Businesses need to act differently in 2010 or others will displace them.It’s time to reinvent. Did you know that the HBR reinvented itself by dramatically changing the feel of its publication just as it ran a cover story on businesses needing to reinvent?
We’ve seen this happen before.It could happen to you if you’re not careful. The best carriage manufacturers in the world still went out of business. As book publishers that’s something to worry about.
So here are 5 ideas to help you think about how to change.Disclaimer – Applicability of some of these ideas vary by genre, publisher type, size of publisher and may apply only at the topic level.
1. Build consumer brands because your current value chain is breaking
1 IDEA They don’t need you as much as they once did. Why? They can connect to readers directly and build their own brands. And they’re doing so today. YOUR AUTHORS YOUR B2B BRAND YOUR DISTRIBUTION YOUR CUSTOMERS
1 IDEA Gary first created an audience (a huge one) and then signed a million dollar book contract. If you wait until your authors have audiences that are too large, you won’t be able to afford them. Social media lets authors create audiences. You need to find authors right before they explode.
1 IDEA Readers can connect directly with your authors too. Just look at the blog or Facebook page of a popular author. YOUR AUTHORS YOUR B2B BRAND YOUR DISTRIBUTION YOUR CUSTOMERS
1 IDEA When people read books today, they also go to the Internet to learn more about the author. It takes minutes to set up a fan page on Facebook and start engaging with readers. Every author is doing this. Authors can do this on your platforms or your Facebook pages.
1 IDEA Your distributors are deepening their connection with readers. They’re learning much more about readers than you’ll ever know. YOUR AUTHORS YOUR B2B BRAND YOUR DISTRIBUTION YOUR CUSTOMERS
1 IDEA The Kindle, the Nook and the iPad are changing the dynamics of your industry. You can fight it or leverage it. It may appear that your distribution channels are moving into the digital age more quickly than you are.
1 IDEA And readers are letting them control much more. They’re giving them more information than they realize. YOUR AUTHORS YOUR B2B BRAND YOUR DISTRIBUTION YOUR CUSTOMERS
1 IDEA What my book retailer will know about me:
1 IDEA Brand VoicesSocial Voices Social Brand Who will be your social voices? Your marketers and editors? Remember you need to have a voice too, as author/reader relationships aren’t typically 24/7 365 days a year. Yours can be. Your audiences need to be a 100 times larger than any single authors.
2 IDEA Today your business is Product Manager Driven Product Customers Source: Rethinking Marketing, Harvard Business Review. January 2010
2 This happens with every book in isolation IDEA Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Book 4 Book 5 Book 6 Book 7 Book 8 And you rarely know how many readers of one book, migrate to the next book or influence others to buy books. You do not know your customer lifetime value.
2 IDEA Tomorrow you may be Customer Manager Driven Customers Can you put your customers at the center of your business? Your customers matter more than what you publish. You need to know how much they’ve bought from you and how much they influence others to purchase. Products Source: Rethinking Marketing, Harvard Business Review. January 2010
2 IDEA But what I feel you really need is a Community Manager Driven model Customers We act and behave in groups online across social networks. You must understand the community dynamics that surround your customers if you want to sell more books and develop a B2C brand. Community Products
2 IDEA There are precedents in your space – book clubs. They are communities. Now they’re online. And just as in the wine business where there are wine clubs from producers, there’s no reason why there can’t be book clubs from publishers. You can provide your members with discounts based on their lifetime value to you.
2 IDEA What does this mean:1. Consumers act not as individuals but as communities too2. You need to find the communities online and market to them3. You must know the lifetime value of a customer and a community4. And provide discounts based on that lifetime value too Just because the customer has already bought the book, it doesn't mean you should forget about him or her. That’s extremely key.
3. Bring your readers into the book development process
3 IDEA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Publisher identifies opportunity Author contract signed Author writes the book Book is published Book is bought by retailers Book is sold to readers Book goes into second print run The book publishing process
3 IDEA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Publisher identifies opportunity Author contract signed Author writes the book Book is published Book is bought by retailers Book is sold to readers Book goes into second print run Author involvement Consumer participation With some author/consumer involvement
3 IDEA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Publisher identifies opportunity Author contract signed Author writes the book Book is published Book is bought by retailers Book is sold to readers Book goes into second print run Social Media Author involvement Consumer participation The ideal state in the future
3 IDEA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Publisher identifies opportunity Author contract signed Author writes the book Book is published Book is bought by retailers Book is sold to readers Book goes into second print run Conversation Mining to choose topics that would make popular books Listening tools to identify authors who are about to explode Publish the book as it’s written. Test outlines, titles and concepts Leverage SIM strategies. Using the social platforms and influencers Map sales based on social activity. Use social metrics to project sales Use the community for the next edition. Ask readers what to publish next and how Repeat but with readers who participate even more in the process
4 IDEA It is not just about a platform; yours or anyone else's.
4 IDEA 72% of internet users say they are exposed to too much advertising Are you doing anything about that?
4 IDEA We haven’t known how to reach these people. (Think Amazon star ranked reviewers. They are the cool kids.) And these have typically been ignored. (Friends & family who drive many decisions) CUSTOMER Do you know who the influencers are for each book? With social technologies you can find these people. These continue to get the most attention (The book review editor at the NY Times for example.)
4 IDEA You probably don’t know her. But she’s an example of an influencer who’s affecting book sales more than you probably realize. Who are the new influencers for the books you publish?
5 IDEA What’s your SIM Score? SIM Score = Conversation Share + Sentiment* *Adjusted for influence
5 IDEA Trade Publisher SIM Scores The people who do talk about publishers do so in favorable light. You have the right ingredients to become consumer brands.And you can use any major conversation monitoring vendor to get the data to compute your SIM Score. The formula is available at http://www.goingsocialnow.com
Does the SIM Score change over the lifetime of a book?
Is the SIM Score a predictor of future book sales?
Can an author’s SIM Score be used to determine a book’s success?
How does your B2B SIM Score stack up against your competitors?
So are you evolving at the pace SIM is? 1 Experiments The nephew tests 2 Social Platform Rush for Brands 3 SIM Strategy Integrated Marketing You’re somewhere on this continuum 4 Social Brands Becoming more human 5 Real time Brands with real time products 6 Managing the Community Model And probably need to move into these areas too
5 IDEAS for Engaging readers in the digital age Build consumer brands Take consumers from one book to another Bring readers into the book development process Leverage social influencers at every step Use the new forms of measurement @shivsingh http://goingsocialnow.com
Thank You"Special thanks to Andy Dutter who provided valuable suggestions for this presentation" Shiv Singh http://goingsocialnow.com twitter.com/shivsingh