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“The Big Data-Driven Business: How to Use Big Data to Win Customers, Beat Competitors, and Boost Profits” by Russell Glass and Sean Callahan


Sean Callahan is the senior manager for content marketing at LinkedIn. Formerly, he was a marketing director at Bizo (which was acquired by LinkedIn) and an editor and reporter at Crain Communications. His freelance journalism has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Notre Dame Magazine,, and

The Host’s Perspective:

I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s extremely well written and I attribute that in part to Sean Callahan who is one of many journalists who has made the move to marketing. I learned a lot.

The book explains a bit of history about big data, the tech behind it and why it’s becoming one of the most important competitive differentiators for companies. It has lots of real world examples. One of my favorite lines from the book is “the companies that most effectively use big data to gain insight into their customers and act on that data will win.”

My lightbulb over the head moment came when I read the analogy about how big data is to companies as night vision goggles are to soldiers.

And the part of the book that made me cry was when the authors explain how big data is killing the 3-martini lunch. As a former Madison Avenue executive, you have no idea how much that hurts. They tortured me with an entire chapter about this topic.

The book also cover why chief marketing officers are becoming the next crop of great CEOs, how big data is pulling marketing and sales people closer together, and how big data is transforming the marketing department (from Mad Men to Star Trek).

If you’re a marketer or have marketers working for you, you will be glad you read this book. 

Listen to the interview:


Show Notes



Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah

Digital Body Language by Steve Woods

Content Rules by Ann Handley and C. C. Chapman

Welcome to the Funnel by Jason Miller

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley (Marketing Book Podcast interview)

Hubspot’s blogs


Marketo Marketing blog

Social Media Examiner

Marketing Profs

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog

Sean Callahan and Douglas Burdett

Sean Callahan and Douglas Burdett at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston, Massachusetts

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