How Smart is Your Marketing? : Learning Lessons from Other Industry Sectors
Marketing is changing. We see it everyday by looking at the activity of our customers. Marketing strategy is becoming more sophisticated as is the implementation of campaigns. As publishers you should be reaping the rewards of this in terms of increased sales and revenue. However, publishing is still some way behind many industries in the application of technology and use of ‘smarter’ marketing. Are there lessons that can be learned and methods utilised from other market sectors. We believe so.
We cannot compare marketing in academic publishing to other sectors due to the market factors in this sector and the unique interaction between the key players – the publisher, the academic, the librarian, the wholesaler, the sales team, the book trade – but there are ways in which a publisher can maximise success of their campaigns, reduce overall long-term costs, increase total sales and return on investment and make the entire process smarter.
What methods commonly used by other sectors can be applied to the publishing sector then?
- Demand Generation
- Lead Nurturing
- Social Media
On the surface, these may seem like the kind of marketing methods that are not going to be relevant to someone marketing books or journals, but this is not the case. Whilst the mechanics involved in undertaking this type of activity may differ, the thought-process behind them is the same, and with a few tweaks, they could be used to great effect.
For example, ask yourself a question about your e-marketing activity:
What happens to those people who click on your email campaign but do not order?
In most instances you assume that after reading a little more about your product they are not interested. However, what if they were but this wasn’t the right time in the buying-cycle for them to reply to your ‘call to action’. How can you identify these people and target them again at a more appropriate time?
What do you do with people who’ve contacted you via a range of marketing channels?
Nowadays, your points of contact with your customers are many and varied. The proliferation of online media (company website, product microsites, Facebook pages for books, corporate Twitter feeds etc) as well as the more traditional manner of people replying to mailings or emailings means you have potential buyers contacting you from multiple directions. Do these simply get added to your database or do you have systems in place to follow them up effectively?
How integrated is your mailing and emailing activity (and do you have the ability to facilitate ongoing and relevant follow-ups based on your responses?)
We increasingly see the combination of mailing and emailing campaigns for single promotions, but is this effective. Usually, its an email with mailing follow-up for vice versa. However, what if you designed your HTML creative so that those people clicking on different links received slightly different follow-up marketing communications? The HTML can be designed so that specific ‘calls to action’ lead to timely follow up depending on what you’ve ascertained their needs to be – are they ‘hot leads’ interested in finding out more straight away, have they spent more time/clicks viewing multiple pages but not registered to receive more information from you, or have they simply clicked once and disappeared. You can score your click-throughs according to importance and tailor your response accordingly rather than just letting them disappear. This kind of approach is more tailored to high-priced/profit products like journals or expensive reference works (particularly when you have something you can offer them in return for their details – such as access to free journal articles, on-line trials etc) or textbooks where the life-time value of an adoption makes it particularly profitable for you to convert these leads.
Just take a short while to think about how many of your promotions could benefit from a little extra thought and a more strategic approach to converting potential customers into actual, money-spending individuals – you will reap the benefit.