When it comes to trends and changes in market research, 2021 has been an incredibly interesting and exciting year. New challenges, changes in taste and technological developments have meant that creative industries have needed to be nimble in their marketing strategies to make the most of the shifting landscape within publishing.
There are a number of market research trends to keep an eye out for in the coming months from social media influencers to AI. Budgets are tight and consumers are weary of seeing the same thing, so now is a great time to reflect, review and look at how things can be done differently.
Using your social media to listen
Social listening is the technique of using your brand’s social media, or even a dummy account, to take note of how your consumers are talking about your publishing company online. This can be very helpful in figuring out if there are any particular pain points in your marketing strategy or misinterpretations about what you are communicating to your audience. Information such as this can be analysed to paint a picture of how your brand is seen from a consumer perspective which can help you pivot your marketing strategy if needed.
Utilising AI and Machine Learning
Publishing businesses are already utilising AI in marketing for messaging, developing content online, predictive user data, serving ads and more. Google Ads is probably the biggest example of using AI effectively to reach new audiences and has expanded the use of AI in most of their marketing tools.
It’s important for publishers to know who their audience is, what books would suit their needs and how to market to them specifically. Machine learning can effectively use customer profiles and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to optimise your visibility online and target the right audience. The issue is financial investment, especially for smaller publishers, however there is no doubt the AI will be a market research trend for the foreseeable future due to its benefits.
Purpose and positivity
Consumers are increasingly putting their values on the forefront when it comes to what businesses they wish to purchase from. The last few years have seen protests, climate disasters, wars, a pandemic and an upheaval in labour practices which consumers expect businesses, especially large companies, to respond to in some way.
Developing a purposeful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy that utilises your marketing channels will give your consumers confidence in your business. CSR should be essential to any publishing business looking to improve and develop their marketing strategy. For example, Penguin Books put together a manifesto on their corporate responsibility which they branded as ‘Creative Responsibility’.
What this means is that when publishers carry out market research they should acknowledge how social responsibility might play a role in their marketing campaigns. Is there a demographic of young readers that could benefit from more diverse authors? Since the climate protests around the world, is there more opportunity for book titles about climate change? This can be a win-win situation for publishers where their business becomes more socially responsible while also opening the doors for great market research strategies and campaigns.
Recently BookMachine Creative Agency, organised the event ‘Book Influencer Secrets: Maximising your social campaign reach’ because social media influencers are increasingly vital in book marketing. YouTube and Instagram are well known for their book reading communities but TikTok has caught the attention of publishers for its ability to boost sales with several book titles going viral.
Influencers can potentially have thousands of followers who use social media almost exclusively to get suggestions for their next book. Tapping into this market can have enormous benefits when it comes to collecting consumer data by seeing what attracts attention and what resonates with readers.
Many marketing professionals in publishing have influencer contacts and can send advance copies to influencers aligned with a specific genre or type of audience. Collaborating with influencers will be a very useful tool in any marketer’s toolkit and can play a key role in your next book marketing campaign.
About BookMachine Creative Agency
BookMachine Creative Agency first launched in 2017 and has since worked with over 50 book-related businesses including trade Fiction, Non-Fiction, Education and Children’s. The Agency team works either on a retainer basis or on fixed-term projects with expertise in digital marketing, online events and now digital product development as well.