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January Book of the Month...

Posted on: Jan 6, 2009 @ 1:16:23 pm

Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why It Matters
by Bill Tancer

Every day millions of Americans enter keywords into search engines, visit social networking sites, surf their favorite blogs and news sites, and otherwise click and mouse their way through the online world. If one could capture all this clicking and tapping, the collective data would be a marketer’s dream--essentially a bird's eye view of our interests and inclinations, our hopes and dreams, our fears and insecurities. As the general manager of research at the online competitive intelligence firm Hitwise, author Bill Tancer does just that.

As one of the leading online market research analysts, Tancer is frequently invited to speak at conferences and to appear on radio and television programs, and is the author of "The Science of Search" column at Time.com. In Click, Tancer explains how collective online search data can help us "compile an ever clearer picture of who we are and what exactly is on our minds." Sometimes the data merely confirms what we already know--that many Americans seem to be obsessed with porn, pills, gambling, and the cult of celebrity. On the other hand, sometimes the data reveals unexpected consumer behaviors or can help analysts to predict new trends, the winners of reality TV shows, or the results of elections.

From a business standpoint, all of this matters, Tancer explains, because "having a view into the feedback loop is invaluable" and "understanding how we change will be paramount to businesses' success, as they adapt to the market and serve its evolving needs." Such concerns are especially relevant for the hospitality industry, where consumers' means of booking a trip, reserving a hotel room, or choosing a restaurant continues to evolve alongside rapidly changing technologies and societal expectations. If you want to know more about your customers, you could begin by better understanding their online behaviors. "After all," Tancer writes, "we are what we click."

You can find Click in our Rosen Library Browsing Collection. Or you can "click" into our Library Catalog to check availability or to place a hold. If you have any questions, please Ask a Rosen Librarian.

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