Why read "Fire in the Zoo"

Every business book begins with a simple “Here’s what you’re going to learn by reading this book.” Makes sense, right? Tell the reader what they get from the book, make it seem cool and exciting and they will buy, read and adopt your advice. Do you want to know the secret to this book before we start? It's listening. That’s it. Be a better listener. You can stop reading and put this book back if you already know how to listen.But the irony is, most brands, most marketers and most retailers are terrible listeners. They actually don’t pay much attention to their customers at all. You know this, intuitively, as a consumer. Think of all the thousands of shopping decisions you’ve made, and how many times you’ve been frustrated, confused, even angry. Remember all the times you wondered,

“Who designed this process?” or “Have the owners ever actually shopped their own stores?”

I spent nearly 30 years of my life in advertising, marketing and retail. Even now that I'm no longer the custodian of a retail brand, it’s baked into me. I still wake up early, work Sundays and survey stores like a retailer, walking the aisle as if it was still my responsibility to keep it customer-ready, with a retail marketer’s discerning eye. But this book isn’t just about retail. And it’s not just about me (though I hope some of my anecdotes will make you smile). This book is about the craft of marketing and how that craft is changing, radically and for the better. I submit that marketing has changed; that true, fundamental marketing is about understanding shoppers; that it's about having an affinity for what it means to put your family’s hard-earned money at risk; that it's about how hard it is to be smarter and more informed so you make the right choices.

And this shift to understanding and empathy is more important than ever before because shopper behavior is changing fast. This book will show you how to listen for the answer to that question. We'll give you the tools you need to listen to the shopper in your own business – whether you're CMO of a regional chain, the custodian of a global brand, customer service director for an insurance company or the owner of a local grocery store. We'll look at how this strange thing we call “retail” got to be the way it is, what we can do to fix it, and most of all – how to get shoppers to say “yes!”