Learn about the results of the Verso Survey of Book-Buying Behavior
At the 2010 Digital Book World Conference, Verso presented the results of our first “Survey of Book-Buying Behavior” â€” creating a stir there that resonated with publishers, booksellers and readers as far away as England and Australia. Powered by the expertise of Burst Media, the Survey was conducted across the full breadth of the Reader Channel network in two waves during November and December, 2009. The Survey polled 5,640 book-buying respondents, weighted to mirror the U.S. adult population. Adhering to the highest standards of online survey data collection, the results are statistically reliable within a 1.6 percentage-point margin of error, at a 95% probability level.
Early reports from Publishers Lunch followed up on the Survey’s implications for two of the hottest topics in publishingâ€”e-book piracy and e-book pricingâ€”and generated immediate interest in book industry circles. The American Booksellers Association immediately saw how the Survey provides actionable data for their members, and invited Verso’s director of business development, Jack McKeown, to Winter Institute (Wi5) to give a keynote address on what the results mean for independent booksellers.
By Verso’s Media Department
Places We Love to Advertise Books:
.com â€” Do you know about the “Home Page Advantage Pop-Up Menu”? It delivers over 30,000,000 impressions for a very low $1 CPM, and it’s a great place to advertise well-known brands. Our clients who publish a popular diet book loved it so much that they doubled the length of their campaign after first-wave results came in.
â€“ Consistently a great place for books. It can nicely complement a television campaign and is extremely targeted. We have run many campaigns for everything from vampire books to children’s books, with great success.
â€” These general news sites are not only a good place to reach a broad audience for a relatively inexpensive CPM, but they also do a great job of increasing awareness about books in many bestselling genres, from business to fiction.
Phone Kiosks / Billboards â€” Phone kiosks continue to be an affordable way to advertise books. We can target by city and even by neighborhood, and kiosks start for as little as $250 each. We’ve recently secured some great deals on billboards in NY and LAâ€”on Sunset Blvd in LA, and Times Square for as little as $40,000 for 4 weeks.
By Verso’s Creative Team
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In the age of complexity, we respond to simplicity. This is as true for good ad design as it is for services like Google search and products like Apple’s iPhone. But two forces, one a legacy of print and the other from the bleeding edge of technology, are leading to more and more complex ads, and this is not necessarily a good thing. In a recent article in Ad Age, ad-effectiveness researcher Philip Sawyer observes that declining click-through rates in display ads may be stemming from increasingly complex ads.
Part of the problem is that technology allows creative departments to do so much more now than we ever could before. From expanding boxes to in-banner video to data-intensive Flash tricks, it’s suddenly affordableâ€”both in ad cost and memory costâ€”to produce exceedingly fancy digital ads. There’s a natural temptation to use all the tools at your disposal for every adâ€”as if a banner that uses 100k memory is somehow necessarily better than one that only uses 20k. But complexity is often the enemy of communication.
By Dan Sharkey
In spite of all the energy marketers are dedicating to harnessing the power and promise of new media, America remains a nation firmly entrenched in front of its television set. There remains no better way to reach a large, mass audience than by advertising on this time-honored medium. But while the incredible reach of TV advertising is alluring, the cost is often prohibitive to book publishers. Cable channels can provide a cheaper, more targeted alternative to network buys, but even this requires a significant investment that is not always possible for publishers with large lists and limited marketing budgets.
In our ongoing search for new and more effective ways to advertise books, Verso is working with a new media partner that specializes in promotional television sponsorships. Extremely cost efficient and providing tremendous reach and frequency for a relatively small out of pocket, these “sponsorships” are essentially remnant ad space offered on a specific cable provider on a per market basis. For example, for one recent campaign, we purchased both Verizon Fios and RCN in NYC; for another campaign, we purchased Comcast in San Francisco and Cox in Washington DC. Unlike true remnant inventory the spots provided will always air in the strongest dayparts, between 6AM and midnight. Furthermore, our most recent campaign (targeting adults 50+) saw our spots running on highly rated and commercial programming such as Anderson Cooper 360, Larry King Live, Glenn Beck, The Dog Whisperer, Man vs. Wild, Desperate Housewives (Lifetime) and Grey’s Anatomy (Lifetime).
The chart below highlights the exceptional efficiency of these promotional buys:
Location-based marketing comes into its own
By Tom Thompson
One of the most promising new ways to let people know about books is location-based marketing. Of course location-based marketing has been around as long as there’ve been street teams, billboards and bar coasters, but the field is opening up in exciting new directions thanks to recent innovations.
We share in the excitement for services like Foursquare that we heard from the slew of publishing industry pros who attended the recent SXSWi conference. We think there’s a lot to explore there, from building plot-based treasure hunts on Gowalla to unlocking book-related badges on Foursquare.
By Michael Kazan
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On December 9, 2009 HarperCollins ran a full page four color ad for Michael Crichton’s novel Pirate Latitudes in The Wall Street Journal. As luck would have it, the ad was running in an issue that had been designated a “Starch” issue. Simply put, this meant that our ad would be part of a consumer survey conducted by Starch Research in which Journal readers who agreed to cooperate would be asked about their reactions to each of the ads in the designated issue. It is not often that we are able to participate in this kind of study and so we anxiously looked forward to what might be revealed to us. As it turned out, we had to wait a couple of months for the completion of interviews and compilation of the information, but we were delighted with the results.
Verso’s Spring 2010 Newsletter is in the works and due to come out soon, filled with useful tidbits, useful campaign ideas, and a few surprises. If you’d like to be added to our email list, send a note to email@example.com.