from your marketing not what you want?

Then stop TALKING at your audience and starting ENGAGING with them!

Learn how to build relationships with your audience through digital channels in Recommend This!, a timeless marketing book about the power of creating connections with people.


5-star reviews on Amazon from verified readers


Helpful illustrations and diagrams


pages jam-packed with useful information and interviews


testimonials from well-known business leaders

What's It All About?

A detailed look at relationships and how to harness their power for business growth

This book teaches marketers how to build successful relationships with early-stage buyers by creating trust and a sense of friendship. The first step is learning to understand buyer activity to gauge what they want—or might want—when they first visit an online site. Then marketers must use strategies to capture the buyer’s attention and build the relationship carefully, rather than aggressively trying to close a sale.

Authors Jason Thibeault and Kirby Wadsworth have proven themselves as innovative thought leaders, researchers, and trustworthy guides in improving revenue streams. Their book aims to show organizations the value of relationships in a digital age and a clear method for quantifying that value. It includes specific techniques, like storytelling and personalized content, which have been proven to improve conversions and engage customers.

The barriers to finding and engaging with consumers have been destroyed by the ease of clicking a mouse button or tapping on a screen. Today’s technology enables competitors to emerge seemingly overnight, and the wide range of choices consumers have today means that businesses can no longer compete solely on product. Recommend This! helps organizations take advantage of the one aspect of business that hasn’t changed—relationships. It teaches marketers the strategies they need to be successful in a digital world where forming, cultivating, and taking advantage of relationships can be difficult.

Recommend This! teaches organizations how to measure and manage relationships while offering specific strategies to create revolutionary change. It is a must read for anyone who needs to understand how digital relationships alter the way we do business.

What do readers think?

”Connections, relationships, and insight – we all need it. Jason and Kirby have fundamentally reminded us of the critical need to meet people where they are – customers, friends, loved ones, neighbors – each provides us with the opportunity to connect in a genuine way.  Technology becomes the powerful enabler, but without a roadmap we will never capitalize on our potential. Jason and Kirby offer a pragmatic, solutions oriented approach to help us drive business and personal relationships.  Story after story demonstrates that technology is not just about efficiency, it’s about relationships.“

– Jane Shannon and Sandy Brisentine, MyExecutiveSolutions

Foreword to Recommend This! by CEO and Founder of Marketo, Phil Fernandez

In Revenue Disruption, I claimed that virtually all buying processes—whether as consumers or businesspeople—begin well out of reach of traditional advertising, marketing, and sales activities. At this very early stage, buyers may have an idea about something they want, a feeling about an unmet need, a vague sense that there must be something out there to scratch an itch. Buyers search online, and begin to conduct research—whether they consciously realize they are doing so or not. They begin to scope out their options. They ask their networks of friends and connections for advice and recommendations. They latch on to helpful content, wherever they find it. And today, most often this all happens online, often anonymously, in the vast and ever-changing sea of digital and social media. In response, I introduced the term Seed Nurturing: the notion that any organization with something to sell must get to these protobuyers early on, providing useful information to mold the buyer’s process and planting the seeds for a future sale. Yet at this early stage of the revenue cycle model, it is very uncommon for a vendor to have a relationship with these protobuyers, and even if it does, it’s unlikely that the vendor knows that these early-stage buyers are considering its offerings. The organization and the buyer are strangers. But there is rich pay dirt here. If we can begin to master this early stage of the revenue cycle, our organizations have an opportunity to stand out, separate from the pack, outcompete our rivals, and drive real profitable revenue growth. To do this, we must redefine our marketing and sales process. Success is no longer about finding buyers, it’s about being found by those who might eventually value our offerings and services.

What You'll Learn

Marketers from every industry can learn how to better cultivate and grow relationships using digital channels. Recommend This! will teach you the theory behind growing your digital audiences as well as provide practical examples of engaging better with customers online.

Digital Impact on Business

Anecdotal and scientific insight into how digital is transforming business, what that means for marketing, and how it impacts the relationships that organizations have with their audiences.

The importance of relationships

How we form relationships in the real and digital world.

Measuring relationships

Tools for measuring the potential value of individual relationships, using that understanding to better segment and personalize interactions, and optimizing the organizations ability to optimize relationship value.

Relationship characteristics

A breakdown of the 9 characteristics of successful relationship building in the physical world, how they translate to the digital world.

The power of communities

Why online communities are one of the best means to engage with digital audiences, and how to take advantage of this relationship building gold.

The first thing to do is to categorize marketing efforts into short-term and long-term. Short-term marketing activities, like advertising, tie directly into conversion. Long-term marketing activities, like a whitepaper, tie into relationship building. Relationships may eventually lead to sales, but short-term conversion isn’t the primary goal. By categorizing digital marketing activities, you can better set expectations regarding specific campaigns.

Relationships are about trust. Trust is about influence. The more trust you can develop, the more influence you can extend which, in turn, can lead to more loyal customers and more sales. But if you approach relationship building from just the perspective of “what can this potential customer provide me,” you are defeating the purpose of long-term digital marketing activities like content building. We have coined a term and method called Relawatts to help you measure the potential reach and impact of your digital relationships.

As we explain in Recommend This!, long-term digital marketing is an investment in building deep and meaningful relationships with your audiences. You need to measure this differently than shorter-term digital marketing activities which are designed to convert immediately (and can be measured against such KPIs).

Who Should Read Recommend This!


Building meaningful relationships through digital channels can significantly improve long-term success of any venture.

Marketing Teams

When everyone on the marketing team is on the same page about how to effectively use digital channels, overall success is more assured.


