What do ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and NOI have in common?

Got your attention?

E.L. James’ popular erotic series, “50 Shades of Grey” has taken America by storm. So much so, it’s difficult to be in any social setting where the topic doesn’t arise. The book has sold 25 million copies, becoming the fastest-selling book ever, topping the accomplishment of J.K. Rowling of “Harry Potter” fame.

But what could “Fifty Shades of Grey” possibly have in common with NOI? Let me connect the dots.

Barnes & Noble, due in large part to demand for E.L. James’ racy book trilogy, improved profit by 28% year over year and posted a narrow operating profit — a turnaround from a loss a year earlier. However, as much as 65% of its book sales were digital. In a time when bookstores are being replaced by tablets and other electronic media, Barnes & Noble differentiated itself by partnering with Microsoft and embracing the change away from traditional book sales to electronic versions.

So here is the connection.

As in the book-selling business, our customer is buying differently today (no surprise). The shift from offline marketing to online presence to significantly increase connection to our customer continues. The need to increase revenues to improve NOI is tantamount to our success in achieving the goals set by our constituencies. Barnes & Noble shows us the way!

Here is commitment you should consider for your 2013 business plans:

I will shift my team’s focus from offline/traditional marketing, and engage the travel consumer via multi-channel marketing efforts to build not only my rooms revenue, but also to significantly improve other revenue potential.

In our beta test hotels, in fourth quarter 2011, we shifted away from traditional marketing to “SoLoMo” and multi-channel marketing. Our total revenues YTD have improved 17.9%, leading to 21.7% improvement in NOI.

Focus on targeting and reaching your Internet customer more effectively.

What do you think? I would love to hear from you.