Summer school

Photo of BPL Courtyard

In my review of my bucket list earlier this week, I’ve come to the conclusion that one of my items (taking a class) isn’t realistic for me this summer. It’s been seven months since I completed my last college class, and I’m desperate for some sort of academic stimulation. So I’ve decided to jump on the DIY bandwagon and create my own summertime curriculum. I’m going to do my own research on topics that catch my attention: current events, changes in my industry, things I’ve never heard of before… Really, anything that piques my interest.

Part of (most of) my job involves marketing and publicity through traditional methods and digital platforms. My sources for information come primarily from business publications like Entrepreneur, Inc., Forbes, and the Harvard Business Review.

InboundvOutbound

Photo via Photo Pin

The New Age of Marketing (originally posted on exploreB2B)

Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz about companies catching on to new marketing methods. Businesses are asking: How do we connect with our audience? What is the best way to enhance engagement, build loyalty, and increase retention? Which tools are the best to use to achieve all of these goals and more? I decided to learn a little bit more about new, innovative marketing strategies: What works, what used to work, and how marketing and PR professionals can effectively implement these changes.

Inbound vs. Outbound

The new and old marketing strategies are distinguished by “inbound” and “outbound” marketing. Inbound marketing involves attracting customers to you with all the colors of a blooming peacock –rather than bombarding them with junk mail. Advances in technology (spam filters alone) make the rude interruption that is outbound marketing obsolete and ineffective in terms of cost and conversion rates. If you want to turn leads into loyal customers, focus inbound marketing efforts on the following three areas:

  • Blogging: Create and share useful, relevant, and interactive content that aligns with your customers’ needs and interests.
  • SEO: Optimize your pages with relevant keywords to make your content readily but organically available for buyers when they search.
  • Social media: Engage with customers and encourage feedback using these real-time customer service tools.

In all, don’t market at a person, but incite a conversation. Draw customers to you with creative and quality content. Supplement with stories, jokes, and interactive media. Ask and respond to questions, and address your customers’ needs to keep them coming back for more.

Additional resources:

  • HubspotInbound Marketing Methodology
  • IncThe New Rules for Marketing, Geoffrey James
  • MashableInbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing 
  • OptifyInbound vs. Outbound Marketing, Scott Fasser
  • Social Media TodayInbound or Outbound Marketing? Monica Jade Romeri

Books and the Big Apple

Photo of NYC

Last weekend, I attended BookExpo America in New York City. BEA is the premier book publishing event in North America, bringing together 20,000 publishers, authors, agents, bookstore owners, and librarians. The original purpose of the event was to give bookstores a chance to order books for the upcoming season. Now, the event has grown tremendously and serves as an opportunity for publishers to strike deals with buyers, create buzz about new and forthcoming titles, and showcase their authors. It was my first time attending, and only one of the few professional book events I’ve ever attended.

Spanning three levels, plus conference rooms, industry professionals stuffed themselves beneath the roof of the Javits Center. Between meetings and conferences, much of the day was spent waiting in winding lines between exhibits for galleys or advanced reading copies (ARCS) of highly anticipated new titles, hoping there will be enough left, and that the author will be there to sign.

For me, this event was a great opportunity to talk with other members of the book industry, but mostly to meet book lovers from all over the country. Highlights from my trip include:

This billboard, upon arrival. Thank you, Penguin.

Photo of billboard

A signed copy of TransAtlantic by Colum McCann, one of my favorite authors.

Photo of signed book

Getting to chat with him was a pleasure as well. His sister has the same name as me!

Walking around the city and browsing an outdoor market (another item on my bucket list).

Photo of market on 40th St

Finding this awesome, antique cigarette tin at the market.

Photo of cigarette tin

And this is, overall, measures the success of my day.

Photo of ten books

We all know about the news in recent years about the dying book business. However, in this Forbes article, Steve Cohen discusses the “contagious optimism” that radiated throughout the conference, claiming that with its embrace of technology and innovation, the book industry might just save itself. I am hopeful for my industry as well, and looking forward to attending BEA next year!