I think Stopwatch Marketing is the book you should read next.
Here’s my formula for the ideal business book.
- Tell me something I either don’t know or twist something I do know, so I get it in a new way
- Tell me stories with lots of detail (case studies) to make your theories come alive
- Make sure those stories cover a range of industries so I can see myself/our clients in some of them
- Teach me how to apply your theory/ideas so I can really use them
Stopwatch Marketing nails every one of my criteria and then some.
The gist of the book is that customers all operate on their own internal stopwatch. But each person’s stopwatch is moving at a different speed. They may all be shopping for the same product (let’s say a bottle of wine) but how they shop for that wine is based on their own motivations/situation.
Someone grabbing a bottle of wine before a party is a very different shopper from the person who is trying to pick out the perfect bottle for a first date.
The trick is, of course, how do you recognize and capitalize on these different kinds of shoppers?
John Rosen and AnnaMaria Turano make their readers a promise on page 6 of their book. They say:
"The promise of the book you hold in your hand is that it will show how to analyze, evaluate, and exploit the time that represents every shopper’s most important resource…to understand how to measure the length of time your customer will spend searching for your product or service…and how to make absolutely certain that your product or service is close to the front of your customer’s queue: that lineup of shopping options that gets longer for consumers every year."
The authors identify four different types of shopping personas:
- Impatient (pressed for time)
- Reluctant (only purchase when they have to)
- Painstaking (researches as long as necessary to select the best)
- Recreational (slow and leisurely)
I might happily spend an hour in Barnes & Noble, browsing and enjoying the atmosphere (recreational shopper) but when I’m in Target….I want to get in and out as quickly as I can. (impatient shopper) unless of course, I am shopping for a new digital camera (painstaking).
The book goes on to illustrate how both product and service driven companies have used the insights of the shopping styles to better understand their consumers and how to target them with the right message, at the right time.
But….what most business books lack is that next step. Teach us how to actually use this stuff. Not Stopwatch Marketing. The entire second half of the book is devoted to doing just that. There are sample focus group questions, needs gap examples, customer survey samples, web analytics information, budget building suggestions and much more.
There’s lots of meat on this bone whether you’re an experienced marketer, a consultant or a business owner. Get it on your nightstand soon.