Lou Reed recorded a ditty (can’t quite call it a song) for his 1972 album Transformer called “New York Telephone Conversation.” Some 34 years later, I heard something that I’ll call a “Jersey Shore Conversation” that humbly reminded me why marketers really ought to listen to consumer closely. Really closely. Like close enough to smell the sunscreen closely.
Over the course of about five minutes, I heard a conversation that gave me fresh perspectives on the two dominant trends in retailing today: experiential marketing and, of course, online purchasing.
I don’t want to infringe (too much) on Lou’s estate, so here’s a cover version
Let me set the scene: Monmouth Beach in the great state of New Jersey, the Saturday after Labor Day. Two 60-ish folks enjoying a chat footsteps away from the storm-tossed Atlantic. She: trim, well-kept and brassy lady whom, my wife recalls from a previous conversation, sells some kind of industrial product. He: silver fox type reading “Private Empire,” a book about ExxonMobil. She’s unmarried, as far as we know, so that makes him…friend? Boyfriend? Relative? We don’t know.
He: Shopping is going to change forever.