Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Fitbit
Profile for Viv Craske > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Viv Craske
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,088,164
Helpful Votes: 3

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Viv Craske "Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategist" (Brighton, UK)

Page: 1
Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation
Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation
by James McQuivey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect intro, 19 Jan. 2017
The perfect intro into the forces driving digital disruption today. While this book covers a broad range of industries, this book Surviving Digital Disruption: The 7-Step Digital Marketing Strategy To Futureproof Your Brand On The High Street And Online delves into disruption in the food and retail industries. Get McQuivey's book if you want a primer for you or your team.

The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality & Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything
The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality & Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything
by Robert Scoble
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.74

5.0 out of 5 stars You need this primer on the future, 27 Dec. 2016
We all know digital disruption is happening fast. And because no one walks around wearing AR glasses yet, it might seem that this book is a specialist interest title. But it's essential reading if you're in business, interested in tech or society and social change. The changes that AR and VR will bring, argue Scoble and Israel, will be huge. And the speed of technological adoption will happen in less than 10 years, probably quicker.

The authors argue that these technologies will be so disruptive because they will have so many applications, they are a highly social technology, and they will free our hands from tiny screens. Before reading the book, these predictions seem unlikely. But Scoble and Israel's argument is so well researched, so informed and so well considered, you'll be left in no doubt that VR and AR are the (very near) future, and that you need to get this primer immediately.

Break the Blame Trap: Stop thinking like a victim and reclaim your power in conflict
Break the Blame Trap: Stop thinking like a victim and reclaim your power in conflict
Price: £3.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Take control of your life, 2 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For anyone who wants to take responsibility in their life and feel more in control. An epic book from a great therapist, thinker and trainer.

Physis Advanced Probiotics 50 Billion Viable Bacterial Strains Daily
Physis Advanced Probiotics 50 Billion Viable Bacterial Strains Daily
Offered by Physis Ltd
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite probiotic. The best I've tested to maintain my ..., 29 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My favourite probiotic. The best I've tested to maintain my health. With the microbiome-gut-brain link becoming clearer, the high concentration of this selection of 50 billion bacterial strains makes a lot of sense. And while I can't prove it, when I take these every day, I feel better in my body and mind.

Lethal Generosity: Contextual Technology & the Competitive Edge
Lethal Generosity: Contextual Technology & the Competitive Edge
by Shel Israel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Old-fashioned customer service inherited for a Millennial world, 21 Sept. 2015
What happens when you introduce digital natives to good old-fashioned customer service using technology that can spread good news and bad news much further than a handful of friends and family?

The beautifully told stories in Shel Israel’s latest book answer this question.

My Dad ran a local grocery store in the 1940s in Cornwall. Back then, customer service was everything. To me, it seems like a magical time, before the birth of the modern supermarket in the UK, before the power of TV advertising and before the power of branded products.

And marketing, of course, was much simpler.

The path to purchase used to be easy. You advertised your product to the widest possible audience, and reminded them in store by having it displayed on the shelf. The local shopkeeper bought what he thought were the best products for his shoppers, and what they asked him for.

Biscuits came in large tins and sweets in glass jars, to be weighed and sold in paper bags – gob-stoppers for a penny and chews four for a penny. Dad’s general store was opposite the village school and sold a lot of sweets.

They offered whatever services the local community needed. Dad sold weekly newspapers and magazines and comics, but also paraffin for stoves, filling from the tank out the back. Brake pads and new tyres were fitted onto bikes, along with chains that had come off their cogs, all for a small charge (and sometimes free to kids). They took in shoe repairs, collected by repairers from the town and returned a week later.

The best example of customer service Dad talks about is his approach to presents. He bought in possible birthday and Christmas presents, as well as cards, with his individual customers in mind. He knew what his customers and their families liked and he made sure he had something suitable in stock as their key calendar dates approached. At Christmas, Dad and his wife made and decorated his own Christmas cakes, and in season, bottled peaches in syrup.

Talking to my Dad, two key themes come thru. 1. A ‘smell what sells’ approach, and 2. A strong desire to serve the local community – both because it make good business sense, but also because they were an integral part of the local community and who doesn’t like helping out their friends and neighbours?

My Dad’s experience seems a million miles away from self-checkout stores in the supermarket, fast food chains on every street, and global brands aggressively protecting patents and creating tax havens.

