Post No. 42: Struggling Towards a Marketing Plan
I can’t stop thinking about my conversation with K at Oceanview, and now I know what’s bothering me: We don’t have a strategy to win. Instead, we have a list of activities that are carried out for every book, and once that activity is checked off, we’re done.
The first thing that’s missing is numerical targets. The second is a differentiation between “push” and “pull” activities.
Push marketing is about getting product on the shelves. Barnes & Nobel has a slogan that “It’s about getting the book into the customer’s hands.” That’s push marketing. You try to influence the distribution channel. I know how this works in supermarkets or semiconductors, but I’m not so sure about publishing. For example, are there slotting fees? (These are fees you pay to get your cans of soup or bottles of gourmet salad dressing on the shelve at Safeway.) There’s so much I don’t know!
Pull marketing is about creating demand. This I can do. The launch event, if I can pull it off, will create buzz. My website will help. So will the trailer. And I am working on exploiting Facebook, LinkIn and Twitter. We need to get lucky with book reviews.
The team at Oceanview needs to start thinking this way.
Perhaps more than anything, we need a roll-out strategy that enables us to focus on markets where we can win, and then leverage the results. In general, distributors and retailers of anything only care about one thing when they make decisions about whether or not to sell a product: has it sold somewhere else?
To be continued…
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Note: I’m using the blog format here to post a journal I have been keeping for some time. We will catch up to the present in a few weeks.