Most of the books I’ve reviewed or discussed on this blog are those I’ve happened to read on my own accord (or in the case of the Age of Conversation, I’ve been a proud contributor). Today’s review is an exception, as it’s a book that was sent my way to review here. After this, I may not get too many more books to read.
Here are a few reasons I’d recommend waiting to read Wait Marketing: Communicate at the Right Moment at the Right Place by Professor Diana Derval:
1) She sets up the book talking about the clutter of advertising. Wait Marketing refers to advertising in places people wait, like waiting rooms, checkout lines, sitting in cabs… you name it. So the answer to breaking through the clutter is advertising in even more places. As a consumer, I couldn’t be more thrilled. It reminds me of all those "____vertising" examples you see on Adrants (which covered my own contribution, Rockvertising, last year).
2) She also writes how "mass advertising is being rejected by consumers," which of course you’ve heard before, but my problem isn’t that this is overplayed. It’s that wait marketing is still mass marketing. Instead of reaching the 10 million people who are watching certain TV shows or networks, it’s reaching the 10 million people who are in doctors’ waiting rooms at a given time. Yes, the point is that you can command consumers’ attention better while they’re waiting in a sterile environment where the only reading material are parenting magazines from 1986 ("Five tips for throwing a Thundercats birthday party!"). The marketing itself doesn’t change, especially since she focuses at length on running commercials on TV networks installed in waiting rooms.
3) Contextual advertising is defined so broadly, it stops meaning anything. It even means behavioral targeting at one point in the book.
4) She really needs a better translator. It was originally written in French, and this just doesn’t cut it. With the marketing jargon and research discussion, having to parse some strange grammatical constructs is just one obstacle too many.
The book’s not a total waste of time, and if you are thinking broadly about any marketing channel you can possibly leverage (argh, the marketing jargon got to me too – sorry!), then this book might provide another angle you haven’t considered. Still, most of the insights in this book could have been distilled in a 1,000-word column.
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If you are looking for a good read, especially a short but epic novel you can read in one lengthy sitting on the beach over Labor Day weekend, check out Ali and Nino: A Love Story by Kurban Said, which was the subject of The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life by Tom Reiss (better yet, read both). Also, I can now add Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls by Matt Ruff to my recommendation list, as I just finished this page-turner, thanks to the tipoff by Kaila Colbin. The first couple pages were so dense in setting up the plot that I had to read the intro a few times just to make sure I read it right, and I only stopped reading it to eat and sleep.