May 10, 2017 • Aerio Staff
However, recent years have seen big shifts in this attitude, leading publishers and authors alike to tailor marketing messages to those who will actually be reading, enjoying, and promoting their works: their customers. Largely spurred by the growth of online retailers – a model that leaves the traditional middleman out in the cold – publishers are seeing amazing opportunities to maximize sales and develop customer networks like never before.
Here are 4 benefits you can gain by implementing direct-to-consumer marketing methods:
Customers like feeling valued, whether through promotional content or direct interactions with brands they like and respect. Direct-to-consumer marketing makes this easy, giving publishers a way to reach out directly to their target demographic to solicit opinions, hear feedback, and make connections. After all, there’s a sizable difference between simply reading a book and getting to interface with key players in the publishing process. This alternative to marketing makes the latter possible, improving the relationships both authors and publishers have with their fans. With an increased focus on branding, publishers can build bonds with readers, positioning themselves above the competition.
Marketing to a retailer doesn’t leave much room for imagination or creativity, but selling directly to consumers provides an opening for new and innovative ways to make sales. With so many effective and low-cost digital strategies that work best in B2C applications, like SMS marketing, social media campaigns, and email newsletters, publishers can leverage their marketing spending in a way that increases results while simultaneously cutting costs. Working with consumers also allows for an opportunity to personalize marketing materials; as publishers learn more about their main audiences, they can target their marketing accordingly. For example, a publisher with a focus on Young Adult literature can use teen-specific techniques to win over readers in a way traditional retailer sales can’t match.
Publishers and authors alike are generally at the mercy of traditional retailers when it comes to sales, both in regards to inventory constraints and the pricing of their titles. This can make it hard to sell books at a profit, or to keep shelves stocked with desired titles. However, with a direct-to-consumer platform, publishers are free to offer customers access to a full library of publications, enhancing exposure to a larger range of works. The ability to promote a wider variety of an author’s publications to consumers provides an opportunity to cross-market related titles and similar authors as well, offering increased access to an entire catalog of products for revenue growth on all fronts.
In general, inventory and marketing control sales. While traditional retailers are limited by the items physically on their shelves – a selection generally governed by new release titles and big-name authors – publishers are not. Building connections directly with readers offers greater control over which titles are emphasized, allowing ample opportunity for publishers to push backlist titles, sequel publications, and even non-printed media, like audio books and e-books. Through email and social media, publishers can leave third party sellers behind in order to control exactly what information reaches consumers. This is highly beneficial for a company’s bottom line, providing a way for publishers to push titles with fewer related royalty expenses and fees in order to see an overall improvement in margins.
As the wide world of marketing changes, so do the tools and techniques used by brands to connect with their customers. While B2B marketing strategies may have worked for publishers in the past, the internet has made the world of book sales a very different place. With benefits like improved control, increased exposure, and the development of brand loyalty, publishers can break through traditional barriers in marketing, offering products directly to consumers and reaping the rewards of doing so.