Once the marketing strategy has been aligned with the business strategy, the marketer needs to break it down into different marketing programmes/ tactics and deploy them using appropriate channels that help optimise the return on investment, within the marketing budget.

A modern marketing department in book publishing today comprises key roles like:
1. Product Marketing– Responsible for managing Product List and Segment revenues, Customer and Market Research, Product Knowledge Dissemination, Campaign Design, Lead and Revenue Generation, Author Relationship Management, Building Strategic Alliances & Partnerships with key Customers, Industry Associations and Professional Bodies.
2. Digital and Social Media Marketing– Driving digital marketing strategy in association with Product Marketing teams. Growing presence and engagement over social media with smart content marketing, Managing Corporate Website, Product Microsites, E-Commerce, Database Marketing and Sales Force Automation tools including CRM.
3. Events, Branding & PR Management– Conceptualising and organising Book Launches and relevant Thought Leadership Events, Collaboration and tie-ups with other event organisers, Managing PR and Corporate Communication, managing external agencies and vendors.
4. Marketing Services– Creative Conceptualisation and Visual Designing, Marketing Collaterals, Videos, Infographics and White-papers, managing vendors et al.

Some of these roles are further split into more specialised roles, depending on the size and scale of the organisation and the marketing function.

Peter Drucker once said, ‘There will always, one can assume, be need for some selling. But the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself. Ideally, marketing should result in a customer who is ready to buy. All that should be needed then is to make the product or service available.’

With the sales function getting more entangled with managing day- to-day sales and channels, the CEO and business leaders have a growing expectation from marketers today to shoulder more and deliver more by creating new sources of revenue and expanding the current ones. Viewed from a different lens a smart marketer should leverage this as an enhanced opportunity to demonstrate a robust impact of his role and function on the business.

Marketers today are not only responsible for marketing of products but are also looked up to when it comes to building and strengthening the corporate brand in a fashion that helps attract new authors and talent. Just like practitioners of science, technology, law and medicine, marketers too need to keep themselves abreast of all Political, Economic, Social and Technological changes happening around them and their customers, if they intend to stay ahead of their competitors and want to keep winning the hearts and minds of their customers.

Philip Kotler mentions in his latest book, Marketing 4.0, that marketers need to embrace the shift to a more horizontal, inclusive and social business landscape. Social media eliminate geographies and demographic barriers, enabling people to connect and communicate, and companies to innovate through collaboration. Customers are becoming increasingly wary of marketing communication from brands and are relying instead on the f-factor (friends, families, fans and followers). The customer buying process is becoming more social with customers relying on social advice and reviews to aid their decision-making. Hence marketers today have both greater challenges and greater opportunities depending on how well they embrace and leverage the changes in their ecosystem to their advantage. In the end the choice is very simple – adapt or perish and I know you are a smart marketer who is determined to evolve and succeed.