This Kindle Sample Made Me NOT Buy the Book 

Cushard Consequential Trendology Building Advantage through Data-driven Real-time MarketingI like getting samples on Kindle. Sometimes I load up a few samples, so that when I have a few minutes to read, I can jump into a sample. Sample books are great ways to test the waters and decide if a book is worth buying. Great move by Amazon.

Samples are also great because it does not take a huge investment of time, and you can read in spurts. I don’t like to read in spurts with full books. I feel like I need to have at least 30 minutes to get into a read reading session. Anything less, doesn’t allow me to get into the book, so I feel like it is a waste of time.

But if I have 10 or 15 minutes, starting a book sample is great.

Often times, after a read a sample, I buy the book (ok, sometimes I get it from the library).

In this case, however, a sample made me NOT buy the book. I knew from reading this one story, that I would not like the book.

The book is called Trendology: Building an Advantage Through Data-Driven Real-Time Marketing.

The story early in the book is about how Arby’s tweeted Pharrell Williams because he was wearing a hat that looked like the Arby’s logo hat. Arby’s tweeted….in the moment, during the Grammy’s, while everyone was watching:


The likes and retweets and fun engagement took off. It was one of those tweets that went viral. What a success. So many lessons I could learn and might be able to apply in my own work to increase engagement and create buzz for the products I market.

What a great book this is going to be, right?

Not so fast.

That story of a huge marketing success made me not want to buy the book.

Wait. What?

Why did a successful story, a story that turned out to be great, make me not want to buy the book?

Because the punchline of that story was that it was a success because it generated buzz and lots of retweets.

Don’t get me wrong. I would love to have lots of retweets. I guess. I know I am supposed to say that. So I said it.

But……what I was really thinking while reading that story was:

"Who cares about social engagement?"

I was waiting for the punchline to be, “…AND…traffic to Arby’s restaurants increased by X% and sales increased by X%."

But. Sadly. No.

I was actually sitting there thinking Arby’s was in the business of selling roast beef sandwiches.

This hit me hard because, by coincidence, I had recently finished listening to an episode of PNR This Old Marketing podcast with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose.

PNR told a story about how XEROX generated over 1,000 new sales appointments and increased its sales pipeline by $1 billion with a content initiative, Chief Optimist. At the end of the segment Joe Pulizzi commented, “Yeah, but how many Facebook likes did Xerox get?"

And that’s the point.

Why the hell do I care about social media engagement? In fact, I am in marketing, and I do not run reports on page views, likes, shares, or anything of the sort.

We track three metrics:

  1. Subscribers (to our newsletters, blog, etc)
  2. Number of MQLs and SQLs and the conversion rates
  3. Dollar value of pipeline revenue

That is pretty much it.

Maybe I should do more. But ultimately, if our marketing efforts contribute to increase the revenue pipeline, sales will close many and the business will grow.


Have you read Trendology? Does it get better later in the book? Should I revisit it? Comment below and set me straight.