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1.

0: Introduction

Marketing communication is considered as the backbone for the success of any marketing strategy deployed by an organization (Frances Brassington and Stephen Pettit 20031). This is not only because of the fact that communication plays the vital role of conveying the product details to the customer but also due to the imperative fact that the marketing communication is the means of deploying the marketing strategy itself. In this report a marketing plan to promote the sales of the book History of Middle East written by John Simpson is presented to the reader. The interesting element with this marketing plan is that the book was commissioned before the gulf war and now ready for sale.

2.0: Competitive Environment

The target market for the book is the geography of UK, Europe and Australasia, which is a diverse target market. Since the book is on the history of the Middle East, the target market will have a greater interest on the book especially during the post gulf war period and not to mention the war on Iraq - the country that instigated the Gulf war.

Alongside, considering the target market in the UK for example, the analysis by the Publishers weekly (2005)2 on the results for the third quarter reveals that the book sales in the UK has not performed to the expected level and the competition from the media and especially the internet which provides vast amount of information to the readers at a click of the mouse has affected the book publishers in the UK. In the light of the above argument, the competitive environment in the UK poses a stiff competition to the release of the new book on the history of the Middle East. The market report on book selling by Rozmeen Tambe (2004)3 has further revealed that the sales on the books in the UK as well as the European market has fallen tremendously due to the increase in the usage of internet for information resource.

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Frances Brassington and Stephen Pettit (2003), Marketing Management, UK: Prentice Hall Financial Times Ready for the Last Round, Publishers Weekly, 14th November 2005, Vol. 252 Issue 45 3 Rozmeen Tambe (2004), Book selling- market report, UK: Key note Ltd

Although, the aforementioned arguments justify that the competitive environment for the book in the UK and European market is stiff, the arguments of M. Heidkamp and D. Maryles (2005)4 justify that the post war period especially has seen an increase in the customer interest in the books on Middle East. This is further justified by S. Steiberg et al (2005)5, who affirm that the post war period has resulted in the increase in the interest among the readers on the books on Middle East.

The Australasian market on the other hand has greater potential for the sales of the book even though the Internet usage for information search is persistent. This is mainly because of the lack of the limited development in the rural areas of countries like India where books are regarded as the vital information resource due to the absence of Internet as argued by Manote Tripathi (2005)6.

Hence it is clear that the competition for the new book on the History of Middle East is strong with potential for sales in the targeted geographical areas.

3.0: Marketing Mix

The marketing mix consists of four major elements as identified by Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller (2005)7.

3.1: Product

The product in this case is the book written by John Simpson. The fact that the book is written by an eminent professional like john Simpson signifies the quality of the product being sold to the customers. Furthermore, the fact that the product is the vital element of the overall marketing plan makes it clear that the product in the market plan (i.e.) the book written by John Simpson is a quality product that proves to be good value for money.

3.2: Price

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M. Heidkamp and D. Maryles (2005), Winning strategies. Publishers Weekly, Vol. 239 Issue 1 S. Steiberg, M. Heidkamp and D. Maryles (2005), Winning strategies. Publishers Weekly, Vol. 239 Issue 2 6 Manote Tripathi (2005), BOOK MARKS, The Nation 7 Philip Kotler (1988), Marketing Management: Principles and Practise, UK: Prentice Hall

Price is considered as the deciding the factor for the purchase of a product as argued by Dennis Adcock (2001)8. The fact that the target customers form a niche in the overall book readers market in the targeted geography makes it clear that the price of the product is a critical element for the success of the book. Since the paperback edition for the book is expected to replace the Hardback editions, higher emphasis on the price control is not essential since the communication of the book will increase the awareness eventually boosting the sales of the paperback editions.

3.3: Promotion

Promotion is the actual process of communicating the product to the target customers as argued by Dennis Adcock (2001). Alongside, the fact that the product being promoted is a book makes the marketing communication a critical element. Allison Baverstock (1999)9 further argues that the promotion of the books should predominantly communicate the information regarding the contents of the book and its purpose. Alongside, the fact that the promotions for books like the one on hand can be accomplished though embracing the promotion to the associated issue.

The fact that the post war period has increased the interest among the readers on the Middle East can be effectively harnessed to promote the book through advertising the book as a book that provides the history off the Middle East that has seen several wars in the recent years. Furthermore, the fact that the Middle East itself is one of the areas of development of traditions and culture in the world (Birth of Islam) can be effectively used to promote the book.

Furthermore, Allison Baverstock (199) argues that the promotion of the book in a diverse geography should include tailor made messages to every target market understanding the local knowledge of the geography. For example, the promotion of the book as an unbiased information resource on the history of Middle East during the post war scenario will have tremendous effect on the sales of the book in countries like India rather than the promotion of the book embracing Islam although the obvious fact is that Middle East is the birthplace of Islam.
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Dennis Adcock (2001), Marketing Principals and Practice, UK: Prentice Hall Allison Baverstock (1999), How to Market Books, UK: Kogan Page

Using the 3M model an insight on the communication plan to promote the product is presented to the reader below. The 3Ms of the marketing promotion are Market, Message and Media. These are critically analysed below

Market: The target market for the product is a diverse geography with varied cultural factors affecting the sales of the product. The analysis on the competitive environment and the insight on the target market have revealed that the marketing communication should embrace the local knowledge in the target geography.

