Thursday, September 2, 2010

Izaac Walton and Micro-Marketing.

Years ago I was embroiled in writing a novel. (Don't worry, it never got published.) Amidst writing, I decided I needed to put my hands on a rather obscure book. I needed this book as a reference. Or just needed to hear the language of the author.

This was in the days before the internet, when there were still a few independent bookstores left in New York. I went into one of those stores and asked for "The Compleat Angler" by Izaak Walton.

"What's it about," asked the clerk who had no idea that his question was unanswerable.

"Well," I tried to explain, "it's about fishing..."

He cut me off. "Try sporting goods."

"But it's philosophy, too," I continued.

He pointed me then to the self-help section.

My point here is pretty simple. Most customer service isn't about customers and doesn't provide service. It caters--if it caters to anyone--to the needs of those buying the big selling books. In the case of a chain bookstore, help is there to stock shelves, show you where James Paterson is, and to direct you to the bathroom.

I keep hearing how micromarketing and alerts on my smart phone are going to make everything amazing--perfect even. My phone can't even complete a call without dropping it. I hardly think it's smart.

No, let's face it. In this world, you're on your own. Occasionally you'll get a message on TV, read something somewhere or get a tip from a friend that you'll find valuable. But 99.997% of all information is biased and dumb.

You may still be influenced by it. But no matter what all the marketing savants say, you're on your own.

No comments: