I went into Barnes & Noble this morning to get myself a copy of Seth Godin’s This is Marketing so I could see the charts he refers to in the audiobook. While his blog has a page dedicated to the charts, I figured it was time to just get the book in hard copy especially when the ebook price is almost the same as the book price.
… and I also get to shop at my local bookstore, probably the only one standing in my neck of the woods.
Browsing through the store made me realize how important it is to keep stores like Barnes & Noble going. I don’t know how their corporate leadership is but even if they could be crappy money-hungry executives just steering the company into the ground and leaving with million-dollar severance packages, it’s the employees that people like me—customers—come in contact with whenever you go into one of these stores. And for them, I want to see the company continue to thrive for years to come.
Sure, their filing system is slightly different—Seth Godin’s books were on another bookshelf in the same row but not in the general alphabetized section under Business. More like a shelf dedicated to probably more popular business books even if I had no idea who the other names on the shelves were?
Still, it took me only a few minutes to figure it out and I found the other books he authored. His latest book, This is Marketing, wasn’t actually in the Business section. The store associate found it on the New Releases table.
But then, I also realized that’s me thinking like I was shopping on Amazon, where I simply type the book on the search box and voila! there it is.
Well, Barnes & Noble isn’t like Amazon… and it shouldn’t be.
Before the store opened, I was having coffee at the Starbucks next door that’s kinda attached to Barnes & Noble. Behind me, there was some sort of a “class” going on with one person doing all the talking about how to reach customers. He said one thing that caught my attention immediately.
“You can’t manage something you can’t measure.” That prompted me to make a mental note to study my marketing to measure if it’s working or not, keywords-wise so I can manage it better.
Then he went on to say that while our “buy line” is Amazon and our “search line” is Google, both companies dominating those avenues, what is your “social line?” How do you reach your customers and where can you find them? The other people around the table mentioned Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, each one and more catering to a subset group of people. I know, I know. I shouldn’t have eavesdropped.
But while I was busy eavesdropping, an older Asian man walked by that the marketing man recognized and in the midst of their hey, how are you conversation, the Asian man said, I’m an author. I wrote a book.
The marketing man said, “That’s fantastic. Where can I find your book?” and then they proceeded to take a picture of the man’s book on his phone and then the marketing man said, I’ll find your book on Amazon…