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« Transportation Day | Main | Lessons Learned from Trader Joe’s »

#1 at the Box Office

So, Tom Cruise devoted the last year of his life to promoting a movie that will be #1 in the US for exactly 14 days.

To be replaced by another movie, even more hyped than Cruise’s, that may just triumph for three weeks instead of two.

Lulu.com just released a study of bestselling books. It turns out that in the last forty years, the length of stay of a typical bestseller at #1 is down by more than 85%. In other words, bestsellers used to be bestsellers for seven times as long as they are now.

That’s an awe-inspiring figure.

Why?

Because the base of the pyramid is so much bigger (ten times as many books published every year, at least) you would expect that the winners would win bigger and longer to make it worth the journey. Not so.

And awe-inspiring because the effort necessary to get to #1 is far greater than it used to be. From co-op (bribes) to retailers for shelf-space and advertising to the extensive touring and cross promotion that’s necessary, it’s a lot more work and a lot more risk to get there.

Now, we’re seeing authors building permission assets and timing all their promotion so they can be #1 on Amazon for an hour—an hour! Allen Drury had a #1 bestseller for a year.

Of course, it’s not just movies and books. Just about any style-based business (and what business is no longer style based?) sees the same phenomenon. The lesson I draw is this:

If your marketing strategy requires you to hit #1 in order to succeed, you probably need a new marketing strategy.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference #1 at the Box Office:

» Where's your credibility? from More Sales without Cold Calling!
One of the key components of my sales strategy is positioning yourself as the expert and the authority figure. Many elements of the self-marketing system I teach are designed to do just that. Seth Godin today posted on his blog [Read More]

» Interesting Thought from Cardboard. Damnit!
Summed up at the end of Godin's lastest post:If your marketing strategy requires you to hit #1 in order to succeed, you probably need a new marketing strategy. [Read More]

» #1 at the Box Office from WebMetricsGuru
The effort necessary to get to #1 is far greater than it used to bebecause the base of the pyramid is so much bigger (ten times as many books published every year than 40 years ago). Seth Godin points out... [Read More]

» Writing Your Own (Audio)book from Simply Audio Blog
A couple of interesting items Ive run across. First one I mentioned earlier, that increasing breadth of content, much of it consumer generated (self published books for example), is all finding someone out there who wants it and is willing to pa... [Read More]

» The Rule of Three from Digressions
There is a reason Johnson and Johnson has a rule that if you can't be #1 or #2 in the market - DON'T ENTER IT. Seth completed his post titled #1 at the Box Office with a comment that should [Read More]

» #1 For a Minute from A Shareware Life
Seth Godin had an interesting post over the weekend: #1 at the Box Office It turns out that in the last forty years, the length of stay of a typical bestseller at #1 is down by more than 85%. In [Read More]

« Transportation Day | Main | Lessons Learned from Trader Joe’s »