My colleague at Emerald Group Publishing very kindly agreed to interview with me for my blog – I always want to offer my readers a look at publishing from a number of different angles. Kat works in the marketing department of the company and works closely with me day to day on our portfolio of titles. Here she provides a look at marketing in the publishing industry and the challenges of marketing academic research…
What attracted you to working for an academic publishing company?
Education has a huge, everlasting impact on our lives – whether you received a good or bad education has an influence on your career choices, development, and to certain extent happiness.
To be a part of an organisation which influences the best research for higher education students, as well as developing our knowledge and growth both economically and socially across the globe had huge appeal for me!
How much does it differ from your last company and in what ways? What was the most challenging part of moving on to such a different company?
It’s almost completely different; my previous company was B2B focussed selling document management solutions, so saying it was a bit of a culture shock joining Emerald is an understatement!
I think the biggest change has been my day-to-day job and the audience I’m now working for. At my previous company, I was doing lots of everything focussing on lead generation from paper-heavy organisations. Here, I am working solely for our academic audience (users and creators) in a much more strategic, focussed manner.
The benefits of marketing in the trade publishing industry are obvious to the general consumer. Why is marketing so important in the dissemination of academic research?
Humans have always wanted to know more, and to have the ability to find out more about their interests or specialist area and share it with other likeminded people; leading to a circular learning-understanding-sharing system.
But in a world where information online is growing faster than people will ever be able to read it, marketing is key in ensuring this process continues – if it weren’t for meta data, PPC, campaigning, positioning or communication, that research may be lost in cyberspace and the potential to learn a little bit more about the world can easily be lost.
The purpose of marketing in academia is to ensure this knowledge is found, read, understood and shared.
Marketing is a bit like watching a series on TV – miss one episode and you’re not quite sure how the story has developed.
What would you say are the most essential qualities that a successful marketing professional must have?
Understanding your audience and what they want is the first commandment for any successful marketer. You may get some success just ‘trying stuff out’, but if you want marketing to positively impact the growth, prosperity and reputation of your organisation, you must know your audience inside-out.
What do you enjoy most about your job and what do you find the most challenging?
I love the buzz in the office on a Friday afternoon after a successful week; I love the challenge of ensuring everything we do considers the customer first; and I love that my passion for creative writing is fulfilled every day through the work I produce.
The most challenging aspect for me is always wanting more – more analytics, more insight, more customer satisfaction. I don’t perceive these challenges as negatives though, more opportunities to help achieve a better relationship with our stakeholders.
The best companies in the world are the ones with the strongest relationships with its customers, no matter how big or small it is; and it’s a never ending, constantly evolving target. There is no bigger challenge, or opportunity, than that.
How important do you feel it is for academics and scholarly authors and editors to engage in social media and why?
I think it’s absolutely essential; people will do things for those they know, can communicate with and feel connected to. If scholarly authors want their research to be found and read across the globe, social media offers the perfect platform to create meaningful relationships with their audience through social media channels like Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. These global relationships would have been much harder, if not impossible, to develop before social media existed.
What recent marketing innovations and tools have excited you recently?
Marketing automation, big data, written and graphical storytelling as a form of marketing communication, the evolution of social media in marketing…. There isn’t much that doesn’t excite me about marketing developments, to be honest.
It’s a constantly evolving industry (like most) and moves and develops incredibly quickly, which is what keeps the job exciting, and helps me to stay motivated and innovative in everything I do.
The best company in the world is the one with the strongest relationships with its customers.
How do you keep up to date with the marketing industry and its developments?
I read a LOT; predominantly online research using Google Alerts, industry newsletters and webinars. I’m very committed to spending time finding out what’s happening in the industry in order to develop my own skills and help meet company goals.
It’s a bit like watching a series on TV – miss one episode and you’re not quite sure how the story has developed. It’s the same with marketing; you stop looking for the latest developments and trends and suddenly your marketing activity ceases to be as effective as it could be, if only you’d paid proper attention!
To find out more about Emerald Group Publishing, visit www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com