Last week, I was sitting in a London hotel with my publisher after having just completed by third book, entitled Show Stress Who's Boss! After discussing the detail of the manuscript, the conversation moved on to the challenge of marketing and sales.
We started to discuss issues that were never spoken about in 2002 when I wrote my first book. Now we talk about eBook versions for Kindle, eShot campaigns, webcopy, satellite websites. The marketing world has changed beyond recognition.
No longer is it enough to have a book launch with a public signing, one has to have an eMarketing campaign, blogs, podcasts and tele-seminars, all to run alongside other initiatives.
We live in a world of instant access to everything and our modern expectation is that we want what we see, immediately. If we buy a book on Amazon, in the UK, we expect it to arrive the next day and if it doesn't, we immediately check out its location and expected time of delivery, on the supplier's website.
Twenty years ago, when I set up my stress consultancy, it was a completely different ‘ball game'. At that time, we relied on press advertising together with word-of-mouth recommendations from my professional colleagues to raise the profile of the business.
Now two decades down the line, our consultancy services are in demand in many countries through the immediacy of the internet. Of course, as in any business or profession, there have been good decisions and not-so-good ones — but we learn by experience. That is the nature of life, and business.
Today, our business would not be taken seriously if we did not have a website — and a website that was professionally optimised! We become obsessed with being on the first page on Google and Yahoo; we debate whether we should have a Google Ads campaign; we study the site stats to determine which city and country visitors come from, on which page they land and how many minutes do they stay on each page.
All this work with one focus — one question, which is: ‘how often does the telephone ring on our enquiry desk?'
Even speaking from the platform is different today than that which it was years ago. Now after I make a presentation, I have to contend with delegates sending a post to Twitter about whether they like or dislike the content (and the speaker), even before I get off the platform!
One lives and dies by the words that we say in public, that much we do know. But now there is an imperative to listen to feedback and the reviews that you are sometimes posted before you have finished talking!
Some years ago, we used to offer training courses virtually every day in a number of venues throughout the UK and whilst we still do this for many companies, there are others who wish us to stage lunchtime teleseminars and podcasts, or to write intranet training materials for employees to access at their leisure.
Our LinkedIn and Facebook pages have never been so busy with people wishing to connect with us. It is a great honour to have a following and I certainly take it very seriously but there is always a specific responsibility that goes with it in ensuring that the information given out is accurate, relevant and of value.
I know that my clients have learnt to expect quality information from us and we do our best to deliver this. As a writer, I try to bring enrichment to the reader — by careful checking of the site content, its relevance and the format in which it is delivered.
Marketing is certainly not as it used to be, but today it can certainly be exciting and a great opportunity for all of us. It is a matter of using technology to our advantage and to see the growth and potential of new marketplaces that are now within reach of everyone.
The author is a BBC guest-broadcaster and Motivational Speaker. She is CEO of an international stress management and employee wellbeing consultancy based in London. Contact them for proven stress strategies - www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk
- We expect what we want, today, not tomorrow!
- Utilising technology marketing can be exciting
- Feedback can, disconcertingly, be immediate