A thin volume that might serve as a quick reference and introduction to marketing terms for Web initiates, but there’s not...

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Loveable Marketing Campaigns

HOW TO RUN A HOLISTIC MARKETING CAMPAIGN

This slim primer offers basic tips on digital marketing via the Internet, social media and specialized software called HubSpot.

Marketing might call to mind distinctly unlovable commercials featuring postnasal drip, dandruff, stomach ailments, exterminators and pushy auto salesmen. However, Bodnarchuk, who runs a marketing firm in Toronto called N5R, takes the edge off the M-word, touting lovable marketing as an approach that will make people respond to pitches “time and time again.” In this quick read, made quicker by copious diagrams, graphics and extra-large font, the author walks readers through the basics of digital marketing. Elementary steps include developing a marketing offer to lure visitors to websites; capturing their information, including email addresses; analyzing response rates; and qualifying sales leads, among other tasks. He gives little detail on any particular point, though, so the book tends to come off as a marketing glossary and sales pitch for N5R rather than a how-to guide for readers who’d like to launch their own Internet campaigns. For instance, for those suffering from a low click-through rate, Bodnarchuk recommends calls to action—freebies offered on a website in exchange for contact info—to “make your offer more compelling.” Yet he doesn’t give any suggestions as to how. Similarly, he notes that “one of the best things you can do to capture readers’ attention…is to write an awesome blog title.” He’s silent on the tricky business of writing awesome blog titles, however, providing neither examples of bad ones nor suggestions for good ones. Elsewhere, he merely advises readers to call or visit N5R to get the job done. Like any good salesman, Bodnarchuk is prone to hyperbole, often punctuating his advice with wow words like “Awesome,” though the enthusiasm isn’t quite as catchy on the printed page as it might be in person or on the phone. The flashy, full-color presentation is impressive, but a few of the blurry screenshots are barely legible, and the illustrations sometimes cramp the page. Additionally, two succeeding pages repeat the same text word for word.

A thin volume that might serve as a quick reference and introduction to marketing terms for Web initiates, but there’s not much deep insight beyond the basics.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1480217508

Page Count: 72

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2013

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to...

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CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

A French academic serves up a long, rigorous critique, dense with historical data, of American-style predatory capitalism—and offers remedies that Karl Marx might applaud.

Economist Piketty considers capital, in the monetary sense, from the vantage of what he considers the capital of the world, namely Paris; at times, his discussions of how capital works, and especially public capital, befit Locke-ian France and not Hobbesian America, a source of some controversy in the wide discussion surrounding his book. At heart, though, his argument turns on well-founded economic principles, notably r > g, meaning that the “rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the growth rate of the economy,” in Piketty’s gloss. It logically follows that when such conditions prevail, then wealth will accumulate in a few hands faster than it can be broadly distributed. By the author’s reckoning, the United States is one of the leading nations in the “high inequality” camp, though it was not always so. In the colonial era, Piketty likens the inequality quotient in New England to be about that of Scandinavia today, with few abject poor and few mega-rich. The difference is that the rich now—who are mostly the “supermanagers” of business rather than the “superstars” of sports and entertainment—have surrounded themselves with political shields that keep them safe from the specter of paying more in taxes and adding to the fund of public wealth. The author’s data is unassailable. His policy recommendations are considerably more controversial, including his call for a global tax on wealth. From start to finish, the discussion is written in plainspoken prose that, though punctuated by formulas, also draws on a wide range of cultural references.

Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to work explaining the most complex of ideas, foremost among them the fact that economic inequality is at an all-time high—and is only bound to grow worse.

Pub Date: March 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-674-43000-6

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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