I suppose it’s no secret that, in addition to online marketing and e-commerce, I’m a fan of two things:
Of course, there are those who love baseball as much for its data as for its design, so I suppose the overlap isn’t entirely shocking. As Kevin Costner’s character, Billy Chapel, asserts in “For Love of the Game” during the film’s “meet cute”:
Jane Aubrey: Do you lose very much?
Billy Chapel: I lose. I’ve lost 134 times.
Jane Aubrey: You count them?
Billy Chapel: We count everything.
Admittedly, the movie is the weakest entry in Costner’s baseball trilogy, but still, it’s a great line.
I know, you’re saying, what exactly does this have to do with marketing? Or Kevin Hillstrom’s book, “Online Marketing Simulations: The Definitive Methodology For Predicting The Future Of Your Online Business”. Well, a lot, actually.
You see, just like Billy Chapel’s baseball fanatics, Hillstrom counts everything. But even better, he pulls those things apart to see which data matters to your business. And best of all, he uses this book to tell you how to do the same thing for your business.
Now, I’m not going to sugar coat this. “Online Marketing Simulations” is not light reading before bedtime. Nope. You’re going to want to read this one sitting upright at your desk, preferably with a spreadsheet and as much business data as you can get your hands on within easy reach. Hillstrom has packed this book with pages of formulas (and even more pages—in an appendix—of computer code) describing how to interpret your business’s information. But—and this is the key point—it’s all usable, in the real-world, today, to help you understand your business and focus on what drives your growth.
That’s not to say the book is boring. In fact, it’s fascinating. And it’s not a difficult read. It’s only challenging in the sense that you need to think as much as read your way through the text.
Hillstrom is a very good writer, as evidenced by his excellent blog. Like the flame-throwing Billy Chapel, Hillstrom is firing bullets in this book, dead on target and deadly to sloppy thinking. Don’t expect you’re going to spend much time laughing out loud during this read. Still, if you’re willing to put the lessons in the book to use, you might be laughing all the way to the bank.
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