While the wildly successful “Groundswell” book by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff continues winning acclaim — most recently from the American Marketing Association — Josh has announced work in progress on a new book. This time, he’s teamed with Ted Schadler as co-author.

The title is “Harnessing the Groundswell: Drive Your Business With Empowered Employees and Customers”. The authors say this next Groundswell book is not a sequel…

“It focuses on individuals empowered by technology — both employees and customers — and how businesses can efficiently turn them into a force for better performance.” - Josh Bernoff

Look for the book in summer 2010 from Harvard Business Press.

Josh is carrying forward some precedents established with the first Groundswell book project. For example, you can keep up with progress and more at the Groundswell blog.

In case you missed it, Charlene Li started her new book project a few months ago. She’s engaging with the community in full force. You can vote on the title for her book right now — check out this post. I’ll write more once she settles on the title. Hers is due out in May 2010.

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Barbara on October 10th, 2008

Can you measure branding through tangible improvements in operations and the bottomline? Are your branding investments aimed directly at changing customer behavior? Is brand equity a myth that exists in the minds of marketers?

These are some of the questions that Jonathan Salem Baskin raises in his new book, Branding Only Works on Cattle. He talked about his ideas for rocking the branding boat at a special presentation to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last night.

It’s easy to see that branding strategies developed for the era of mass media are not going to perform as well in the era of social media. It’s much harder to get your head around what that change would actually look like.

At least 2 of Jonathan’s ideas struck a chord with me, as they fit very well with the transition to influencer marketing:

1. Shift the branding focus away from creating fictions (mascots, celebrity endorsements, etc.) Instead, enrich the actual customer experience with your company, products, and services. The customer experience is the brand.

2. Trade in the creative marketing math for measuring branding (recall, impressions, tonality, etc). Instead, adopt standard business math. Measure brands based on real world customer behavior. Worry less about whether your YouTube vids go viral, and more about whether your brand facilitates shorter sales cycles, higher word of mouth referrals. Look to the bottomline to find the benefit of branding investments.

Jonathan is not advocating the end of branding, merely the end of bad branding habits. For example, perception-changing branding isn’t going away, nor should it. Find more about that in Martin Bishop’s perspective on the evening.

Influencer marketing is all about addressing customer behavior, as it is happening. Jonathan is challenging us to adopt some similar ideas about branding.

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Barbara on October 6th, 2008

Tarah Remington was in touch with Influencer50 today, with a heads up that the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) has released a draft of the WOMMA Influencer Handbook for public comment. The handbook is about best practices in the use of influencer marketing:

“WOMMA believes influencer marketing is real and here to stay. It is not a myth, or a passing fad, or the latest trend. Rather, it is one component of successful word of mouth marketing programs.”

The WOMMA handbook references Nick and Duncan’s book, Influencer Marketing: Who Really Influencers Your Customers, in the bibliography on books, white papers, and research.

WOMMA is calling for public comment from marketers, bloggers, and consumers in order to make this tool as useful and effective as possible.

Update: Found a cameo post by one of the authors, Sean O’Driscoll.

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Barbara on July 23rd, 2007

Dr. Efrem Mallach has released the 20th anniversary edition of his original and definitive guide to high tech industry analyst relations. His new book, “Win Them Over: A Survival Guide for Corporate Analyst Relations/Consultant Relations Programs” (ISBN-10: 090637801X, ISBN-13: 978-0906378014) is described and sold at Amazon. I’m inclined to think that it is even better than the original. However, I’m stunned by the lofty price and annoyed at the stealth-like release.

The list price for Win Them Over is $500. New and used are priced at $427.07. That’s completely out of line with the other analyst relations books available today on the market. Each book has earned solid reviews by outstanding analyst relations professionals as an excellent source of information on AR best practices, terminology and basic strategy for vendors and agencies. These books include:

I still have my original copy of Dr. Mallach’s first book. I am willing to speculate that this new 20th anniversary edition of Win Them Over is packed with advice and information nuggets of interest to analyst relations practioners. However, I am not willing to recommend it — or any hardcopy book about analyst relations — at this price.

Excerpted from Tekrati

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In conjunction with their new book, “Getting It Right the First Time: How Innovative Companies Anticipate Demand”, Internet Research Group principals Peter Christy and John Katsaros offer a one-page analyst perspective on do’s and don’ts for high tech vendors intent on briefing industry analysts. I suggest that analyst relations managers read the book and consider giving their spokespeople each a copy of the book, along with a print-out of the Do’s & Don’ts page. Here’s why.

1. For spokespeople: The Do’s and Don’ts are a minimalist list, and this is a good thing. If all else fails, don’t fail on the points explained by Christy and Katsaros. If your spokespeople have the attention span of a gnat or the ego of a shark, then these are the prep points to cover, cover, cover. Meanwhile, the book may help them rediscover the importance of accurate, well-informed forecasting.

2. For analyst relations professionals: The book can revitalize analyst relations managers, providing a launch pad for redefining the way that analyst relations and industry research contribute to high tech companies. Analyst relations managers are in a unique position to contribute to their organization’s success. The first challenge is envisioning such a role. This book can help:

In ‘Getting It Right the First Time’, we show that the most successful businesses will be those that accurately predict market conditions–especially the market changes that will occur within the crucial 18-to-36-month innovation window. Or, to paraphrase the advice hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky received from his father: ‘Skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it is.’ — Katsaros and Christy

The Web site for the book is at www.irg-intl.com/book/index.htm. The analyst briefing Do’s and Don’ts are in the What’s Inside section.

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Louis Columbus, LWC Research, recommends Tekrati Industry Analyst Reporter as a top resource for analyst relations professionals in “Best Practices in Industry Analyst Relations.” The book is available for online purchase in hardcopy and electronic formats.

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