You might have noticed that the SavvyB2Bmarketing.com blog is a labor of love. People often ask me if I can monetize the fruits of my efforts on this blog. I can’t. I wouldn’t even try because that isn’t what I went into it hoping for. What I can say is if you want to be sent lots of free business books then blogging is a great way to acquire more than you can possibly handle Publishers like to send their books to bloggers in hopes they will be reviewed, promoted and exalted. I skim everything I get but I really only read about 25% of what I get sent. I try to find homes for the others with more appropriate readers.
Last month I received a gem. The Book of Business Awesome / UnAwesome by Scott Stratten arrived in the mail just as I was heading out to take my daughter to her tutoring session at a local library. I figured I would skim it for the first 15 minutes of the session and then I would be in a great place to find something better to read. I read this book for the whole hour. The book is really two books in one. Half the book highlights businesses who succeed in engaging customers and employees and then on the flip side it highlights those who have made the big blunders. The chapters are short but they back a punch because they get right to the point. Instead of wasting a lot of ink with rambling back stories Stratten give you just enough to set the scene and then gets to the heart of the Wow or Flop of each example.
One of my favorite chapters on the “UnAwesome” side includes the following excerpt:
Chapter 13 - Kids Don’t Play in Crappy Playgrounds
Numbers give you only half the story.
I was doing a webinar for the apartment managers industry when I realized data can be dangerous. A person listening took issue with my suggestion that Facebook was a great place to create a virtual community for people living within their properties. She quoted a statistic about how unsuccessful industry Facebook pages had been in the past. She had taken the data and come to the conclusion that focusing on Facebook was entirely a waste of time for apartment managers.
This assumption could not be more wrong. Let me explain why.
Let’s say 20 properties in her city all had playgrounds on their properties. The playgrounds included one rock, a broken bottle and a dead bird. If you surveyed those apartment dwellers, data would show that nobody used the playgrounds. Ever. We could take that information and conclude, as the women had, that there is no reason to add a playground to your new apartment complex. After all, no one would be using it anyway.
The reality is, it’s not that apartment complexes don’t need playgrounds. The conclusion should be that kids don’t play in crappy playgrounds, rather than make it as simple as taking the data and drawing a conclusion about playgrounds, or Facebook pages, in general. We need to look at the quality of these and the why behind lack of use.
Honestly the book is worth its purchase price ($24.95 US) simply just for the new acronyms you need to learn before everyone is using them on Twitter and you are baffled. My favorite was FUCC and its nearest cousin the Double FUCC’ed. If you don’t know this acronym I will give you a clue. One of the examples in the books of FUCCing is “Tweeting someone about your Facebook fan page as soon as that person follows you on Twitter.” Stratten suggests this is like “shaking someone’s hand at a networking even and then asking if he or she wants to go to another event down the street.”
Just so you don't think I only read the “unAwesome” side of the book I will give you brief example of the Awesome side as well. Chapter 7 - I Think Geeks Rule begins with “Your online front line, the people who are emailed and chatted with every day about problems, can save your brand and reputation on a daily basis”. He goes on to share an actual customer service online chat experience he had with ThinkGeek.com. I personally have a love/hate relationship with companies that offer a “chat with a rep now” button on their website but if I got more Awesome responses like Stratten shares here I would probably feel more positively about them. Lets face it most the time even mediocre customer service seems stellar these days!
Perhaps the most awesome thing about Scott Stratten and his publisher is that when I contacted them to say I actually read and liked their book and would be featuring it on the blog they sent me an extra copy to give away.
So give me an example below in comments of something Awesome or UnAwesome you have experienced as a customer or employee and you will be entered into a drawing for a copy of the book I will give away 9/30/2012!