The four P’s reveal the pillars of promotion and if you set an effective EQ of these four areas, you’ll have cost-effective promotions that work in various ways. The trick is to find the right calibration of the four areas. Here’s a quick overview…
Publicity denotes the type of promotion that comes from using other people’s media reach in ways that are not direct, but passive. An interview on a radio show, a book review, a shoutout from a Twitter follower…these are all ways publicity can manifest. You don’t always get the opportunity to sell your products directly via publicity opportunities and it’s difficult to measure how they are working. And while the media cost of publicity is usually zero…the cost of hiring someone to find and setup these opportunities (or manage your social media for that type of publicity) is often high.
Recommendations: Your publicity efforts should be designed to build your mailing list — not to sell products. Use publicity to jump-start your list and marketing program using radio appearances, guest blogging and public appearances of all kinds, then scale it way back in preference of Partner Marketing, once you have a mailing list built. At that time, you can begin to introduce your OWN media vehicles, such as social media, podcasting, youtube channels, eZine publishing, radio show production, book publishing and article publishing on your own site.
Paid media includes anything you pay for to reach an audience. It’s a tricky business, since the majority of paid media does not produce effective Return On Investment. You must experiment with different forms and channels to find what works for you and your products.
Recommendations: Unless you have capital to use for this, keep paid media to a minimum with occasional experiments in Facebook ads and unique website or list opportunities that come from reliable sources. If possible, try to trade for these placements. If you find something that works, stick with it and gradually increase it. Don’t assume that you can increase suddenly just because you found a source of good paid media. Increasing quantity can sometimes change the channels behind the scenes.
This is also known as “performance” marketing, where you pay commission based on the performance of a partner. Launch programs rely heavily on this type of marketing, but it depends on your being able to find compatible partners and match them in reciprocation (return to them what they give to you). For this reason, partner marketing is most effective AFTER you have a reliable media reach of some kind — usually a mailing list, but a successful eZine or podcast can also serve as audience reach. If you use something other than email, you’ll need to provide your partners with statistics showing the DIRECT effect of your vehicle.
Recommendations: Start by building your list. Once you reach the level of being able to deliver 300-500 clicks to your partners, then you can begin a JV Partner marketing effort in earnest. Be careful that you don’t just spin your wheels by gaining emails only to lose the same number when you promote your partners in return.
Person to Person
This type of promotion includes live events and local marketing strategies, such as street teams, flyers and gift bags. Don’t underestimate the power of local, live marketing even for an internet-based operation. Dominating a single city or region is a great way to build momentum.
Recommendations: Use flyers and local live events to get started in this area, thus keeping your costs down to a minimum. Use creativity to find and engage your local audience.