Thursday, October 29, 2009

A marketing mystery.



Working in a big city ad agency you tend to work for big clients who have sophisticated marketing organizations with MBAs running up and down the hallways like roaches in Spanish Harlem when the lights come on.

Why is it then that some of the best marketing ideas seem to come from people who aren't professional marketers? This one comes from the man pictured above, Otto Penzler and was reported recently in The New York Times. Penzler owns and runs The Mysterious Bookshop here in New York City, and he didn't want to be eaten alive like most every other independent bookseller in the country.

So, "he began commissioning annual Christmas stories from popular crime writers and giving out free copies of these stories as thank-you gifts to the shop’s customers." Boy, talk about a CRM strategy! This year, Penzler "had an even niftier idea... He lined up some of the most famous mystery novelists around and asked them for 10-page riffs about their best-known characters."

Now Penzler has taken those riffs and published via Little, Brown & Company a 402-page omnibus of these stories.

You can't hardly spit these days without hitting a big box bookstore. But I'm betting that a guy like Penzler won't go down without a pretty vigorous fight.

2 comments:

The Ad Contrarian said...

"Why is it then that some of the best marketing ideas seem to come from people who aren't professional marketers?"

Simple. Knowing all the rules of baseball doesn't make you a player. It makes you an umpire.

geo said...

That was a FARQ on my part. A Frequently Asked Rhetorical Question.