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Dien Rice
June 8, 2007, 09:24 PM
Hello everyone,

A friend of mine has developed a medical dictionary
to be used by families, mothers in particular.
It is a printed type of book. How can it be marketed?
Hi Frank,

My first thought would be - is this something people actually want? I don't really know the market, so I don't know the answer. As for me, when I'm sick or someone I know is sick, I have a tendency to look up everything on the internet! But I know not everyone is the same. :)

So that's the first question. Do people actually want this product?

The reason why I ask is - if people don't actually want the product, then it's very hard to sell it. As Eugene Schwartz (great copywriter) said (I'm paraphrasing), advertising can't create a "want" in people, it can only direct an existing "want" in a particular direction. (Well, he said something along those lines in his book, "Breakthrough Advertising".)

If it's not something people want, will they want it in some other form? For example, it might not be successful as a printed book, but could be successful as a membership website, or as a free website (with advertising), etc.

Okay, let's assume it's a product that people want to buy. The next step is figuring out how to contact your target market of mothers. How do you contact mothers?

Hmm... That's an extremely broad group... It would be better if you could narrow it down further. Eg. Mothers of elementary school kids. Mothers of newborns. Mothers of teenagers. Rich mothers. Poor mothers. Mothers of different ethnic backgrounds, etc. Will all these groups want the book equally? Or will some want it more than others? You have to do your research to find out...

I would suspect that among these groups, some would be more likely to buy it than others. If you can find out more specifically who those people are, it could help with success. Because otherwise, you might waste a lot of money marketing to people who are not gonna buy.

Once you have narrowed it down, then you can figure out how to target mothers in the more specific categories who are more likely to buy your book.

Anyway, those are my thoughts so far!

Here's one way to market your product which might work... If you can pick the right publications (that the mothers you want to target will read), you could run a classified ad or small space ad offering a free report on common childhood illnesses mothers need to be aware of. People could either call in and leave their details (so you send the report - a small booklet - out to them in the mail). Or, from your classified, you direct people to your website (this approach is cheaper, but you won't get people who don't use the 'net much, and since you're friend is selling a book, your target market might be more "non-internet" people).

The booklet gives some useful info (as promised), but is also a more complete advertisement to induce them to order your book.

If you have them go to a website, you can ask them to "opt in" to an email list (ezine) which gives more info on a regular basis (the info could be excerpts from the book, which gives you a "natural" way to promote it). As well as sending out emails, at the same time, put the same info on a blog (so others on the 'net will also find them). Of course, with each email and blog entry, encourage people to get the book, and let them order it directly from the website (keep it easy for them). Well, that's one approach you could try...

By the way, once your friend is making sales, it's also important to get feedback from customers. This will help your friend improve the book further, and make it more desirable for his/her market.

I would suggest be flexible. People often start in one business, but by being flexible (and finding out what people really want), they end up succeeding at something quite different. But the way to find out what people really want is to get started and to begin to interact with your customers. :)

I wish your friend good luck!


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