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Best New Thinking Winner 2010

Bookshop – Relationship Marketing

 

The Magic of Dialogue, Daniel Yankelovith 1999 NB
I picked the hardcopy of this up in a remainder bookshop for £4. Bargain. Now the way this book starts I was a little worried that it would turn into a consultant's perspective of how to be fluffy and caring and an active listener. What Yankelovitch sets out to do is to show what real dialogue is, what it isn't and how to achieve it. But if you persist it gets a lot better. Yankelovitch has built a consultancy by getting people to talk to each other and listen to each other. His most radical proposal is how to get politicians to dialogue with the electorate using TV. But this isn't flaky but well thought out. I read it because I was interested in the possibilities of real CRM where the brand has something genuine to say and is genuinely capable of listening and learning - unlike virtually every CRM programme I know. I also thought it would be relevant in thinking about moderating research where frankly there is no dialogue - it is usually a 1 way gathering of insights. This book is full of ideas how both could be done better. Recommended.
 
 
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Hug your customers, Jack Mitchell 2003 Hyperion
John Ayton of Links of London got me to read this one in connection with a project. This is one of that genre of enthusiastic customer service books which can get right to the issue or get right up your nose. This one has all the trappings of the former but I can confidently report falls into the latter category. Mitchells is a family run business which runs 2 clothing stores which between them turn over $65 million a year. No really and one of the stores is in their home town. And its all down to hugging your customers. Now before you stampede for the exits I'd point out that the store was started in 1958 so has a 45 year track record, it is still a family owned and run business. So this isn't one of those slick formula books. This lot have had time to work out a system of customer service. This is more than theory and a couple of boom years. Also the book hasn't been dashed off. It is laid out with sections on how to motivate staff, IT support, coping with peak times, ROI calculations and coping with mistakes. Every section has a precis of the main points. Its an easy read with lots of anecdotes and examples of over the top customer care. The best customer service book I have read since The Richer Way which you will also find in the Retail section of the bookshop. Just don't get too upset when the author "hugs" (thanks) his brother, his brothers sons, his mom, his dad...
 
 
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Customers.com, Patricia B. Seybold 1998 Random House
Customers.com is one of the longest promotional leaflets you will ever read. It's also one of the best. Whenever I pick up a brief for a CRM job this is the book I take off the shelf for a refresher. It is a complete overview of how to use the internet to rebuild a business around your customers. Copiously researched, heavily bullet pointed this is as comprehensive and accessible as you could wish for. Keep an eye on the publication date. There are a couple of different versions out there. Our Patricia's in the habit of changing the case studies and keeping the rest of the content the same and sending it off to the publishers again. If you work in CRM you'll already be plagiarising this book. If you're a client you can always hire her or go on one of her stateside seminars. For everyone there is a bonus - the customers.com website where you can download white papers and all kinds of goodies like customer dashboards and the like. Very good value.
 
 
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Smart Customers, Ros Jay 1999 Capstone
I read this as a bit of a refresher when I started work on a CRM project. It's a very accessible and provocative introduction to identifying customer needs. The section on learning from customer complaints is particularly good. The Smart series cover all sorts of topics with lots of inset Killer questions and Smart Quotes. Recommended if you want something basic.
 
 
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All consumers are not equal, Garth Hallberg 1995 Wiley
This came out of a massive project that Ogilvy and Mather went through in the early 90s to capture strategic thinking across a whole range of different markets. It is based on the 80/20 rule: 20 percent of your customers account for 80% of your profits. And it uses retail panel data to prove it. So cancel your advertising, identify your most valuable customers, write to them and save a bundle. Lots of backup data. A really provoking read.
 
 
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The One to One Future, Don Peppers Martha Rogers 1993 Piatkus Books
The definitive work on relationship marketing which I just finished. All about share of customer over share of market. The most extraordinary thing about this book is the publication date i.e before the internet was a usable marketing medium. Though it is a timely reminder that you don't need the internet to do one to one marketing. And also that there are still far too many companies who have the ability to market one to one but who choose to manage their customers as if they were a mass market audience. It is really a classic but has been overtaken by events and Seth Godin who has improved upon it in Permission Marketing (in the classics section)
 
 
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Dear Personalised, Tom Rayfield 1992 J Walter Thompson
This is funny and serious at the same time. Tom Rayfield kept a note of all the junk he got mailed in a year. Amazing and hilarious. Entered free in the same prize draw 17 times in a slew of different mailing for example. If you like this you will also enjoy Dear Sir or Madam when he bothers to write back. You will probably have to blag JWT for this one direct.
 
 

 

See also Permission Marketing in Classics section

 

 


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