Sunday, April 13, 2008

Uncle Griff's Dynamite Marketing Plan

It is strongly recommended that you do not read this while eating or drinking!


It is 2PM, the online Workshop forum is packed full of desperate, disenfranchised Sellers of digital media all anxious to learn "How to Make eBay's New Digital Download Policy Work for You".

I have to admit to feeling sympathy for Brian Burke who answered all questions respectfully and with politeness, charm, and humor where appropriate. What a contrast to the last workshop I audited with Scott Wingo!

Immediately the forum opened about 50 posts hit the board. Most were either explaining why the policy is misguided, a mistake or it simply should not apply to them. The remainder asked questions that were either answered in the March 24th announcement or the Classified Advertisement guideline page. I do not understand what part of this:

all goods that can be digitally downloaded or transferred electronically must be listed using the Classified Ads format

is complicated or open to any alternate interpretation.

The first half dozen responses were variations on the theme of NO. Posting was hot and heavy and I was glad this was an online workshop, it felt like a brawl. Then, in a truly slick move, 8 minutes from the end of the workshop, as the brawl was winding up into a small riot, Uncle Griff unveiled his Marketing Plan for eBook Sellers in a series of posts and at exactly 3PM eBay Pink Deidre closed the board for further comments or questions.

Pearls of wisdom from Uncle Griff

Uncle Griff's dynamite marketing plan was that eBook sellers should put them on 1G flash drives, or memory cards. He said:
The new policy also presents intriguing marketing opportunities for the enterprising seller of digital content to add value to their content by offering it on media that can be used for other purpose.

They could then join the hordes of sellers in Books, Cameras & Photos, Cell Phones & PDAs and Consumer Electronics, listing at 1c with 8.99 shipping. (Does that make sense? Yes, well, ummm, onward.)

It is a very good marketing plan. For eBay. He assumes the seller has an eBay Store to help cross promote all of their content listings with their non content listings. Then using a mix of Classified Ads, Auction, and Fixed Price, with sub-titles (additional marketing opportunity) Uh huh.

So here we go . . .
Perceived Value . . .
Adding value to your content will set your listings apart from your competition. To my eye, one of more distressing aspects of the growing trend in digital content is the “sameness” that permeates this particular category of listings. There are so many titles like “How to sell on eBay,” “How to Make Millions on eBay,” “Needlework Patterns,” etc that it is difficult for buyers to differentiate between content listings.

Content . . .
Considering creating an “eBay How To” eBook or compile a collection of your own needlework or embroidery patterns or a collection of templates (the type of content doesn't matter here. All types of content will benefit from these tips)? Fantastic!

Branding . . .
You may need to hire a graphic designer to do the initial work for you but again, anything you can do to set your content apart from your competition provides value to your potential buyers. Your mantra should always be, “I must set my content apart from the pack.”

Pricing . . .
Remember, for the most part, buyers believe that value is best indicated by price. Sure, every buyer wants a good deal, a bargain. No buyer wants to spend more than an item is worth. However, there is a price point for every item – not always obvious and not always easy to determine – below which the buyer stops considering the item as a bargain and starts viewing the item as “cheap” with all the word’s negative connotations.

Finally . . .
don’t discount the old tried and true printed book method of delivery. As the success of on and offline bookstores like Borders, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and of course, eBay’s own clearly show us, bound printed on paper books still have a huge audience of eager buyers. There are many self-publishing options available to neophyte authors, especially those authors for whom finding an agent or old world publisher is not a viable option.

Brian & Griff, I think you should know that all over America there are angry designers of knitting patterns . . . all of whom have very long sharp knitting needles . . . some of whom may be going to Chicago! Be alert, be very alert.

Next post . . . All you ever wanted to know about Classifieds Y'all come back and be sure to click VICTORIOUSLY on any interesting links in the sidebar!

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