Friday, 24 December 2010

How Come You Don’t Have an E-Business Strategy?

How come you don’t have an e-Business strategy? by Matt Haig
How Come You Don’t Have an E-Business Strategy?
The Essential Guide to Online Business
by Matt Haig
Published by Kogan Page, 2005
Paperback, 160 pages
ISBN:0-7494-3727-8

If your existing competitors are online and increasing their web marketing activity, or if you're facing new competition from internet-based rivals, then this book by Matt Haig could be a good place to start off and start competingwith your online business.

Despite all the media hype around the many misguided and ill-fated Internet ventures, more business is being conducted via the web than ever before. It’s clear that whatever business you’re in and whatever the size, ignoring the Internet is no longer possible. This book provides a good overview and top-level introduction to all the main issues that need to be considered when taking a business online.

Cutting through all the usual rhetoric and technical jargon, this succinct guide takes you through the essential steps to using the Internet as a tool for competitive advantage and growth, including topics such as setting your objectives, developing your e-brand, money matters and pricing, customer management, online marketing and measuring results. There's also a section on security issues and likely future trends. The book includes a number of of real-life case studies and candid comment from business people around the world, along with a glossary of key terms.

This book is a quick read and covers many areas in limited depth, so it's not going to provide all the answers but it will give you a good introduction to many of the issues involved with setting up and managing an effective business online. It is also a useful way to become more knowledgeable when talking to potential suppliers and hopefully avoid the pitfalls than many new web businesses can fall into.

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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Search Marketing Strategies

Search Marketing Strategies by James Colborn
Search Marketing Strategies
A Marketer’s Guide to Objective-Driven Success from Search Engines
By James Colborn
Published by Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd (2005)
Paperback, 208 pages
ISBN: 0-7506-6618-8

This title is one of the growing number of books that focus on the rapidly growing search marketing sector and is aimed at marketing professionals who want to focus on how to gain awareness, leads and sales from the billions of searches completed each day as people seek information online about products and suppliers.

Concentrating on the strategic element, James Colborn demonstrates how to adapt the tactical techniques - such as paid search, search engine optimisation and analytics packages - into search engine strategies which maximise organizations’ visibility to achieve marketing or corporate objectives, such as branding, sales and customer acquisition.

By focusing on search marketing strategies, the book explains the effective approaches to Search Engine Optimisation and Paid Search and considers the topic of search from the point of view of the marketing function. It also acts as a toolkit for adapting tactical techniques into search strategies.

Written from a marketing perspective, the book offers a concise and relevant guide, with a clear structure and learning points. Case studies and examples are used throughout to ensure the process of applied learning is easy to implement. A wide variety of , US and international industries are covered including B2B, B2C and C2C, whilst viewpoints are taken from industry players such as Google and Overture (Yahoo! Search Marketing), in addition to the author’s perspective, to provide a balanced, international view of search.

A valuable book that helps to explain the market and techniques involved and to show how to apply strategic focus to a search marketing campaign in order to gain competitive advantage.

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Monday, 20 December 2010

Total E-mail Marketing

Total E-mail Marketing by Dave Chaffey
Total E-mail Marketing
by Dave Chaffey

Published by Butterworth, 2003
Paperback, 220 pages
ISBN: 0-7506-5754-5

Email gives you a great opportunity to gain new customers and get closer to existing customers, but there are many pitfalls for the unwary. This book describes a practical approach to e-mail marketing for all marketers looking to exploit its potential.

It shows how to run effective e-mail campaigns aimed at both customer acquisition and retention. It also covers much more than guidelines on e-mail creative, as it explains how to plan and execute e-mail campaigns which integrate with other online and offline communications.

The book draws on expertise and examples from leading European practitioners to detail practical tips to improve campaign results. Packed with case studies and checklists to get you started or improve on past campaigns, the book covers these topics:
  • Planning effective, integrated e-mail campaigns
  • How to rapidly build a quality house list
  • Sourcing opt-in B2C and B2B lists
  • Ethical and legal constraints
  • Tools for managing inbound and outbound email
  • Design HTML and text format e-mails for maximum response
  • Writing engaging copy
  • Key issues in planning e-newsletters
  • Measuring and improving e-mail campaigns
Highly structured and designed for maximum accessibility, the book incorporates 'E-mail Marketing Excellence' boxes giving real-world examples of best practice and 'Campaign Checklists' to help you devise and check campaign plans.

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Friday, 10 December 2010

The Search

The Search by John Battelle
The Search
How Google and its rivals rewrote the rules of business and transformed our culture
by John Battelle
Published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2005
Hardback, 312 pages
ISBN: 1-85788-361-6

As the dominance of Google within the search market, and increasingly within the broader Internet community, grows then so do the number of books being written about this phenomenon.

