Fourth, customer service needs to be designed for real-time response and be automated on the proposed ventures website as a student may need a book immediately if their Kindle DX is lost, stolen or malfunctions. All of these attributes taken together will give the proposed vendor a high-end, high quality position in the market and will also ensure a consistently excellent user experience, which is critical to customers purchasing additional e-textbooks in the future. Focusing on the highest quality content in a state-of-the-art platform will also make the selling process much more efficient as the proposed venture will be all the more trusted for taking these steps prior to launching the business.
Making virtual products or services real is a challenge and as a result many companies, including Salesforce.com have turned to events-based selling and marketing. Early on Salesforce.com realized that people wanted to actually see their online Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, so as a result they began an intensive series of live events globally to introduce companies to their software (Hamm, 2009). Executives in the company credit this with making the software “real” and trustworthy. The proposed venture needs to do the same. Hosting e-textbook events at major college and university campuses is critical for making the e-textbooks tangible.
At these events free trials of e-textbooks will be given out and also a chance to win a Kindle DX every day of the event period. In conjunction with this effort, sales calls to professors and book buyers at the top colleges and universities, where an Kindle DX loaded with all e-textbooks is left behind so the prospect can see the depth of the catalog, needs to be done. Selling needs to make as tangible as possible the benefits of the e-textbooks.
Advertising, Promotions & Incentives
Advertising needs to be focused more on social networks including Facebook, Twitter and through blogs than through traditional print. The target audience of students and instructors are more acclimated to getting their news and information online than in print. Sponsoring events on major college campuses will also do much to promote the brand of the proposed venture. Promotions and incentives of free e-textbooks will be given away at events and the chance to win a Kindle DX a day will also be used to generate interest.
Steve Hamm. (2009, November). THE KING OF THE CLOUD Business Week,(4157), 77.
Skodzinski, N.. (2009, June). Kindling the E-textbook Market. Book.