From the CEO to the CFO, everyone on the executive leadership team needs to understand how to construct and operate an effective digital marketing strategy.

Customer Service

Front-line customer service workers need to understand how to cultivate relationships with digital audiences as they answer questions and provide support.

Amazon Reviews

Below are reviews of Recommend This! from Amazon. Click on a reviewer’s name to open the review on the Amazon website.

Recommend This opens with a demonstration of the enduring power of relationships. The authors tell a story about a local hardware store that uses empathy, curation, and community to create generations of loyal customers, willing pay a hefty premium for the experience of shopping there. It leads to an important question: How can we leverage the power of relationships, and scale it to market our enterprises in the current state of digital communications?

What follows is an entertaining and useful guide to employing storytelling, content and social media to create compelling customer experiences on a large scale. The book transitions adroitly from the theories of neuroscience, to practical steps, offering a wealth of knowledge to meet this challenge. For marketers hoping to attain the holy grail of customer loyalty and intimacy in an era of brand commoditization, this is an invaluable book.
I'm used to business/technology books that have one core thesis that you pretty much get by page 30. Then it's all filler and examples.

This book surprised me, pleasantly, by adding new ideas and concepts about the digital experience in every chapter. It's like the authors did a reboot after every chapter -- and then launched into a new idea, or technique, or approach. There's enough material in here for a couple of standard business/technology books. It really covers "digital experience" from every conceivable angle.

Another thing I liked about this book -- it's nearly future-proof in that the authors are careful to discuss concepts in a way that don't tie them to specific technologies or platforms. So the ideas are bigger than just "mobile strategy," for example. It's almost as if they are promoting a process that will get you thinking about the digital experience in a way that allows you to incorporate the inevitable new technologies that are coming down the road.
Wonderfully creative collection of insights, case studies, narratives, data, research and recommendations tying together a lot of the best thinking in digital marketing. Written in an accessible but smart and quick to read style, it's great for a time pressed executive seeking to get an overview of how to improve digital marketing outcomes with enough specifics to provide a road map.
Recommend This! Is not just for marketers. It’s for anyone who wants to understand how to connect with their target audience using today’s tools of engagement. The authors do a great job of making the case for authenticity by using their own authentic voices and experiences. The book is jam-packed with examples that drive home the fact that building and maintaining relationships is a basic human need, and the key to long-term success for any business – big or small. I’ll be recommending this book to family and friends.
Great book for understanding how to apply the latest digital and media techniques to enhance customer interaction. The explanations and examples are clear and the tools are practical and applicable. Must reading for anyone who wants to improve their business in this digital age.
As a consumer of more marketing books than the average reader, and involved in online marketing myself, I would confidently recommend this book to business owners who are not getting results from their investment in content marketing, and the ones who are not sure why or what they are doing online. While there are oodles of examples, stats and clear facts here, the most compelling ones are the digital examples of successful strategies traditional bricks and mortar businesses have been using for decades. Throughout the chapters, the authors use the story of a profitable high-end hardware store to illustrate proven human consumer behaviors and how you can replicate that warmth, expertise and personal touch on the web. It's a quick read with just enough science and case studies to move you along. The whole point is that humans crave attention and connection. Serve them online the same way you would in person and your business will boom. If you devour marketing books like I do, you might be surprised to find more than a few new concepts and ideas here. Ratings for influencers, consumer perception of connection speeds, new ways to show consistency, authenticity and expertise...tons of juicy research went into this one.
Here's the perfect follow-up to my review of Story Based Selling. Recommend This! incorporates the idea of the story, but wraps it around the lens of ongoing relationships. Whether in person at a retail store or digitally through top-quality content, you build relationships that move people along from prospect to customer to loyal fan to ambassador. Thibeault and Wadsworth don't talk much about turning your customers into ambassadors (your unpaid sales force, as I call them in one of my own books)—but they do talk about building a relationship that could last decades.

And in the relationship economy—they coin the term "relawatts" to measure it—the true currency is attention.
There comes a time when the latest technology evolves into something usable in business models. Social media and websites are the interfaces into our online lives and that means millions of posts, videos, tweets, and blogs across the globe in hundreds of languages in the course of hours.

"Recommend This!," by Jason Thibeault and Kirby Wadsworth, describes the third leg of a stool, as it were, when trying to piece together all the online relationships and social interactions. Along with "Youtility," by Jay Baer, and "Epic Content," by Joe Pulizzi, the science of our online future can be realized and utilized for content marketing ROI and long-lasting business relationships.

"Youtility" details the social media and online mechanisms. "Epic Content" describes the substance of the content to build audiences and fans. "Recommend This!" rounds out the trio with how to use the mechanisms and content to maintain relationships in the online world into the future.

If you're searching for a definitive understanding of content marketing, take the time to read these three books. They totally connected the dots for me and it has resulted in positive business impacts and improvements.
Every marketer knows that engaging an audience in the digital world is tough, and getting tougher every day. Recommend This! introduces a new way of looking at digital marketing and the buyer's journey. The authors effectively drive home the importance of relationship-based strategies versus sales-driven strategies. I like that they bolster their theory with solid research on how the human brain works as people form relationships with other people, and with organizations. But I love the practical advice and helpful tips they share. In fact, the whole second half of the book is loaded with actionable information from the authors and a variety of other digital relationship experts as well. I took loads of notes, and can't wait to start incorporating these suggestions. Recommend This! is a definite thumbs up!

Want to Learn More?

We’d love to discuss with you about how Recommend This! can empower your digital marketing efforts. Drop us a line and we’ll get back to you ASAP!