The market in the UK and Europe are predominantly interested in the history of the Middle East as an unbiased information resource as well as provide vital information on Islam the religion that rules the Middle East. The growth of Islam in the international stage is the critical elements that need emphasising in this target market.

The Asian market on the other hand especially in the Far East is predominantly non-Islamic in nature and hence market should be targeted with the book as an information resource on the history of the Middle East alone.

Message:

The message is the critical element that contributes to the promotion of the product in the target market. From the above discussion on the market and the discussion in previous sections have revealed that the message must be tailor made to reach the customers in different target markets. Examples of messages that can be used for promotion are presented below A comprehensive information resource by John Simpson History of Middle East

The above message will prove successful in the Far Eastern Markets where the reputation of john Simpson is mainly for his expertise and ability to provide critical information in his books.

History of Middle East - Pre Gulf War. By John Simpson

The above message will be successful especially in the UK mainly because of the increase in the interest of the readers to know about the Middle East before the Gulf War. The post war era should not only reflect upon the war but also prove to be interesting with information prior to the war.

Media

Media is the critical element in the promotion of a product since it is the ultimate communicating tool to reach the customers. With the diverse target market under consideration, the use of media would not only reflect upon the message but also the target customers as argued by Frances Brassington and Stephen Pettit (2003).

The use of leaflets and promotion through the bookstores are the successful communication media for the books in any geographical area. The fact that the readers tend to read the information on the posters and leaflets and increasingly visit the bookstores justifies the aforementioned argument. Alongside, the growth on the online book retailing and the increase in electronic commerce in the west can be harnessed through the use of Internet as an advertising media to reach the customers in the online market space.

3.4: Place

Place in this case is the target markets in the UK, Europe and Australasian markets. The diversity in the demography and the influence of the cultural factors were discussed extensively in the previous sections. The place factor in the marketing mix is the element that attributes to the sustainability of the product in the market. The fact that the paperback editions will see increased sales in the Far Eastern markets as well as in the west due to the price fact makes it clear that the promotion of the hardback editions are essential for the sales of the paperback editions.

4.0: Effective Strategies

The most effective strategy for the promotion of the book is the branding strategy. This is because of the fact that the author John Simpson has established himself as a brand through his previous works and quality of work. This can be effectively utilised for the promotion of the books in order to increase the sales of the book in the target markets. Alongside the reputation of john Simpson in the Far Eastern markets and the Australian markets mainly through his books as well as his professional eloquence can be used to promote the sales of the book in the target markets.

Another strategy that can be deployed in promoting the book is the analysis of the buyer behaviour in the target market. The understanding of the buyer behaviour in the target market will provide vital information on the message and use of media to promote the product in the target market as argued by Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller (2005).

5.0: Reflective Commentary

From the above discussion on the marketing plan it is clear that the marketing communication is the vital element for the successful promotion of a product in a target market. Alongside, the arguments of Frances Brassington and Stephen Pettit (2003) that the marketing communication should embrace the local knowledge of the target market as well as reflect upon the demography specific factors are the justify that the marketing communication plays a vital role in the success or failure of a product in the target market.

Alongside the emphasis on the marketing mix and the promotion of the product further justify the ability to successfully sell a product in a target market is predominantly dependant upon the ability to understand the target market and frame the communication accordingly. The analysis using the 3M model for the promotion of the book in the target geography justifies the aforementioned statement. Alongside, the assertion of Ursula Sullivan and Jacquelyn S Thomas (2005)10 that the marketing communication for a multi-channel market and markets with diverse cultural factors require the use of local knowledge to tailor the message and the effective use of media to communicate to the customers in the target market. Thus to conclude the report, it is clear that the marketing communication is a critical element for the

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Ursula Sullivan and Jacquelyn S Thomas (2005), Managing Marketing Communications with Multichannel Customers, Journal of Marketing, Oct2005, Vol. 69 Issue 4

success of a product in a target market and in case of diverse target market, the use of local knowledge and understanding of the cultural factors are critical for the success of the product.

6.0: References

Books:

Allison Baverstock (1999), How to Market Books, UK: Kogan Page

Dennis Adcock (2001), Marketing Principals and Practice, UK: Prentice Hall

Frances Brassington and Stephen Pettit (2003), Marketing Management, UK: Prentice Hall Financial Times

Philip Kotler (1988), Marketing Management: Principles and Practise, UK: Prentice Hall

Journals and reports

M. Heidkamp and D. Maryles (2005), Winning strategies. Publishers Weekly, 1/1/92, Vol. 239 Issue 1

Manote Tripathi (2005), BOOK MARKS, The Nation Ready for the Last Round, Publishers Weekly, 14th November 2005, Vol. 252 Issue 45

Rozmeen Tambe (2004), Book selling- market report, UK: Key note Ltd

S. Steiberg, M. Heidkamp and D. Maryles (2005), Winning strategies. Publishers Weekly, Vol. 239 Issue 2

Ursula Sullivan and Jacquelyn S Thomas (2005), Managing Marketing Communications with Multichannel Customers, Journal of Marketing, Oct2005, Vol. 69 Issue-4