Marketing Technique vs. Marketing Technique

I love it when accidental themes show up in my week.

I read manga. I read a lot of manga. I blame Kristen.

You’ve seen some of the list of what I read. (I’m going to try to write up another manga list for you guys this week.) If you follow my notebook at all, you probably have seen the majority of what I read, including the new title I’m now enjoying. I also subscribe to a manga magazine. (That’s actually how I’ve found a couple of titles I really enjoy, actually.)

A few days ago, I received an email from Barnes and Noble (where I tend to buy my manga because my membership card gives me a nice discount). I was half asleep, and so I stared at the preview for a long moment recognizing the name “Kazuki Takahashi” but not being able to this name to the Yu-Gi-Oh manga-ka. Once my mind finally processed that, I opened the email. It was a “We noticed you’ve made some purchases in the past and thought you’d like to know…” email announcing that the newest volume of Duelist was out (It’s sitting beside my bed…so obviously I needed this reminder.) and gave me the release date for the next volume (which I also knew because Viz is pretty open about how and when they release things). I giggled and scanned the rest of the email.

At the bottom were its recommendations of other titles I’d like based on what I’ve bought with my card. It was entirely titles by Yuu Watase (I only like one of Watase’s titles) and Kaori Yuki ( I like precisely two of her titles). Nothing in the “this title seems somewhat related to the half dozen titles you read regularly” realm, sadly enough… Oh, and I already own all of the books in the email that I would willingly read. Oops.

Not long after that, I received a newsletter from the manga magazine. I’ve just started reading DeathNote. I’m checking it out from the library as I can get a hold of the volumes. There is no record of my reading this series anywhere Viz could get a hold of it. The reason I originally knew about DeathNote, though, is the manga magazine. I read a shojo magazine that was advertising DeathNote. It’s really a funny thought. Anyway, this newsletter’s preview said something about being a communique from one of DeathNote’s characters, L. It was a long letter that honestly is just a summary of the first volume from L’s perspective and then links you to a site to help. When I clicked on the link, I was taken to the brand new DeathNote site and asked for my email and birthdate. (I did actually find the site without following the link because I was a bit creeped out.) Once it recognized me as a subscriber of some Viz product, it sent me to a screen that told me to stand by. My suspicious mind smells a potential ARG to celebrate the site’s launch, and I’m completely game.

Needless to say, I felt more impressed by Viz’s newsletter than B&N’s attempt to recommend products tied to my membership card already to me.


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