Monday, October 17, 2011

MONDAY MARKETING Law 8: Duality - Is Every Market a 2-Horse Race? #marketing #pubtip #indie #writing #myWANA

If you're just joining the Webbiegrrl blizzard, welcome to the Monday Marketing series. I've been blogging through The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, a book by Al Ries and Jack Trout, which I believe is one of the best little books ever written on the subject. It's only about 1/4" thick in paperback, so if you haven't read it already, take 5 minutes to read it now. Each week, I cover a new law and apply it to our Indie Publishing marketing. Read earlier week's entries here.

Today's entry, Law 8, is called the Law of Duality and discusses the idea that every market boils down to a 2-horse race. For the marketing of widgets, I think this is totally true; but for the marketing of books, I think our race remains a Top Ten list. In fact, with the eBook explosion, I've noticed those lists expanding into the Top 100 rather than merely ten but I think the New York Times and USA Today as well as other "best seller list" positions remain limited to ten.

However, the philosophy of the Law of Duality--that every marketing race comes down to a Top 3 battling it out for the Top 2 positions--holds true even when the "race" has a Top 100 horses running. The idea is that proportionately, the #1 position will hold more than 50% of the market share, possibly as much as 65% or 70% of it, and the #2 slot will take at least 25% and possibly up to 30% of market share. Typically #3 is left with less than 10% of market share--and the #3 contender is battling to hold that fledging slice of pie against everyone else on the list. For books, with Top 100 entries battling to get to the top 3 slots, this can be a non-stop daily battle.

Knowing you're in a 2-horse race in the long term is the key to choosing your short-term marketing strategies.

How do you get out of that precarious position of #3 in a 2-horse race? Use the immutable laws mentioned earlier: Law 5: Focus, Law 2: Category, and Law 1: Leadership. If your category is dominated by someone holding 80% of the market share, and someone else holding another 18%, and those numbers having changed in a week or two, don't keep doing battle to hold onto 1% of the remains. Be sure to
give your #3 slot a bit of time to stabilize and possibly climb to #2 but don't wait more than 30 days. After a month at #3, you risk falling to #4--or worse.

Instead of hanging on, re-examine your  marketing focus. Did you define yourself and your brand to be something original? Were you trying to be first and not merely #1 in a 2-horse race? Remember, it is better to be first, to be original, to be focused and to be dominant in your prospect's minds. Remember Laws 3 and 4: the laws of the Mind and Perception. You don't need to be #1 on the best-seller list to be "best selling" for your customers.

You also don't have to change your book for the market, just change the way you market your existing book to get the market share. Understanding that subtle distinction is the difference between winning the race and coming in 3rd.

What's Next...

In the next Monday Marketing entry of this series, Law 9: the Law of the Opposite will look at what to do when you do finally achieve 2nd place--and want to get to #1. If you started out with focus and originality, you can apply the Law of the Opposite to show why you, not the current #1, are the leader. Tune in next week for more!

This week we are in the midst of Sukkot the Jewish holiday of "hospitality" (or the Feast of Tabernacles, as it's called in the English-translation bibles these days, where a "tabernacle" is actually a hut built in the desert by the Hebrews who escaped Egyptian slavery and wandered for 40 years). It is customary to enjoy some honey cake (for a sweet year to come) and visit with friends.

And don't forget, until Friday, October 21st, my Jewish Inspirational is free at Smashwords. Get Coming Home (Dicky's Story) at no charge on your Kindle, Nook, iPad or other mobile eReader. Be sure to "buy" the book (not download the sample) and you'll have access to all formats indefinitely--yes, that means you'll have access to the new edition released once the new artwork is done!

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