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Core Vocabulary

Remember Top Publisher Ltd. in Prague? We have already met with the CEO, Mr. Vladimir Kovarik, and his assistant Pavla Svobodova. Top Publisher is a relatively new, but successful and fast growing business, which has already won a non-negligible market share within the Czech book selling market and actually became a brand.

Their main focus is on professional literature in various fields such as law, commerce, human resources, psychology, medicine, physical and mental health, etc. Their target market/customers are all kinds of professionals, high school and university teachers, students, and a broader interested public (of course).

Since 2013, Top Publisher has been involved also in production of foreign language textbooks, aiming to achieve standards comparable to renowned ELT publishers. This also means maximum implementation of the latest IT technologies. Their latest achievement is a new Business English (BE) textbook, Busy Business Intermediate.

Two years ago, in 2013, they released Busy Business Pre-Intermediate, written by two leading experts in Business English (BE): Dr Felix Market, MBA, and PhDr. Ing. Charlotta Skrblikova, Ph.D. Mr. Market is English, Ms. Skrblikova is Czech (don’t be misled by her first name). It is part of Top Publisher’s marketing strategy with this textbook to make the best use of this of English–Czech authorship combination.

Busy Business Pre-Intermediate was a success, yet this time, Top Publisher aims even higher. Apart from the classical Busy Business Intermediate book and audio pack, they have some digital and (more or less) free online resources that go with it. Above all, however, they have also developed an iBusyB multimedia edition, ready to use on PCs, Macs, and all mobile devices, i.e. mainly tablets and mobile phones.

However, before Busy Business Intermediate saw the light of the day, there was a long way to go. First of all, Top Publisher had to produce a marketing plan. Apart from other things, it consisted of some steps we are now going to discuss.

They conducted a market research among their focus groups/prospects (potential customers) in order to establish the niche (market) – a special area of demand for their new book. They did this by way of personal interviews (with business students, Business English teachers and professional public interested in convenient, ready-to-use study materials) and questionnaires – both in classical and online forms. They also made use of reviews that their customers contribute online on their Facebook, Twitter and Top Publisher webpages. Mr. Kovarik will tell us more about this later in
the lesson.

When the research and customer needs analysis had been completed, Mr. Kovarik commissioned (gave them the task) the authors and graphic designers to start working on Busy Business Intermediate.


Marketing Mix

In the meantime, the marketing department was busy managing a balanced marketing mix of
the new book – i.e. activities/aspects that must be combined successfully in order to sell. Top Publisher marketing experts work with the classical model of four Ps (product, price, place and promotion), but they also keep in mind the complementary model of four Cs (customer, cost, convenience and communication). Let us have a look at some points they have considered.

Product

Customer wants and needs

  • Busy Business Intermediate
  • Unique Selling Points (USP)
    • co-authored by BE professionals, English and Czech native speakers
    • match highest levels of international standard in BE textbook production
    • online and multi-media features/supplements
    • mobile devices apps
  • Busy Business Pre-Intermediate
    higher-level follow-up
  • user friendly for Czech BE students
  • attractive design
  • available also in digital form

 

 

Price

Cost to the customer

  • mixture of (a) premium and (b) competitive pricing strategy:

     

    • (a) higher prices to indicate the product quality and brand value
    • (b) noticeably lower prices than those of international publishing houses operating in the Czech Republic
  • special offers, students discounts, registered customers etc.
  • objective: reach a 15% profit margin
    (the percentage of selling price turned into profit) within the first year of sale and move up to 33% in the years to follow
  • readiness to invest to quality study material
  • lower prices in comparison with competitors
  • student discounts
  • limited promotion offers

 

Place

Convenience for the customer

  • indirect distribution: sell to major book retailers – Neoluxor, Kanzelsberger, Dobrovský and Barvič a Novotný

     

    • frequented enough by customers
    • have large language textbooks and professional literature departments
  • direct distribution – e-retail:
    Top Publisher e-shop affiliated to publisher’s website
    • includes e-book format sales
    • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
  • brick-and-mortar retailers easily accessible in larger towns
  • e-shopping
    • comfortable online purchases
    • appealing, easy to navigate web pages

 

Promotion

Communication with the customer

  • online presentation, e-marketing channels, online advertising
    • happy student/teacher-user video clip on YouTube
    • Facebook and Twitter profilessocial media marketing
  • other channels
    • promotional material distribution: flyers, free chapters, free DVD-tutorial samples, electronic trial versions
    • product launch events: presentations, free Student Book distribution, free Complete Set offers for teachers, various types of long-term and limited discounts
  • e-shop
    • lesson structure presentation
    • pages layout samples
    • “look-inside” link
  • flyleaf reviews by professionals
  • Facebook and Twitter presence
    • convenient form of viral marketing (word-of-mouth marketing) – spreading the news about the product among customers themselves