I want to talk about a new book called Dot Boom. But I must make a full disclosure first. The book is by David Weigelt and Jonathan Boehman, founders of the online ad agency, Immersion Active. Immersion Active is the sponsor of the Ageless Marketing blog.
But wait. There is more. The theoretical foundation of Dot Boom is my own book Ageless Marketing. So, the question is, under these circumstances how could I be a neutral book reviewer? I guess the answer is I cannot be. However, that doesn’t have to nullify everything I might say about Dot Boom. It might simply alert you to give my words a bit more scrutiny than you might otherwise give a book review. Fair enough?
First, because Immersion Active concentrates exclusively on online marketing to boomers and older customers, one might be tempted to pass up this book. However, the underlying principles set forth in Dot Boom apply to markets in general, regardless of age. In other words, Dot Boom is really a book about ageless marketing.
I want to focus most on what I think is Dot Boom’s most noteworthy contribution to marketing theory – What Weigelt and Boehman call “Meaningful Online Engagement.” The sources of Internet user metrics are many, but Weigelt and Boehman introduce a new concept which by my lights is ultimately the most important metric of all: how many users get meaningfully involved in a website or online campaign? Page views, click-through counts and even transactions don’t make that determination.
The Immersion Active team has developed a scoring system that can be used in advance of launching a campaign or new website that will predict the likely extent of meaningful online engagement. You can try out the scoring system here.
What is meaningful online engagement (MOE)? First it is a holistic measure of users’ interest in an online experience. Typical metric systems tend to reflect a bias toward one category of data or another. MOE data combine to present a whole picture. Instead of just quantitatively reflecting a user’s level of engagement MOE data adds a qualitative dimension by taking into account influences on online behavior that do not originate within a website owner’s environment .
For example, a user may visit a site on because someone she trusts recommended that her readers check out the site. Further investigation might reveal that the blogger has influenced many people to visit various sites. Bingo! The marketer now has a new avenue to recruit sales leads.
Weigelt and Boehman boldly offer readers a new definition of marketing that makes more sense to me than the one adopted by the American Marketing Association in 2007. I might comment that AMA periodically changes the definition of marketing, but each new definition seems to have come out of the minds of a committee of academics. Weigelt’s and Boehman’s definition of marketing is straightforward: The exchange of information within a topic.
That definition of marketing comports with a growing trend to view business and all its transactional elements in terms of ecosystems. Flora and fauna in natural ecosystems, for example, exchange information in many ways on a continuing basis. They sell themselves in ways that should make a denizen of Madison Avenue envious. Ecosystems are characterized by an intricate system of networks that reflect complex interdependencies between participant in the ecosystem. Weigelt and Boehman chart out markets in similar fashion and propose a system of metrics to assess interest and activity levels among participants in the marketing ecosystems they design for clients.
Dot Boom is definitely reflects the cutting edge of marketing. There is no reason not to click on the book cover in the left column and read it.