According to author John Battelle, a company that can answer the question ‘what does the world want’ – in all its shades of meaning – can unlock the most intractable riddles of business and arguably of human culture itself. And, he claims, for the past few years, that’s exactly what Google has been doing.

Having entered the market long after Yahoo, AltaVista, Excite, Lycos, and other online pioneers, Google offered a radical new approach to search. It redefined the idea of viral marketing, survived the dot-com crash, and pulled off the largest and most talked-about initial public offering in the history of Silicon Valley.

But this book covers much more than just the inside story of Google’s rapid growth and the dominance. It also puts it into context, being a book about the past, the present and future of search technology and the enormous impact it’s starting to have on marketing, media, pop culture, dating, job hunting, international law, civil liberties, and just about every other sphere of human interest.

As the Internet has revolutionised access to information, so Google has become the gateway to instant knowledge. It has created a goldmine of information and organised it in a more effective way than any other online search tool so that powerful organisations (including the US government) will want to get their hands on it.

Battelle writes in an informal and accessible manner although the subject matter does not make this a light read. He reveals how search technology works, explores the increasing power of targeted advertising, and looks back on the frenzy of the recent Google IPO when the company tried to rewrite the rules of Wall Street and declared ‘Don’t Be Evil’ as its corporate motto. He also considers where search technology will go from here.

For anyone who wants to understand how Google really succeeded – and the implications of a world in which every click can be preserved forever – The Search is an eye-opening and indispensable read.

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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Creating Web Sites

Creating Web Sites, by Matthew MacDonald
Creating Web Sites
The Missing Manual
By Matthew MacDonald

Published by O'Reilly (4 Nov 2005)
Paperback, 560 pages
ISBN: 0-596-00842-2

Websites are getting faster and slicker, but they’re also becoming more complex to create. So what should you do if you want a sharp-looking site without having to become a sophisticated web guru? The publishers of this book claim that the answer is here, as this book can show you every step to get your site up and running.

This well illustrated and easy to follow book includes:

• Everything from planning to launching a new site: learn the 'nitty-gritty' of building your home on the web, from picking and buying a domain name, choosing a web hosting firm, to building your site and uploading the files to a web server.

• Ready–to-use building blocks: creating your own website doesn’t mean you have to build everything from scratch. Discover how to incorporate loads of pre-built and freely available tools like interactive menus, PayPal shopping carts, and Google Ads.

• The modern web: since today’s best looking sites use powerful tools like Cascading Style Sheets (for sophisticated page layout) and Javascript (for rollover buttons and cascading menus), this book doesn't treat these tools as fancy frills - instead, from step one, you can read about easy ways to use them for building powerful sites.

• Blogs: learn the basics behind the web's most popular form of self expression, and take a step-by-step tour through Blogger, the popular Google-run blogging service.

The Missing Manuals series offer clearly written and light-hearted guides to popular computer products and topics. This book includes some valuable practical guidance and advice to help relative novices start to develop their own websites, or to enable readers to understand the main issues that are involved when briefing or understanding website designers.

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Monday, 6 December 2010

Small Business Websites That Work

Small Business Websites That Work by Sean McManus
Small Business Websites That Work
Get Online to Grow Your Company
By Sean McManus
Published by Prentice Hall, 2001
Paperback, 220 pages
ISBN: 0-273-65486-1

It is sometimes said that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. However, for a non-technical person to cope with setting up and developing an online business, no knowledge can be even worse! Many small business owners have taken the plunge online and relied on others to provide the 'know-how' with varying degrees of success.

With so many pitfalls awaiting the unwary, creating a successful web business can be a daunting task. Books such as this one, however, can go some way to helping small business owners or managers in larger companies - whose skills lie in other areas - to avoid floundering in uncertainty and technical confusion when briefing suppliers.

This is an easy to read, well organised and practical book. There's a lot of information packed into just over 200 pages, but the book's clear design, the avoidance of technical jargon, and the liberal use of checklists and summaries make it a pleasure to read from start to finish, or to dip into a relevant section.

Within 11 chapters all the main elements of putting a business online are covered, often in quite brief detail, but enough to highlight the key things to think about or be aware of. There's a particularly good chapter on how to offer good customer service, plus useful sections on legal and ethical issues, as well as measuring the success of the website by using tracking software.

Several chapters deal with advertising and marketing. The use of affiliate schemes and advertising offers plenty of tips to help beginners avoid the many pitfalls that can lie in wait. The section on promoting the site includes a good overview of the role that search engines can play and the six pages on the subject contain some solid advice.

This book provides a very good introduction to anyone who wants to have a clearer understanding of how to give an online business a better chance of success. Even those with some experience may benefit from dipping in to the book to read sections that cover an area new to them. Certainly, if you have no idea of the difference between a domain or a host, or are unsure about a virus e-mail compared to a viral one, this book will provide some much-needed enlightenment!

Buy at a discount from Fishpond

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