12.3.1, 12.3.2 Specialist Study

 How has the digitalisation of marketing affected the Publishing Industry?

For my specialist study, I am hoping to support the argument that the digitalisation of marketing has benefitted the Publishing Industry. To do this, I have researched academic sources about marketing in general, then focused my research specifically towards publishing through cultural sources. This research will help towards my FMP, as the purpose of my website will be to promote books through blog posts, reviews, features and videos, all the keep them in the public eye.

Having any sort of online presence is a great form of marketing, even if it is not specifically advertising. Even a negative presence brings the products into public eye, opening discussion. As Williams says; “The Internet never sleeps, and every portal you offer online gives your business a virtual 24 hour showroom” (ND). With there being no closing time for websites, having an online presence means your products can be found at all times, especially effective in regards to time zones, if you have an international audience. When it comes to Publishing, keeping books in the public eye can be the most effective way of advertising, with word of mouth keeping titles in the forefront of potential customer’s minds. According to Ryan; “…search engines offer a unique opportunity to get their products or services in front of online prospects at the exact moment they’re looking for them” (2014, p105). This supports my hypothesis, as having the products mentioned often and readily available means potential customers are encouraged to purchase.

The nature of the internet means that the general public are more likely to voice their opinions, as well as listen to each other’s, with it being so easily open for discussion. As reported by Hinckley; “…online reviews impact 67.7% of respondent’s purchasing decisions.” It’s no longer enough for products to be simply advertised. Now, people tend to research the products they are planning on buying, based on other people’s honest opinions. As stated by Rowles; “…what consumers are saying about us is more important than what we are saying about ourselves” (2015, p3). People are trusting reviews more than the original promotional sites, as these sites will be biased and only broadcast positive feedback. While this could be a bad thing for marketing in general, with the customers being more likely to look further into a product first and ignore adverts, it does mean that when it comes to my FMP, I will need to feature a variety of content each with honest opinions and open for discussion, so that my readers will trust the site and return. And as mentioned before, keeping them in the public eye surrounded by honest opinions will be its own form of marketing, encouraging others to read the book and join the discussion.

Social media has become a daily feature in most people’s lives – alone, “Facebook has 1.23 billion daily active users” (Smith, 2017). Like a lot of businesses, the publishing industry have used this to their advantage. With there being such a wide range of social media, publishing companies are often featured across a range of platforms, so that their marketing will reach a wider scope. According to Blank; “…they’re having a closer connection to their authors, a closer connection to their audience. They’re understanding how to use these channels in more interesting ways’ (2013). Publishers adjust their advertising to suit different social media platforms – Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube – and in this way have become closer to their customers. They can receive feedback at a much quicker rate and see trends take place, changing their marketing technique to suit the audience, arguing it could to be a much more efficient way of marketing.

Gaining the feedback quickly highly benefits the publishing industry, as changes can be made quickly once they see which techniques are successful or not. Staying up to date with the trends also means they are likely to attain new customers, as the products will remain in the popular interests. From this research, I know that for my website to reach a wider audience, I will need to share my content on a number of different social media platform, using new updates and trends to keep the majority of people interested.

Digital marketing has become a much more productive way of advertising. According to Aronson et al; “Web advertising differs from other mediums by enabling consumers to directly interact with the advertisement: (1997, p10). Not only can analytics be observed and used to adjust technique, but the interactivity element of links means customers can buy products immediately. With this providing a more productive and efficient way of sales, it is clear that digitalisation has potentially benefited the publishing industry. It now only takes a few clicks to buy a product, but there’s also no restrictions when it comes to time, like there would be with shop opening times. The accessibility tends to lead to a lot more impulse buys than would typically happen when going out shopping, helping increase sales.

Although I won’t be directly selling any books through my website, I will be encouraging the act of reading and promoting books through a variety of content. I know that my website will need to be interactive for my readers, open to discussion and also with easy access to links of where to buy any products mentioned. The simplicity of the process for readers will be even more encouraging, and really help with the marketing of books.

From the research conducted, we can come to the conclusion that while digital marketing is not the only thing to be relied on, both advertisers and consumers can benefit from an online presence. The interactivity element will help with my website, with discussions providing encouragement to read, along with links supplying easy access to any products mentioned, meaning all the content can be considered a form of promotion. This, therefore, proves my hypothesis successful.


Aronson, B, Zeff, R (1997) Advertising on the internet, John Wiley & Sons Inc

Bird, D (2007) 5th Edtion, Commonsense direct & digital marketing, Kogan Page Limited

Blank, D (2013) “Book marketing, publishing and social media” [Online] Accessed on 10/01/17 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj-J7mmH8BY

Cobain, D, Defosse M, Goodling, M in Ribbonfish (ND) How Publishers can do marketing better [Online] Accessed on 13/12/16 https://www.ribbonfish.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/How-Publishers-Can-Do-Marketing-Better.pdf

Cole, L (2015) Web Presence Marketing: The Importance of an Integrated Strategy [Online] Accessed on 10/02/17 at https://www.b2bmarketing.net/en-gb/resources/blog/web-presence-marketing-importance-integrated-strategy

Hinckley, D (2015) New Study: Data Reveals 67% of Consumers are Influenced by Online Reviews [Online] Accessed on 10/02/17 at https://moz.com/blog/new-data-reveals-67-of-consumers-are-influenced-by-online-reviews

Patterson, J (2016) How the role of the publisher is changing [Online] Accessed on 04/01/17  http://www.fipp.com/news/features/how-the-role-of-the-publisher-is-changing

Rowles, D (2015) 2nd Edition, Digital Branding, Kogan Page Limited

Ryan, D (2014) 3rd Edition, Understanding Digital Marketing: Marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation, Kogan Page Limited

Smith, C (2017) 400 Amazing Facebook Statistics and Facts [Online] Accessed on 07/02/17 at http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-17-amazing-facebook-stats/

Smith, K (2016) Marketing: 47 Facebook Statistics for 2016 [Online] Accessed on 07/02/17 at https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/

Williams, J (ND) The Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs An Online Presence [Online] Accessed on 10/02/17 at http://smallbusiness.chron.com/reasons-small-business-needs-online-presence-27742.html


Author: Ashleigh

I'm Ashleigh, a 19 year old British bookworm who has been living in the fictional world half of my life. I adore reading, and will never have a large enough book collection. I'm a Slytherin with a bit of Gryffindor in me, and I love Disney.

3 thoughts on “12.3.1, 12.3.2 Specialist Study”

  1. ” As stated by Rowles; “…what consumers are saying about us is more important than what we are saying about ourselves” (2015, p3″ highlighting the impact the internet can have where consumers can easily have a voice.


  2. “Gaining the feedback quickly highly benefits the publishing industry, as changes can be made quickly once they see which techniques are successful or not. Staying up to date with the trends also means they are likely to attain new customers, as the products will remain in the popular interests” . ……. could this be supported??


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