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Read all you want for less than the cost of a single book: Kindle Unlimited

KindleUnlimitedOne thing that’s always bothered me about ebooks is that on Amazon, they’re nearly as expensive, and sometimes more expensive than buying a printed book. “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” will cost you $19.99 as an ebook but only $23.95 in hardcover. Maybe that’s part of the reason people haven’t abandoned print books altogether.

To combat the cover price problem, Amazon has launched Kindle Unlimited. For only $9.99 a month, you can read as many of the available 600,000 books as you can squeeze in. You can even listen to the audio versions.

I have to say it. . . it’s Netflix of books. I dig it.

B2B: Too much emphasis on the deal, not enough on relationships

DatingGameB2B is a lot like dating. You find someone with similar interests, ask them to join you for coffee. You talk about yourself and you ask questions about them. You find out their desires and life goals and if all goes well you see each other again. And then the deal making process starts. I’ll cook you dinner if you take me to the movies. I’ll go to your cousin’s wedding if you go to Comic-con with me.

Forrester Research says that many B2B marketers need to brush up on their courting skills if they want to enter into a long-term relationship.

Business Marketing Association Chair Steve Liguori says,

LinkedIn members are unique, driven and big spenders. . . or so they say

LinkedIn ReportLinkedIn just published a new study about harnessing the power professional consumers or “prosumers” as they call them. Without even looking at the numbers I can tell you that LinkedIn members have more buying power. It’s a networking site for people who are serious about whatever their business is, so chances are they have more discretionary income and a desire to advance – both professionally and personally.

What surprises me is LinkedIn’s choice of opening and closing graphics for their report. It’s a group of cavorting college students. The girls are all riding on the back of the boys and everyone is laughing.

Is this really LinkedIn’s audience? Shouldn’t we see people at work, at a conference. . . girls not riding on a guy’s back?

Retailers believe in online marketing, so why are they still spending offline?

RetailMeNot contacted 200 marketing decision-makers at retailers that sell both online and in physical retail locations and have at least $50 million in annual revenue to find out how they feel about digital advertising.

75% said they believe that digital delivers a higher return on investment than offline advertising. They believe it, but they’re not putting their marketing money where their mouth is.

Digital spend

Looking at the total marketing budget, 51% is going to the digital side, 49% to offline. Why? Old habits and a lack of confidence. Only 27% of those surveyed thought of themselves as advanced digital marketers. Only 19% said they thought their current multi-channel approach was effective. Which means a whole lot of marketers think they could be doing better if they tried harder or had more training.

Average LinkedIn pro spends 8 hours consuming work-related content

LinkedIn consumptionLinkedIn surveyed 2,700 members and asked them questions about content consumption. What they discovered is that on average, their members spend 1 full workday (or more accurately, 8 hours over the course of a week) consuming professionally relevant content.

As a percentage of all the content they consume, 41% is work-related, 30% is news and only 29% is entertainment based. What’s even more interesting is that 65% said they were consuming more professional content than ever before.

If you’re in the business-to-business business, are you posting content on LinkedIn? I think it’s one of the most underused social networking platforms so you might be missing out.

If you haven’t tried it yet, here are a few points to think about:

Linkedin key needs

Planning a vacation: value trumps loyalty and search engines rule

Booking a vacation used to be a job for a qualified professional, but now everyone’s a travel agent thanks to sites like Kayak, Orbitz and Expedia. But online booking sites come in second to the good old, everyday search engine.

The Great American Vacation Study: How Travelers Seek, Shop and Save,” from parago takes an in-depth look at how Americans are planning their leisure travel and I think there’s a lot to learn here – even if you’re not specifically in the travel industry.

It starts with a big number. 90% of the people who responded said they travel for leisure at least once a year. 82% of women and 74% of men always or almost always plan the trip themselves. I don’t know if that speaks to the ease of online bookings or a rise in our need to control all things.

Digital NewFronts: Microsoft makes Xbox movies and Yahoo plans to travel

DCNF_logo_square_2014“We’re at a critical moment for video consumption.” @marissamayer #Newfronts pic.twitter.com/vDXiP9Doa0

“People spend more time looking at their phone screen than their TV screen, and that’s what we’re excited about” -@peretti. #NewFronts

Levin: everything we create will be smart, creative, disruptive. We’re already a content company (ref to games) #newfronts

It’s time for the 2014 Digital NewFronts in New York City. Based on the TV UpFronts, where the networks whoo advertisers with delicious teases about their upcoming season, the digital NewFronts are all about selling advertising online.

Yesterday, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Microsoft and Yahoo took the stage with their presentations giving us all a peek into the future of online – here’s a hint “video” and ads that look like content.