Posts Tagged bookstores
Earlene Scott has always loved books.
She is such a voracious reader that by the mid 1970s, she had already read all the books that interested her at Newnan’s Carnegie Library and had to start purchasing new reading material.
At the time, bookstores were few and far between. In fact, the closest one wasn’t really a bookstore at all — it was the book section at Rich’s in downtown Atlanta.
from Jack Heape – Download his free book here – http://www.tradeshow.sibaweb.com/home/documents/doc_download/7-guide-to-google-for-bookstores
Customer Acquisition Cost
I recently spoke at the Southern Independent Booksellers (SIBA) conference. During my presentation, one of the concepts I discussed was that of “Customer Acquisition Cost“. When I questioned the audience members as to whether they knew what this cost was in their business, only one individual responded affirmatively. The rest had no idea.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is a measurement of your sales and marketing strategy. Simply put, it is the cost you incur to get a new customer to patronize your business. It is not a measurement of the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, but rather an indicator of the total investment incurred to gain that customer.
Notice I said investment. Not expense. An expenditure to gain a new customer is an investment. if you are spending $20 to get a new customer, shouldn’t make every effort to hold onto that customer so that you get a return on your investment. Customers are an asset. An asset than can keep putting money into your pocket long into the future.
Here are some other examples. The Intermarket Group is an organization that conducts research about most everything having to do with the internet. Recently, they completed a study on customer acquisition cost. Some examples on the cost to sign up a new customer from the study are as follows;
- Barnes and Noble.com $42
- Amazon.com $27.60
- Priceline $32.30
- Beyond.com’s $29.30
Don’t you think that companies that are spending this kind of money to gain a new customer are interested in keeping that customer? if not, they are just wasting that money.
One of things I stress in my talks is the necessity of thinking of marketing as not just advertising, but as a tool for building customer relationships. If your business is incurring real costs in gaining a new customer, then that business needs to maintain and nurture a relationship with that customer. if they do not do so, then they are not going to recoup the expense of that investment.
As a business owner, you really need to track this cost and make sure that you are recouping it. Here are some areas that you need to measure.
Customer Acquisition Cost by marketing segment
How much money are you spending in each area of your marketing. Furthermore, what is the value of the customer that you are obtaining from that segment? If you are spending $300 a month on the Yellow Pages, but only getting 10 customers a month from it who only spend $15 on a book, are you getting your money back? Maybe, if they are continual repeat customers. Unless you track this you will not know if this expenditure is paying off for you.
The cost of gaining new customers should go down over time. The decrease would primarily have to do with increased sales volume, and the increased brand awareness that every dollar expended promoting your business should bring. If the trend is not downward, then your business is not allocating its marketing budget properly and some changes need to be made.
Some areas of your marketing do not necessarily require an ongoing expenditure. For example, your website is basically a one time expenditure. is it gaining customers? Are they valuable customers? if the answer to those questions is a No, then a website makeover might be necessary. A simple change can bring big benefits if done properly. Same thing with discount coupons. or promotional giveaways.
Long Term Value of a Customer
Keep track of where that customer came from and how much he/she spends. If you find that some customers are generating continued revenuw over the course of time, then determine which marketing channel you acquired them from and concentrate your marketing expenditures in that area.
Knowing your Customer Acquisition Cost is a necessity for a profitable business. Only if you know what a new customer costs you, can you determine if you are getting a return on your investment in the acquisition of that customer. One of the big advantages of the internet as a marketing medium, is that it can be easily tracked. You know if you are getting results. And results (profit), and return on investment, is what business is all about.
This information should not surprise anyone but, for the most part, booksellers are baby-boomers, and bloggers are not. Blogs have only been around in a big way for the past ten years while most bookstores that are thriving today are either brand new, or they are 25+ years old. And herein is an opportunity for you. Surviving and thriving over the last 15 years ensures outstanding bookstores that are well-established in the industry and able to provide you with contacts and information that could take years to gather on your own.
And because booksellers are often baby-boomers (as am I), we may have a tendency to think we know everything and many may need to be convinced to enter these partnerships. But together, we have the tools to convince them. So, what kinds of information does a bookseller want when considering a blogger as partner? Booksellers want someone who shares their passion for books as well as the First Amendment. That said,
FOR WEEK THREE:
1. Create a one-page with information you are willing to share about your blog. How many folks read it? What kinds of books do you review? Which is your most popular post? Where do you get your books from? Are you a customer/browser of their store/blog? What kinds of things can you assist with and what kinds of assistance do you need? How long have you been blogging? Why do you blog?
