Required Reading
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Accenture's newest release, The Ultimate CRM Handbook: Strategies and Concepts for Building Enduring Customer Loyalty and Profitability, aims to be a tool for senior executives who are looking to improve their brand value. Edited by John Freeland, who is a managing partner of Accenture's CRM practice and a member of its executive committee, the handbook touts three main principals for CRM success: Customer experience creates brand value; customer feedback should dictate customer treatment; and pragmatism should guide how a CRM program is implemented. "Our goal is to help companies make their CRM initiatives pay off by offering our experience and showing that when properly conceived and executed, these programs can create exceptional economic value," Freeland writes.

Going over budget is never good for any business, especially for small businesses trying to carve a piece of the market. Amacom has released a book designed to help the small e-business manage its assets. E-Business the Smart Way, by Drew Lehman, coowner of DigitaEye Designs, is light on technical jargon and heavy on information to help with evaluating hosting options and setting up income strategies, security, antifraud measures, and marketing tactics.

Also from Amacom is Brand Aid, by Brad VanAuken, president of BrandForward. Brand Aid is a reference guide to what the author calls the 40 most-pressing problems facing brand managers. The book includes 17 checklists to help track brand management efforts, and covers such topics as researching, positioning, and advertising your brand; legal issues involved in brand management; and creating a brand-building organization. www.amacombooks.org

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