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Image by Kitty Terwolbeck via Flickr

Last week, we began talking about the heart of your marketing plan: objectives, strategies, and tactics. Your objective is the destination of your road trip. Strategies are the maps that get you there.

If you think of objectives, strategies, and tactics as an online map, strategies are the next level of detail when you click the little magnifying glass. Instead of a bird’s eye view of the country, we’re now looking at cities and highways. Whereas objectives were very specific, strategies are more general, targeting particular areas of marketing effort.

Strategies can encompass all areas of marketing and product development, from packaging to pricing to promotion. As a traditionally-published author, you have little control over the first two (e.g. cover design, pricing, sales, etc.) In this case, your marketing strategies would be solely concerned with promotion. If you’re a self-published author, you have far more control (and responsibility) for all areas of marketing that relate to your novel.

Let’s choose an objective from last week and brainstorm some tactics. (At the end of this series, we’ll talk about some specific strategies you can put to use in your own marketing plan.)

Objective (traditionally published): Increase book sales by 10% by March 2013

  • Strategy #1: Expand social media efforts
  • Strategy #2: Acquire internet publicity
  • Strategy #3: Explore live engagements

Objective (self-published): Increase book sales by 10% by March 2013

  • Strategy #1: Adjust pricing strategy
  • Strategy #2: Expand social media efforts
  • Strategy #3: Expand distribution of print book

As you can see, we haven’t gotten into specific actions. This level of detail simply serves to focus our marketing efforts before we branch out within those specific marketing areas, in this case: social media, blog publicity, and live appearances for the traditionally published author; pricing, social media, and distribution for the self-published author.

Naturally, there will be some overlap, and for the most part, the traditionally-published and the self-published author will use the same strategies. The self-published author, however, will likely have more strategies for each objective simply because she does not have the benefit of her publisher’s sales and marketing departments. Often, one strategy might apply to more than one objective.

This week’s action items: Brainstorm three specific strategies for each of last weeks’ objectives.

Next week: Tactics: Planning and Implementation

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