That’s it. Stop. Go post something. More next week.
Why do book bloggers blog? Well, I hope they will let me know, but here is what I think: Book bloggers love books, love sharing about what they have read, and want to connect with other book lovers. Most book bloggers are something else as well, either full-time moms, librarians, booksellers, writers, students. But they are all readers and the reader is king in my business. (which led to my title, which led to my changing king to queen, which led to my putting this APB out for male book bloggers – please let me hear from you! )
Those of us in this industry of selling stories on street corners yearn to hear directly from “the reader”. Harry Potter, Nancy Drew, The Passage, The Stand, Stephanie Meyer, Sense & Sensibilities, James Patterson, James and the Giant Peach; oh, if you could only hear the conversations that go ’round and ’round about how to create buzz for a book, what causes a book to intersect with readers, what makes a book “fresh” or “a book club read”. And the book blogger is the new reader, and SIBA wants to find you and nurture you and bring you inside the circle. Partnering with an indie bookstore is your ticket to becoming an industry insider. We welcome you. It’s crazy in here but it is also where the stories are.
FOR WEEK ONE:
1. Watch this video, Independent America: The Two-Lane Search for Mom & Pop (this will help you understand just what bookstores are facing and their value)
2. Find an independent bookstore near you (http://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/STARS/bookstore.php OR http://bookweb.org/aba/members/browse.do) , if you haven’t already (learn who these fine folks are and that they love books just as much as you do)
That’s it. Stop. Go post something. More next week.
Sourcebooks has published this ultimate organizing resource for book lovers. The journal features 60 cross-referenced lists of literary awards and notable picks, including Pulitzer, National Book Awars, 100 Best Books of the Century and the SIBA Book Awards for Fiction since 1999.
Like her recently re-launched website – www.bibliobabe.com – Read, Remember, Recommend by Rachelle Rogers Knight keeps readers coming back to bookstores to purchase recommended books and urges users to spread the joy to other book lovers.
Rachelle Rogers Knight is a passionate reader who has enjoyed books her entire life. She has earned the Bronze Medal for “Independent Publisher of the Year”. Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens: A Reading Journal for Young Adult Book Lovers is also available.
- How well do you know your Southern lit? We dare you to use a pen on these crossword puzzles, each inspired by one of the winning titles of the SIBA Book Award, honoring ten years of the very best in Southern literature as chosen by the people who would know…Southern Independent Booksellers! A great gift for your book club, for puzzle-lovers, and anyone who loves Southern literature.
I often get emails like this from authors who want to reach our community of indie booksellers and have made the decision to only sell to indies and that should get an assist, so here it is: Here is a copy of the email I recieved and following is the press release.
from: George Spitzer, Nebbadoon Press
Storytelling at its best, hilarious and serious at the same time.
Nebbadoon Press, as policy, does not sell to Borders, BN, or Costco! Only to independent bookstores…Order direct from www.CelloStories.com or fax consignment form to 805-456-0167
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: P.O. Box 91244, Santa Barbara, CA 93190
800-500-9086 (phone); 805-456-0167 (fax)
The Day I Almost Destroyed the Boston Symphony
by John Sant’Ambrogio
Memoir takes readers behind the scenes to reveal the sublime enjoyment and occasional disasters experienced while performing upwards of 10,000 concerts always thought of this noble and sublime occupation as being devoid of humor. After all, classical music is often called serious music. I should have known better.”
Cellist John Sant’Ambrogio’s career spans more than 50 years and (still counting) 10,121 concerts. He has just released The Day I Almost Destroyed the Boston Symphony and Other Stories, a memoir containing nearly 70 stories reflecting his myriad experiences as a former member of the Boston Symphony and Principal Cellist with the Casals Festival Orchestra and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Ranging from the dramatic to the poignant, the utterly hilarious to the very serious, chapters include “My Musical Crime,” “On Teaching Your Own Children: Don’t! Well, Maybe,” “Is This Your Real Job?,” “Those Newcomers,” “Concertmasters I Have Known,” “Who’s the Best?,” and many more.
Replete throughout the book is the self-awareness and humor indicative of a man who knows himself well and forgives himself too. As Sant’Ambrogio notes, “Just before I left the BSO, a friend said, “John, we will have to hire two cellists to replace you: one to play for you, and one to talk for you.”
The Day I Almost Destroyed the Boston Symphony and Other is available at www.CelloStories.com and at select independent bookstores.
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