Rosie Henry works as a Marketing Executive at Singing Dragon, an imprint of Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has previously interned for the editorial department at Yellow Kite, Hodder & Stoughton, and studied for an MA in Publishing at City University London.
I’ve been observing marketing campaigns and marketers my whole life, and one thing I’ve learnt is that you need to be passionate to succeed. Personally, I have never met a top-notch marketer who wasn’t passionate about their product or brand, and believe that if you love what you do, then this will channel directly through the brand and into the customer’s hands – hopefully along with the book you’re marketing!
I love working with Singing Dragon books because I get to work with such a variety of interesting topics every day: alternative health; martial arts; yoga; aromatherapy – and the list goes on. But what I’m really passionate about is finding out where all of these audiences are, who they are and how I can make them aware of the book.
I believe that research is the backbone of an effective marketing campaign. The best marketers I’ve seen are the ones who know their target market inside out – they know where they communicate, where they shop and how they behave.
For each book I look after, I make sure to put aside some time to research the target market. This might involve finding out which social media platforms they’re using, what they’re talking about, which hashtags they’re using, which publications they’re reading, and so on. In fact, I would say that this is the most exciting part of my job because it’s a bit like detective work, and I always learn something new along the way.
Marketing often involves liaising with different departments, authors, and external organisations, so I think it’s really important that you’re able to communicate effectively. I find communication skills are especially important when it comes to dealing with publications and bloggers because not only do you often have to negotiate terms with them, but there is also a relationship to maintain.
I’ve especially loved communicating with the market recently, as it’s been really rewarding to see how responsive customers have been to us winning the ‘Independent Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year’ award at the British Book Industry Awards!
Whilst you don’t need to be a data scientist, I think it’s really important to be able to handle data and statistics to measure the effectiveness of marketing and social media campaigns. I didn’t have too much experience with analytics before working in marketing, but I think it would have been really beneficial if I did. Having said that, it was relatively easy to get started, especially with user-friendly tools like Google Analytics. I think what’s most important is that you’re able to use the insights from the analytics to better understand your market and to develop more effective marketing campaigns.
Marketing has changed so much in recent years (understatement of the year!), and it seems as soon as you think you find something that works well, it all changes again. That’s why I think it’s really important to be brave and take calculated risks when it comes to marketing, especially digital marketing.
My favourite marketing campaigns are all ones that have taken risks. For example, Penguin launched a whole new website for their Little Black Classics collection, which was not only met with huge success but went on to win ‘Marketing Strategy of the Year’ a few days ago at the British Book Industry Awards – well done Penguin!
Thanks to Norah Myers for sourcing this guest post.
If you’ve been on Twitter at any point since the weekend, chances are that you’ve come across the YouGov profiler, a jolly little plaything/terrifying cross-section of all the privacies we wilfully surrender that allows users to input the name of ‘any brand, person or thing’ then presents them with a picture of a typical fan of said brand, person or thing courtesy of the titular market research firm. It’s by no means exhaustive (apparently there weren’t enough fans of Yo La Tengo to constitute an appropriate sample size, which is of course just how Yo La Tengo fans like it) but it’s certainly an enjoyable way to pass a few minutes
confirming your existing prejudices engaging in some low-level market research. With the profiler’s help, then, BookMachine proudly (?) presents a guide to the demographics you need to pitch to if you want to make it big in publishing [puts feet up on desk, taps out cigar ash].
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