Marketing Plan


Developing a marketing plan for a published book or any business

A marketing plan is a business development document; designed to help you identify and plan out the actual activities that will promote and sell a product or service.  It is a crucial planning tool that provides focus and check-list type clarity.  Marketing programmes attempted without the backup of a proper plan, often fall victim to an unstructured, ad-hoc approach and money down the drain.

How are you going to sell or promote your product or service without a strategy?

Why should you develop a marketing plan?

Any item, commercial or other where you need an audience, the product must be promoted to a pre-targeted marketplace.  Approaching this in a professional and business-like manner is the best platform to realise any commercial success.

Core components of your marketing plan

The marketing plan does not need to be an elaborate, 20+ page document. Your marketing plan needs to be well-written and sharply presented. It only needs to reflect the essentials that will influence the potential commercial success of your ‘product.’

Goals and Objectives

Establishing clear goals and objectives for the commercial success that you would like to achieve is the first step in the development of the overall marketing plan.  Think of these goals in terms of numbers. How many units of the product do you aim to sell and within what timeframe? Taking into account your estimated retail prices, you have established how much revenue (gross), and profit (net after expenses), you anticipate from your unit target?

Target Audience:

Who exactly are the people most likely to be interested in your products or services?  Create a picture of this person in your mind’s eye and describe this profile within the plan.  Are they male or female readers?  What age?  From what kind of social or economic background do they come?  What level of education are they likely to have?

Unique selling proposition (USP):

You now have a profile picture of the type of person most likely to buy your product or use your service.  Now, clearly define this next essential question – Why would this person want to buy your product or use your service?  Does the product address critical social issues such as politics, economy, health, war or religion?  Is it going to evoke a strong emotive response?  Will it capture the minds and hearts of the audience? How? In what way will it strive to achieve this?

The qualities that will entice your target audience are the qualities that make your product unique. These unique characteristics form the foundation of your USP.  They are the core messages that should be openly and emphasised in all your promotional and selling activity.  Study other or similar products in your local store.  How does the text describe the product? What unique statements does it emphasise to capture and grab your attention? These labels may appear to be simple synopses, but they use the essential principles of a USP.

Promotional Activities

What promotional activities will you implement to generate publicity and public awareness of your product or service – especially among your selected target audience?  Will you use media, through public relations or press advertisements?  Will you look for speaking or networking events relevant to your book topic?  How much of a role will the internet play?

Developing a marketing plan is your opportunity to think precisely about what strategies and activities you will engage in and structure them in a tangible form.  A marketing plan also gives you the best forum, to plan out the specific details for each activity – such as time frames and dates, costs, essential contacts and suppliers.

A marketing plan is not a ‘quick and easy’ document. It will require thought, research and planning. Developing a marketing plan should be approached as a project. Having a partner or other people’s input is a great way to improve your strategy, I guarantee. However, the time spent will be a worthwhile investment in the commercial success of whatever you are longing to achieve. It will professionally represent all your hard work and create a strong business impression.

Marketing Plan Resources offers some useful resources and samples for marketing and business plans.

At the end of the day, how can you not realize your dream with all that we have to offer!

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