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Marketability eBulletin

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 22 August 2017. In this issue:

International Higher Education in Facts and Figures 2017

TEF may have been on our minds over the last few months, but most university leaders would probably tell you that Brexit is the bigger issue. The UK remains the most popular destination for overseas students after the US, not bad when you consider our relative sizes. And it’s not just the student population that’s diverse, 29% of all academic staff are from overseas too. And 61% of university-industry co-authored publications involve international businesses. As one of the measures of a quality institution is equipping students to operate in an international market, this means that the UK has plenty of evidence that it can do so.

Universities UK recently released its latest annual Facts and Figures report. Essential background reading for anyone in academic publishing. Read on the Universities UK website.

Our Academic Marketing Workshop is the place to be for more like this. 


Fabulous Penguin Facebook campaign to recruit enewsletter subscribers

With all companies looking for ways to recruit new subscribers as the implications of impending changes in data protection (GDPR) loom over us, this one stands out as especially clever.

Penguin’s ‘Which classic book is your perfect match?’ quiz is a perfect post for Facebook, as irresistible as most of these quizzes are, but without the taint of self-loathing that (in my case anyway) usually goes with being drawn into them. It’s specifically designed to get people to sign up for emails, but there’s no requirement to do so, as indeed there shouldn’t be to comply with the GDPR. It’s entertaining enough for me to willingly sign up, and there are excellent further inducements to explore similar books after the quiz result.

Engagement on social media is increasingly hard to achieve, and ROI notoriously difficult to measure. But with this one I think Penguin may have cracked it.

And for anyone reading thinking ‘but we’re not Penguin, it’s OK for them …’ I’d encourage you not to dismiss this as a tactic. Just think about how something very similar really could work for you. All of our audiences are using social media platforms and everyone likes a good quiz.

See (and take part in) the quiz on the Penguin website.

This example is very likely to feature on both our Email Marketing Workshop and our Copywriting Workshop.


What do academics (claim to) read on their summer break?

When THE asked a range of academics this question I suspect there may be a few discrepancies between their answers and the reality. Is a philosophy professor going to admit they’re planning to read a bodice-ripper? They may not be ready to reveal their guilty pleasures so publicly.

However, this is still an interesting read. And what stands out for me is how many people are citing academic books from adjacent departments, literature lecturers reading history or philosophy for example.

This reminds me of a conversation about ‘trade/academic crossover titles’ on an in-house Copywriting Workshop a while back. We reached the conclusion that a wide range of titles were crossing academic departments rather than into bookstores, and that timely marketing campaigns to faculty in June and July could definitely capitalise on that trend.

Read the THE article for yourself.

Precisely identifying your readership is a very key part of copywriting and is always discussed on our Copywriting Workshops.


Tip of the week: Are your proposals asking the right questions of authors?

Copy rich in examples of (precisely) how a reader will benefit from a book, or snippets of rich content to bring a title to life will always be engaging. But too often these details aren’t in the files, and sadly we may not have time to source them from the author.

This week’s tip is to look at your guidance for authors on submitting a proposal. Does it ask for such things? Shouldn’t it?




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