I don't use the word 'unique' frivolously. So when I apply it in a review of Return on Engagement I am saying that this book occupies a distinct place in the flood of recent books about social media, Web 2.0, and related topics. It explores territories and fields that are increasingly overlapping and merging thanks to the effects of digital technology.
For marketers like me, Return on Engagement provides the technical grounding that is necessary to a solid understanding of how today's newer, more interactive media actually work, and how to achieve higher ROI on dollars that are invested in marketing and promotional budgets. For those on the tech side, like programmers, and for people who have been trained as graphic designers, the book provides a good understanding of marketing, without which these more technical people will not be able to provide services and products that do the job for consumers and B2B clients.
To quote from the book's preface, "The past half-dozen years or so have imparted countless new challenges that blur the lines between business goals, design standards, marketing objectives and technology requirements. Web designers are in a unique position to play the role of user advocate, but to do so credibly requires designers to understand business language and inform themselves about goals, strategy and metrics. The reverse is true as well. Although business strategists and marketers may not need to know how to create an iPhone app from scratch, they do need to understand emerging tools and technologies that will help them communicate better, reach more people and build communities around their brand." That really says it all.
I am excited to have a resource that explains the underlying technologies of the social Web in language that I can understand and in terms that help me connect the dots between what I want to do and where I want to go and the paths that will get me there. This is one of the most useful books that I've discovered this year and I cannot recommend it highly enough if you also seek a broader understanding of the ways in which digital technology is reshaping the world.
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