses itself to the `how to` question in the development of marketing communications in a changing media and technology environment. Subtitled ‘a practical guide to media neutral planning’, the book lives up to its name by being packed with case histories and examples of research and working methods. In it, a picture emerges of innovation, new practices and methods as well as the updating of established thinking.

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  • 30 September 2009
Brand failures

Matt Haig (Kogan Page, 2003)
Matt Haig, independent consultant advising organizations on creating integrated marketing solutions, challenges his readers to examine their own problems with branding. What are the seven deadly sins of branding? Haig describes them well: they’re amnesia, ego, megalomania, deception, fatigue, paranoia, and irrelevance that stand behind the biggest failures in brand marketing. All filled with an abundance of recent cases studies. As marketers we can learn as much from examining the causes behind these failings as we can from the MBA-taught models of success that we strive to follow.

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  • 28 August 2009
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Malcolm Gladwell (Abacus, 2003)
The Tipping Point is a book about change. In particular, it's a book that presents a new way of understanding why change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does. The Tipping Point does not challenge the notions of brand and response marketing, but instead provides a window through which to view and re-view markets, plans, products, and ideas. It is a health check to strategy, a model for marketers a framework every marketer should learn, a tool to embrace with passion.

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  • 28 July 2009
Inside the Smart Home

Richard Harper (ed) (Springer 2003)
Richard Harper's passion is to develop tools and techniques for understanding user behaviour in workplaces, mobile settings and the home. After 20 years of various experiments he is the person to predict what our future homes will look like. Will our fridge make the shopping itself using the internet? Will the lights switch on when we tell them to do so? Intelligent homes have be the domain of futurologists and visionaries. Now with the new technologies progressing so quickly we may find oursevles in a smart home sooner than expected.

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  • 25 June 2009
Brand Warriors on the High Wire

Fiona Gilmore (Profile Books 2003)
Since intense competition propelled Brand to become the key differentiator and corporate success factor we have all been transformed into Brand Warriors. That’s the theory at least although reading through the trade press one wonders how many companies are yet to put into place the tools behind their fighting rhetoric. Following the success of her first title Fiona Gilmore returns on fighting form with the ‘High Wire’ edition, assembling a series of personal accounts of the meaning of Brand as witnessed through the eyes of seventeen executives who have driven their high profile organisations’ powerful brand strategies.

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  • 26 May 2009
Lateral Marketing: New Techniques for Finding Breakthrough Ideas

Philip Kotler and Fernando Trias de Bes Wiley (John Wiley & Sons 2003)
Although all marketers will enjoy the wake-up call, Lateral Marketing gears itself primarily to strategic marketers in the driving seat of product development, target market strategy or marketing mix control. The roadmap includes a choice of paths: new product development, market reassessment, rebuilding the marketing mix. It helps answer such questions as: which nonpotential customers could be reached, what else could a product be used for, which other needs could be satisfied.

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  • 27 April 2009
E-Marketing Excellence

Paul Smith and Dave Chaffey (Butterworth-Heinemann 2002)
Smith and Chaffey have woven case studies, screenshots and context into the fabric of every section, allowing the reader to relate the theory elements directly to websites and brands they will have experienced. 'E-marketing Excellence' will guide you convidently through the digital models and marketing plans, suggesting how to drive your internet business forward.

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  • 30 March 2009
E-business – a jargon free practical guide

James Matthewson (Butterworth-Heinemann 2002)
Can e-business theory and practice be explained in a simple and easy way? James Matthewson, Digital marketing specialist, proves it possible. In his practical guide readers will find the key terms, concepts and their relationship explained in a gripping way. If you wonder what the processes are to develop e-business strategy and who on the market does it well and who does it badly, 'E-business' is a good place to start your digital journey.

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  • 26 February 2009
The Committed Enterprise

Hugh Davidson (Butterworth Heinemann 2002)
Hugh Davidson challenges us to think again about visions: what they are, what they mean, how they change us, why we need them. You may, like many senior managers feel they are unnecessary, a corporate self-indulgence that simply detracts from a mountainous in-tray. Or you may like the idea but simply never get round to ever tackling it. Or you may simply feel disenfranchised, too small a cog in a vast machine. Or you may just be comfortable the way things are and be looking forward to your pension. If you’re in that last group skip the rest of these notes and relax it will soon be home time and the Journal can go back on the no doubt impressive book shelf.

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  • 27 January 2009
It’s not the big that eat the small it’s the fast that eat the slow

Jason Jennings and Laurence Haughton (Harper Collins 2000)
This is one of those rare business texts that once you start it’s genuinely tough to put down. What Jennings and Haughton have succeeded in doing is taking Darwin’s observations of species and researching whether or not they apply to companies. Darwin said “It’s not the strongest or most intelligent species that survive; it is the one most adaptable to change”, and what this text proves is that time and time again really successful companies have an ability to adapt quickly.

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  • 22 December 2008