Brought to you by the good folks at Digital Book World, Publishers Launch, The Idea Logical Company, and F+W Media, last week’s Marketing Conference & Expo was a blast. For me, at least, though I tried to verify that opinion frequently with others. The overwhelming majority seemed to genuinely agree. The fact that the room remained full for the final panel of the day was high implied praise, noted and gratefully accepted.
See, I helped the pros put this one together; “programming” and helping shape the narrative. I’m no Seth Godin or Guy Kawasaki (…I type, happy for that, though I respect them both) so, for me, this meant trying to:
- Emphasize the critical — critical — nature of marketing
- Get very real without being naive — we are not shifting, we have shifted…with some pain points
- Suggest that the pain points come from some unique aspects of our business, we are, alas, not that unique
- Indicate my belief that the practices and principles which have been in wide use for a long time at the largest agencies and big-data crunching monoliths selling hotel rooms and sneakers are entirely applicable to books — in fact, to not apply these principles would be irresponsible — the trick is to make them fit our business culture and underlying financial models and resource allocation. Indicate it as a hypothesis and see what folks thought
- Offer my opinion/observation that we in publishing are nowhere near as bad at marketing as many people (some of whom are authors and retailers) believe. We’re just kind of bad about marketing our marketing
- Put on stage the thinkers, the strategists, and the best “doers” in an effort to emphasize that collaboration is one of — if not the — hallmarks of moving forward and capitalizing on the shift
- Lastly, that to “get it,” requires spending the time clearing away the rest of the stuff (pricing, channel conflict, royalties, agents going direct, KDP, eBooks in libraries…etc.) and focusing solely on marketing — best-of-breed, 21st Century marketing, made attainable for publishing
And so, last Thursday. Because the author and the end consumer/reader are the only guaranteed survivors of the shift. Whichever organizations (or individuals) can demonstrate a repeatable ability to best connect authors and their works to the most — and most right — readers (consumers) wins the game. Period.
It was a fun day and I learned a lot from our terrific speakers and panelists and audience members. Thanks, all.
Here are the slides I used to frame the day in terms of Agile Marketing.
If the above is giving you issues, the deck also resides on SlideShare.