Sunday, 3 January 2010

My Internet 2009 Top 5: Reading

During the first part of 2009 I spent time doing a masters. I was working during this time, so I didn't have that much time to see friends, to sleep in or to go out. But I must say, the master proved to be very enriching and I would tell everybody to consider the option of doing a masters. It's very rewarding and gives you a lot of energy and insights in a very short time.
The master I did was in Marketing Intelligence. We learned different methods to use data in order to make better business decisions and to optimize our marketing budget. To put it in another way: we learned how to turn faith-based decision making into a data-driven business culture. It wasn't a master specialized in on-line marketing, but we've seen a lot of internet-based examples. And you'll understand that when I read a post like this, I get reminded a lot of what we studied during the master .

In our master we learned a lot of hard techniques. We did a lot of SAS and SPSS to really crunch those numbers and databases. Of course we also used a lot of excel, because, you know, excel has it. So we learned how to apply stats and maths to get the numbers right and deduce the right marketing decisions from this.
Besides these 'hard' methods in which we learned how to work towards a data driven business culture, we also learned a lot of, say, 'soft' methods. One of these softer methods were our professors. It's amazing how a experienced professional can get so much out of a couple of hours teaching. A second 'soft' method of learning are the other students. It's equally great how much comes out of a group of professionals spending some months together, everybody with his views, his ideas, his experience.

Another 'soft' method for learning how to work something like on-line marketing is reading. During the master we had to read quite a lot, but I must say since the master stopped, my reading list has actually exploded. It looks like I can't stop.

First of all the books: since this year, my Amazon orders have started to change. A while back, they had some CDs, some copy of The Wire and a couple of novels. Since this year quite some business books have appeared on my order lists. Of course I have some catching up to do, like reading The Long Tail. But also new stuff like Avinash's 2.0 are waiting for me to be read. My interest for reading doesn't come alone: I've read quite some 'Reading lists' in blogposts the last couple of months. Next on my list are of course Avinash and Cult of Analytics by Steve Jackson. But let me first finish Actionable Web Analytics by Burby and Atchison.

Favourite Business Book 2009
Scoring Points by Humby, Hunt and Phillips. It first came out in 2003, a second edition came in 2007. It's about Tesco and the huge CRM strategy they launched with their Clubcard. Tesco and their data-crunching consultant Dunnhumby are still the reference when it comes to use
business intelligence and turn it into marketing actions and profits. A must read for everybody who's looking to use data in their business.

Reading blogs has been a more chaotic history. In 2008 I just read 2 blogs. In 2009, I've got 15 RSS feeds on my netvibes, I receive various blog updates in my e-mail and read several blogs daily thanks to retweets or other references. When I start reading a blog, I open at least 3 links of other posts which are included into the post I read, checking twitter gives me at least 5 new posts I want to read, and by the end of the day I tend to end up with a browser full of tabs with posts-I-should-read.
The good thing is that there is so much out there. Everyday, you can read so much info which is shared all over the internet. It keeps you up-to-date, and the way a constant discussion is held is very enriching.
The only problem is the overload I sketched earlier on. There is too much going on, and you just can't read everything that is out there. Sometimes my browser with those various open tabs of post I need to read, get just shut down. There is only so much time to read everything.

Favourite blog post of 2009
A lot of amazing posts this year, of course, but this might just be my favourite: A comparison between 2 commercials, one by GM, the other by Toyota. It gives some great insight on how we can connect with women in advertising. Just go on and read it, and say, just like I did: 'Holly Buchanan, you're so right'.

1 comment:

  1. You can't really say what is beautiful about a place, but the image of the place will remain vividly with you. YouTube Comments