Beach Reading For The Mutual Fund, ETF Marketer

Who cares if the pages get a little soggy? 

Life is good for the mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) digital marketer who finally gets some time on the beach this summer (or on a gently rocking boat) to catch up on the latest ebooks. For your reading pleasure, here’s a guide to the best of what I’ve been downloading lately.

Go Mobile Or Stand Still

While the take-no-prisoners tone of We Are Social’s Social Brands: The Future of Marketing amuses throughout, this ebook is especially strong and relevant on the subject of mobile. 

It elaborates on five suggestions for “better mobile marketing:” 

  1. Deliver value: utility, entertainment, or social interaction.
  2. Harness mobile context: tailor experiences to the different situations in which people engage.
  3. Streamline the experience: adapt content for a range of different devices and connection speeds.
  4. Make it portable: enable people to continue their experience across devices, especially when sharing things.
  5. Offer varying depths of immersion: e.g., for people with a 30-second work break or with a 30-minute commute. 

Yes, there's a lot more to be done for mobile users by brands, including by asset management firms.

Heavily illustrated, these 127 pages are a fast, provocative read.

Hey Now, No Need To Choke Any Throats

The Marketer: “The site is too slow.”

The IT Guy: “It’s not that the site is slow...but we do have a performance issue.”


If you as a marketer are stumped about what to say next when the conversation heads in this direction, then Limelight Networks’ 103-page “Optimizing The Digital Experience” is for you.

The ebook itself says it’s written for IT staff and leaders, of whom expectations have evolved as more of business has become digital. While IT’s previous job may have consisted of building, managing and integrating content and Web tools, IT is increasingly expected to focus on user experience, this paper says.

“Because digital is becoming such an important part of the business, IT managers are required to think about the end user experience like never before. So when it breaks, you fix it," according to the ebook.

"But is being a firefighter putting focus on performance? Is fixing things when they break a strategy?”

Spoiler alert: No, the break/fix model is not a strategy for managing a technology ecosystem with both external-facing (e.g., Websites) and internal-facing (CRM) digital elements.

While some of the ebook will be of greater value to your IT partners, a chunk of it is a must-read for the digital marketer who realizes he or she needs to be more conversant. You will get a lot out of the first three chapters, which describe the elements of digital performance and the importance of establishing key performance indicators (KPIs). Check out the list of performance testing tools on page 47.

Bored At Work? You Won't Be For Long

KMPG’s Investing in the Future is a sweeping forecast of how the whole of the asset management industry will transform by 2030.

You can see the implications for marketers in just this statement alone: “The industry will have to capture new customers far earlier and keep them longer, by offering products tailored to a younger, less affluent and potentially less financially literate market.”

Oh and then there’s this line, too: “The industry will need to radically change its value proposition to remain relevant in 2030.”

Demographics, technology, environmental consciousness and social values, behavior and ethics all will conspire to shake things up in the coming years, according to KMPG. It takes 80 pages to make its case, and concludes with the top 10 questions for firms to consider.

A beverage with an umbrella might help the medicine go down.

Sales & Marketing 2014

Unlike some of the other ebooks, revenue + associates’ Modern Sales and Marketing Best Practices isn’t going to dazzle you with its layout and graphics. It takes an editorial approach to presenting 10 conversations with leaders including people you likely recognize: HubSpot’s Mike Volpe, MarketingProfs’ Ann Handley and ion interactive’s Scott Brinker.

It’s all relevant and useful, thanks to good questions from Louis Gudema, revenue + associates’ president.

This ebook is freshest on the subject of Sales, specifically social selling, in the interviews with Zorian Rotenberg, Jill Rowley and Nigel Edelshain. They get into some interesting detail.

How To Succeed On LinkedIn

The LinkedIn ebook factory has produced quite a few documents this year. Here are two that you don’t want to miss.

1. The 2014 Professional Content Consumption Report, which LinkedIn bills as “a deep dive into the top content-consuming members on LinkedIn and how marketers can connect with them.” Production of this piece comes at a time when LinkedIn is pedal to the metal on building out its content publishing platform. 

One factoid to bear in mind as you’re preparing your LinkedIn company page updates: The content needs to be mobile-friendly. In Q1 2014, an average of 43% of unique visiting LinkedIn members came through mobile.

2. Way back in March, LinkedIn presented the idea of a content marketing score as a means of providing companies insight into the impact of content shared or otherwise interacted with on LinkedIn. A ranking of trending content also was introduced, and the content marketing score + trending content became the inspiration for The Dynamic Duo ebook.

As is strangely worded in the video above at 0:11, LinkedIn recognizes that “there may be questions about your content marketing. Questions surrounding your content marketing and how to make it most effective could be causing shadows over your strategy...”

The two enhancements should help brand marketers tune their efforts—or, as the video says, "eradicate uncertainty."

I’d be more enthusiastic if these analytics were made available to every company that took the time to contribute content that enriches LinkedIn’s platform. Unfortunately, both resources are available for customers with a LinkedIn account representative (advertisers with at least $25,000 to spend per quarter, in other words).

Have you downloaded any ebooks you recommend? Before you head to the beach or boat, please suggest them below.