I was struck by this article in Marketing Week, ‘Heineken to build ‘real-time marketing’ drive around mobile, relating to Heineken’s new marketing push.
Real time marketing to consumers – communicating with them at the precise moment they are engaging in an activity or an interest – seems to be the buzz idea at present. And of course the ubiquitous smart phone, combined with Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites, lends itself perfectly to this. Communication with consumers becomes dynamic, instant and relevant.
The same thing is happening on television. Think of the ads you see just before a live football game, offering you odds on how long it will take Luis Suárez to chew a defender’s arm off completely. It’s perfect – a captive audience that can be sold to when they’re most responsive.
We’ve seen this at Infinite Ideas with the rise and rise of e-books. For the first time, on impulse, you can download content when you want it and start acting on it immediately. It’s the night before your big interview? Well you can download myriad guides on interview techniques instantly. They’ll provide hot tips for success that you can access to bolster your chances right up to sitting in the waiting room. And many of these e-books are free, or at least a fraction of the price you would pay for a physical printed book.
Book publishers dealing in the consumer reference sector need to start thinking in this way. If someone feels a nasty twinge in their back they’re pretty unlikely to hobble down to their local Waterstone’s and browse the shelves. More likely they’ll go online – and they will pay for good content.
Books – electronic and printed – are still relevant in this digital age, more so in fact, given that the internet offers up swathes of content much of which is unedited and sometimes just plain wrong. Content in a book from a reputable publisher will have been properly researched, edited and proofread.
So the challenge for conventional publishers is how to respond to the ever changing digital market place. The more enlightened ones are looking to offer content through as many platforms as possible – from print to app and onwards – all with the ultimate aim of delivering great content to consumers at the precise point they want to consume.