Shel Israel’s book is not just about great customer service in a digital age. It’s about a coming together of technology and a digitally-enabled demographic, which not only allows good products to spread faster than ever, but also have enabled new business models to disseminate and topple established players. The winners in this new ‘digital plus physical’ world are the businesses that use technology to smooth the path to purchase and delivery kindness and consumer value in such a powerful and targeted way, that this generosity kills the competition.

Business which don’t understand this may use the same social and digital channels to talk to consumers, but they talk down to them. They don’t see them as equals and they don’t’ realise the value of word of mouth down right can compete with expensive ad campaigns. As Israel says, “This does not mean that outbound brand efforts have been rendered impotent; it does, however, argue the case that the balance of power has shifted to the customer.”

This book is a sort of sequel to Shel Israel and Robert Scoble’s ‘Age of Context’ that explored contextual marketing in a connected world of sensors and bluetooth and wi-fi and mobiles. Scoble suggested that Israel might call this book ‘Uberize Everything’, pointing to the role technology plays in creating ‘lethal generosity’ – customer service so good, and baked into every aspect of the customer experience, that it kills the competition.

But this book has value far beyond the ‘Uberize’ concept. While on the outside this book is about how technology is enabling great customer service, on the inside it’s a call to action for businesses to offer great customer service, just like my dad once did. It’s not so much ‘technology allows great customer service to happen, so why don’t we give it a spin’. It’s not even ‘why don’t we see if great customer service can differentiate our offering’. It’s much more ‘customer service is fundamental to a winning business model, because with social media and the ability to spread ratings and reviews fast and wide, there’s nowhere for the crappy businesses to hide anymore and everywhere for the great ones to blossom’.

I suspect that Shel is a technology optimist. That said, there’s an interesting tension between that optimism and reading about businesses that are killing the competition with kindness. This book describes a world I want to live in, but I wonder if lethal generosity is a near-universal model or just how one subset of companies are winning. What about companies in monopolistic markets where there is no real competition to deliver that lethal blow? What about the concept of a rising tide lifting all ships, and kindness being a force for not only killing the competition, but elevating customer service across a sector? Is there evidence for either of these happening? Shel leaves these areas largely untapped.

What’s lovely about Shel’s writing is that the book feels like a story unfolding, rather than a series of chapters with specific stories and case studies. Like the best business books, the insight comes from both a sentence that resonates, and from a thought triggered by a number of chapters consumed together.

Two of these key discoveries for me first occurred for me in Chapter 5, discussing how companies are using location-based technologies to offer superior customer service. Walgreens has been trialing augmented reality tablets attached to shopping carts. The tablets show the physical store with a digital overlay, mapping out clearly where products can be found. Shel says, “Compare this experience with a visit to a non-augmented competitor, where the best you can hope for when you are in a hurry to find something is a bored clerk suggesting you try aisle 5.” That was the sentence that resonated with me.

It was later when I was thinking about my own experience working with retail brands and technology that the full value of the Walgreens trial occurred to me. The previous page talks about retailers being sensitive to price comparisons. Over the last few years, many High Street retailers have shifted focus over to value – as in price. But the Walgreens example points out that there are other kinds of value that shoppers appreciate that doesn’t involve cutting prices.

Making shopping – especially grocery shopping – easier through better product navigation is a great example. Think of the major grocers? Who has a well-developed strategy to help shoppers find what they want easily? No one. Yet, as shoppers we know the value of making a large shop (or even a small shop) easier.

This ease-of-shop concept is an example of something bigger that’s echoed throughout Shel’s book – putting the shopper or customer first. Putting the customer centre stage. Sounds obvious, I know. But brands have gotten used to being centre stage and broadcasting their message to their audience. Lethal Generosity points out that that by putting what shoppers and customers want at the centre of the conversation around marketing and operations, there is a clear and powerful competitive advantage.

It’s something my Dad knew in 1940s Cornwall, fixing customers’ bikes and selecting Christmas presents for them. I’m glad Shel Israel’s Lethal Generosity is technologically optimistic, because the hope is that one day soon technology might enable the kind of customer service that people like my Dad took for granted. Sounds like a world I want to be a customer in. Because in that world, the customer really is king.

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy
Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy
by Robert Scoble
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.88

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The future will be contextualized, 24 Sept. 2013
Would you wear Google Glass? Will you buy a smartwatch? Do you own a Nike FuelBand, Jawbone or Fitbit? Then this book is made for you. For everyone else on the planet, we'll be shaped by the concepts in this book, whether we're aware of it or not. Chances are, if you're reading this, you want to be a participant in a digital contextual future, not some outsider moaning about privacy and Big Brother and the good old days before big data, so dive in!

