Tuesday, April 26, 2011

WAKE UP Your Marketing Strategy

With the vast number of books inundating the shelves each day, how do YOU know who to market to? Who cares that you wrote a book?  More importantly, who cares that you are publishing your book? 

No really, WHO CARES?

If you can't answer that question right now, sit down and do some homework before you publish. Publishing is an expensive business anyway; but there are dumb ways to spend your money and there are really smart ways. Know who you are marketing to, specifically, fundamentally, and categorically. To really understand the market I'm pursuing for a given project, I use my own "W.A.K.E. U.P." Marketing Strategy: 

Watch. Ask. Know. Examine. Understand. Perceive.

I'm not talking about demographics--married/single, age, own home/rent, ethnicity, religious affiliation, kids/no kids, geographic region, employed/self employed/retired, income, etc. Yes, you can locate this data quickly and easily. Any "list company" will sell you a list selected down to the exact demographics you specify. But what do those stats tell you? 

HERE'S A RIDDLE:  A 45-year-old female new small business owner wants a poster for her wall. She's educated, is married, is mother to two kids, owns a modest home in a middle-class neighborhood, and owns two cars. She brings home $60,000, and her spouse brings home $65,000 from his job as a salesman for an insurance company. 

Pyramid of Success Poster - 36" x 24" - Click Image to Close

Which "success" poster is she most likely to hang in her office?*

ANSWER: While both posters are very nicely laid out, colorful, and hold the information our subject may want to see every day, she would likely choose the bottom one over the other. Why? She also happens to like camping and this poster reminded her of that place overlooking that lovely river she visits each year and dreams of owning someday. But how the heck would you have known that? Very tough, but not impossible. It all comes down to knowing what makes your buyer tick. How do you wake up those important facts?

You needed to know what her behaviors are. Her psycho-graphics. Today, you must reach higher than the low-hanging demographics to find out what her interests are. What are her values, beliefs, behaviors, triggers. What magazines/newspapers does she read? What programs catch her eye? What does she do with her spare time? What does she consider spare time? Does she volunteer? Does she like to travel? Garden? Exercise? Read? Cook? Is she a precise thinker? Does she go to seminars or workshops? Is she interested in nature or environment, religion or spirituality, or is orange just her favorite color?  How does she get new information?
What did her age, marital status, home ownership, income, or ethnicity have to do with her choice here? Not nearly as much as her interests, beliefs and behaviors.
Now for YOUR book

Think about these things when you first start writing your book -- make sure you have a market (look in the mirror, first, because you are probably a good profile for your buyer), and then consider what else motivates your buyer. If you have a market you can find, publish your book to fit that market. If you are just publishing for yourself, admit it up front, check your ego at the door and set your expectations realistically. 

*These posters were simply pulled randomly from a Google search for illustrative purposes. No permissions were asked or granted -- however, no posters were harmed in the making of this blog post, and I hope the copyright holders will understand my intent.
**Next post will examine each step in the WAKE UP marketing strategy in depth.

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Ask your questions here, or send your self publishing questions via email to lisa@conciergemarketing.com. Thanks!