So we’ve been through all but one of the Ps (or Cs, from the customer’s point of view) of the Marketing Mix (to revisit the others, click here) and now we hit Promotions. This is the area most people think of when they think of “marketing.” As we’ve learned, it’s about much more than advertising and other Communications, yet without it, customers wouldn’t know about the Product or the Price or the Places they can buy it.

Everything-all the Ps/Cs-work together in a successful marketing strategy. Whether it’s a media kit, advertisement, blog or public appearance, your Promotions must incorporate all the other parts of the Marketing Mix to be successful. You have to know who your Target Customer is so your piece effectively grabs their attention. You have to know the Product inside and out, its Price and the Places it can be bought in order to create your Promotion piece. You also have to know the other part of Place-where to find your Target Customer to deliver the Promotion.

In other words, to create a Promotional piece for your book, you have to know more than just your story and yourself (the author is part of the Product). You must know who would most enjoy reading it (Target Customer); what Internet sites, forums, blogs, magazines, newspapers, TV shows, etc., they spend their time on as well as where they prefer to buy books and where your book sells (Places); and, of course, how much the book costs and whether this particular Communications piece offers any kind of sale price or other special (Price). Pull all of these together and you have the important elements you need to create your Promotional piece.

As for the 4 Ps, Promotions includes everything that communicates a marketing message to the customer. You have to decide the purpose of your message, the different media you’ll use to deliver the message and any special offer you’re presenting with this message. Everything together, delivered and executed, is the “marketing campaign.”

Your marketing campaign might be to announce your upcoming release (because all of you WILL have one of those, if you haven’t already…I promise, because I know you’re all wonderful…and passionate and persistent). You’ll use a variety of media and have many different pieces supporting this message, from a press release to a blog tour to giveaways to signings and possibly much more. Each piece must serve its purpose of effectively delivering the message that you have a new, most-awesome, everyone-needs-to-read-it-now book coming out. All the pieces together comprise your marketing campaign.

To wrap-up, here’s a breakdown:

  • Promotions/Communications (in the Marketing Mix) – Everything that serves as a communication tool between the marketer and the customer with a specific marketing message.
  • Marketing Message – A specific message to deliver to the Target Customer that includes the other Ps of the Mix.
  • Marketing Campaign – All of the media and pieces working together to deliver the same message to the same Target Customer.
  • Promotional Piece – Each individual piece of the marketing campaign used to deliver the message.

Next week, we’ll discuss what you need to know before creating any kind of promotional piece. Questions? Don’t hesitate to ask. My goal is for writers to know the basics of marketing because whether you seek a traditional publisher or go indie, you’ll have to market yourself and your book. It’s the knowledge I have to share, peeps, so feel free to tap into it.