The context of The Age Of Context is that five emerging forces - mobile, social media, data, sensors and location - and about to create sociological change that this book documents. This decade will be defined by the technology, economics and social need and willing to use these five forces to change the world.

The other context for this book is that co-author Robert Scoble is one of the lucky few to be trailing Google Glass - expected to be one of the first to market wearable tech gadgets that change out relationship with technology. Glass is written about plenty here and much of the book's genesis comes from and is, ahem, seen thru the lens of Glass.

The move from mouse and keyboard to touchscreens in our pocket; from physical music, films and documents on drives to files in the cloud... these are small steps compared to what the age of context brings.

So what does the future look like? Doctors actually talking to patients while your notes and a differential diagnosis pops up on screen. Shops that know when I'm coming, know how important a customer I am, and gives me relevant offers. Self-driving cars (yep, we're all a little freaked out about this one, but think about the advantages for the blind and disabled, say the authors). More efficient policing (and traffic lights!) based on sensors and big data. Medicines that tell your doctor when they've been taken.

The Age of Context hails a revolution that's driven by tech that can affect billions of us for better or worse. The authors, like me, are positive about the future, while addressing privacy concerns and shouts of 'Big Brother'. But it's not technology itself, but how we use our imaginations to use these five forces for good or bad that will define human progress in the next 20 years or so.

A chapter on the contextual self focuses on health sensors that can be worn or embedded in our bodies to report on changes to dozens of health metrics. A contextual age can solve the No.1 problem that many leading health sector thinkers have been discussing - how to take healthcare from a centrally located resource, based around doctors and hospitals to a patient-centric resource.

The solutions so far have been a move towards community outreach, such as asking dentists in the UK to ask patients about smoking, weight loss and healthy eating. The use of sensor-based healthcare allows for quicker and more accurate diagnosis and deployment of resources within a country's health service, but also a move towards self-diagnosis and self management. The implications of these changes should see economic savings, better allocation of health budgets, increased health, and the benefits that come with patients taking responsibility for their care through intelligent monitoring, rather than waiting for a doctor to take responsibility for patients' health.

The Age of Context is coming whether we like it or not, and whether we like Google Glass or not. It's bigger than any wearable tech, greater in impact to social media, and deserves bigger headlines than the latest iPhone launch. Robert Scoble and Shel Israel nail the topic in an experience similar to downloading a year's worth of Wired magazine onto your iPad and absorbing them in one sitting.

The single flaw with this book is a fitting one as it's a flaw arising from the context of the book. The writing style is often factual and sometimes lacks the mood, scene setting, characterisation and story telling that makes a Wired magazine feature a joy to read.

The other problem arising from the context of this book in time. Several times, companies mentioned in the book are just launching, in beta or just confirming a contract.

But these two quibbles can be overlooked because Scobles and Israel are there first, being visionaries. They won't get everything right. But someone has to write this book, and who better than forward-thinking at-the-coal-face-technophiles who are banner wavers for this new age. Let others that follow provide the meaning to the context - this book's job is to alert the world to the future.

24 Carat Bold: Claim Your Position as the Top Expert in Your Field
24 Carat Bold: Claim Your Position as the Top Expert in Your Field
by Mindy Gibbins-Klein
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seth Godin loves it, so do I..... valuable read..., 17 Oct. 2011
I'd known Mindy for a little while before I read 24 Carat Bold.... I already knew she was the go to person for entrepreneurs and business owners wanting to write a book. This book went beyond that into how to position yourself as an expert in your market with a book.

As a digital marketer, I spend the majority of my time with people wanting more customers, more money, more time... what they need is 2 things: Great marketing (that's where I come in) and great positioning (which is where Mindy comes in).

There are many things I love about this book, here's a couple.

1. Mindy points out that it's not enough to churn out some marketing around you and your business, you need to have a Constant Visibility Strategy. When I read this, it made so much sense as I'm always showing clients how you need to consistently engage your friends on Facebook and online, not just occasionally broadcast some PR messages at them like your competitors do.

2. To be precise about your positioning and create debate. Rather than agreeing with your peers and competitors, Mindy says to not be 'vanilla', but to define what you stand for and what you don't. This is something I've long done and encouraged my clients to do the same and Mindy's book really crystalised the value of this strategy.

If you're a leader in your field - or you want to be one - this book should be on your bedside table...

Page: 1