Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Morning Marketing Tip - "The Future of Marketing: Direct-to-Consumer"

Rob Eagar's Monday Morning Marketing Tip
is written to help authors, businesses, and non-profits
spread their message like wildfire.

This week's focus:

The creation of the Internet, the decline of brick-and-mortar retailers, and the rise of digital commerce has revolutionized the future of marketing. No longer do authors, businesses, and non-profits have to rely on retailers and middlemen to sell their products or services. Now, you can market and sell direct to consumers. This direct path means faster sales, higher profits, and longer-lasting relationships with your customers, readers, or donors.

However, I find that most individuals and leaders don't realize that marketing direct to consumers requires a completely different focus than the old retail marketing approach. For example, most book publishers still view marketing as telling bookstore chain buyers, "We'll buy some advertising space, send out some press releases, and get our authors on Good Morning America." That approach doesn't work when major retailers have less influence on buyer behavior. Borders just went out of business, and Barnes & Noble is fighting to create a long-term survival plan against Amazon. And, this business example isn't confined to publishing. Retailers in other industries are facing similar challenges.

In the wake of this retailing transformation, you can go beyond these struggling middlemen and reach your target audience directly. But, in order to be successful, you must view marketing in a completely different manner. Marketing is no longer telling people about your books, your product, or your organization's mission. Consumers don't care about that stuff. When you market direct to consumers, they want to know, "What's in it for me?"

Therefore, your marketing approach MUST focus on how your product, service, or organization improves people's lives. Don't tell them about your features, topic, genre, or history. Tell them about the specific results you offer to make their life better. Direct-to-consumer marketing means affecting a person's heart just as much as their mind. That's because buying decisions are ultimately made by the heart. Logic makes people think, but emotion makes them act. Likewise, your marketing will be more successful when you offer results that make people feel the need for your product.

Take a moment today to look at your website, your book cover, your newsletters, and your press releases. Is your marketing limited to fact-based descriptions and self-focused language? Or, does your marketing illustrate the results that people could emotionally enjoy? It's easier than ever before to market direct to consumers, but you must affect their hearts as much as their minds.

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© Rob Eagar 2012.
All rights reserved.


Scott Appleton said...

Thanks for the tips, Rob.
How would you change the approach for Young Adult fiction? I have two YA fantasy novels out and I do a lot of traveling to promote and sell them. I speak at public schools and hold signings at book store chains. Barnes & Noble is making a significant impact on the market, especially with their new Nook centers in their busier stores, and I don't know how I would reach as many people as I do if I didn't focus on the hand sales. My publisher, like most today, does little marketing.

Scott Appleton said...

I see very little information specifically for marketing fiction, but I'd like to be able to come up with a better plan to promote across the web and save travel money.

Rob Eagar said...

Thanks for the comments, Scott. Per your question about promoting fiction, I just posted an article over at Writer's Digest called "3 Tips to Make Selling Your Fiction a Reality." Check it out at:

Also, I have marketing plan template for fiction authors you can purchase at my website. Plus, my upcoming book, "Sell Your Book Like Wildfire," has an entire chapter devoted to marketing fiction. It will be available this June.