Find out what the biggest stumbling blocks are for marketeers at publishing houses and what marketing workflow management can do for them.
A long time ago – when I was a marketeer in the publishing sector – the basic principle behind a book launch was: "Give the book a prominent place in the bookstore and try to get as much attention from the press as possible". In this digitized era, in which bookstores are becoming ever scarcer and media more and more fragmented, this is a far from satisfactory way to successfully launch a book. Additionally, the lifespan of a book has become much shorter and the number of books being thrown on the market is bigger than ever before.
These are challenging times for marketeers who work at publishing houses. But what has not changed is the pressure applied by management and the authors, both of whom want to sell as many books as possible.
Marketing departments at publishing houses have undergone an extensive transformation in the past decade. This staffing has been expanded by specialized positions, such as event marketing and digital marketing. However, the marketing department has often grown artificially through mergers and acquisitions, driven by the consolidation wave that has rocked the industry. Often has this resulted in differing visions, jointly driven by the diversity of the cultures within the publishing houses.
Based on our experience as consultants for marketing departments at publishing houses, we have noticed that the biggest problems that marketeers are currently facing are these:
Experience has taught us that book marketeers are usually quite well informed about the techniques that can be used to launch or promote a book. They have customer-friendly websites, achieve high scores in Google, communicate in a fun and varied manner on social media, organize interesting and well-attended book events, often get attention from the press and know how to bring their book to the attention of prospective buyers via online and offline advertisements.
However… a great deal of time is lost in internal organization or workflow. Marketing workflow management is, therefore, more of an exception than the rule at marketing departments and publishing houses.
By marketing workflow management I mean the following:
At most publishing houses, all of these activities are managed using a diversity of tools, with Excel in the lead. Some publishing houses have already found their way to project management tools (like BaseCamp, Asana or Trello), but are still often grappling with a lack of specific marketing features within these generic systems.
The best solution is to use a specific, A specialized project management tool like Husky that bundles all the elementary and crucial processes within the marketing department into a single, centralized system. The result: a more complete overview of the whole picture, more internal communication, better reporting and scalable processes. The last item in this list is particularly important, because book launches should and can be a marketing machine.