10/16/2013 05:15 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Book Review: The Science Of Marketing by Dan Zarrella

The Science Of Marketing: When to Tweet, What to Post, How to Blog, and Other Proven Strategies by Dan Zarrella, Hoboken: John Wiley & Songs Inc., 2013. 194 pages.


Ninjas. Gurus. Unicorns.

If you are dedicating even an hour or two per week to building your marketing acumen using books, conferences or the incredible World Wide Web, you probably often encounter these mystical and mythical creatures. "Be awesome," they tell us as they encourage us to "join in the conversation."

Thanks, guys. I'm totally into it and, lucky for me, I get my company's brand and possess a measure of social intelligence. I am, however, also responsible for generating ROI on a sizeable marketing spend and really need to make sure that those marketing dollars are generating new opportunities for the company -- that is "being awesome" in the eyes of those who sign my paycheck. I still need to report on, you know, facts and data and stuff.

2013-10-16-LetDataGuideYourMarketingDecisions.pngThe first slide (pictured at right and used with permission) onscreen for Dan Zarrella's "The Science of Inbound" presentation I attended back on August 20 of this year made it clear that his message was for the marketer who is in the same boat. Nobody who is doing a good job in marketing seeks to reduce their interactions with prospects, customers or any other humans to a formula but surely we can all admit we would like to work as smartly and effectively as possible.

This book shares findings that are meant to help the reader do just that: get better results from their work. The actionable tips are pulled from massive datasets, in some cases millions of lines in size and from across a variety of industries.

Marketers who work mainly via the Internet, especially those working a lead generation-type strategy will find enormous value in reading the sometimes small, sometimes not-so-small tweaks they can make to enjoy greater results from their content marketing, social media as well as SEO and email efforts.

Let's leave it to the reviewers on Amazon to debate the scientific nature of Zarrella's methods and reporting. The correlations and findings that are presented in this book point to changes that marketers can implement right away in their search and email campaigns, social engagement or blog content, (mostly at no cost) and then begin tinkering away at improving. This book helps harmonize the marketers' drive to connect people with their brand in a meaningful way with the very real pressure to deliver measurable results. Zarrella's scientific approach is in no way meant to make robots of us all; on the contrary, all of his science is meant to help propel and conduct our best work to the eyes and ears of those with whom it will best connect.

I cannot help but still think that this book's subtitle (When to Tweet, What to Post, How to Blog...) might be a bit tongue-in-cheek, or perhaps it's just well-targeted to people who "get" what the book has to offer. The content of this book will assist willing readers as they work to ever refine their digital and online marketing efforts now that the ability to measure those efforts is so accessible for us all.

The pace at which digital marketing tactics fall in and out of effectiveness is incredible and it follows that the metrics in this book will be subject to change over time -- heck, some of them may be outdated by the time you read this! As with so many other resources of its ilk, however, this book should inspire you to test your assumptions. Then re-work, test again and repeat.

This review originally appeared on the 360incentives blog.

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