LiBooks is a family business in London dedicated to selling all kinds of books

LiBooks is a family business in London dedicated to selling all kinds of books: educational books, novels, thematic books, children’s books and books in other languages, especially in Spanish and French. Besides, it is a company that bets on the novel writers and helps them throughout the process of editing and selling their books.
For a few years now, and due to the intense competition of large companies, LiBooks has an online sales service, with a very elaborate and attractive web page in which the latest news is reported, including interviews with writers and organised Writing contests, giving the winners the possibility to publish their books or stories. Also, it has a presence on social networks, with a profile on Facebook and Instagram that helps them to be in direct and permanent contact with their customers.
However, this is not enough, as it must compete with large companies that can afford to lower prices and carry out aggressive marketing campaigns. That is why LiBooks has decided to carry out a process of big data marketing, to be able to offer its customers a totally personalised service, so that it makes the difference concerning large companies.

  1. Select a large company dedicated to the sale of books and analyse those practices or big data marketing tools that it uses.
  2. Knowing the practices that large companies serve, which one or which of them would you recommend to LiBooks? Justify your answer and detail some proposals that you would carry out concerning each of these practices.
  3. Develop web analytics in which you describe the tasks necessary to effectively adapt to our customers and the tools you will use for it. Justify your answer.
  4. It is also interesting to analyse and measure the data related to our online store. What tools, metrics and reports would you use here?
  5. Going back to the competing company that you have analysed before, do you have any loyalty program? And what characteristics does it bring?
  6. Would you recommend LiBooks to create a club or loyalty program? Why? Detail what kind of program it would be, specifying the loyalty policy on which it would be based, the type of fundraising, and the benefits that this would bring to the member.

Answer

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1- Baen Books is one of the largest independent publishers of science fiction and fantasy literature in the United States. With a focus on discovering and sponsoring new talent, this company has etched out a sizable niche in the publishing market. This strategy has served it well and since the launch of its website in 1999, Baen Books has become the home of several science fiction bestsellers. These include Eric Flint, David Webber and John Ringle. With this established background, I will now conduct a detailed analysis of its page statistics and marketing tools.Based on statistics from SimilarWeb (2021) Baen’s site has an average of 198,000 visits per month and an average visit duration time of 3 minutes and 27 seconds with an average pages per visit of 4.08 pages. All of this with an almost 70 percent conversion rate. The only apparent downside is that this average visit rate does not include the 45.99 percent bounce rate for hits on the site. Baen accomplishes this large average visiting rate by catering to lovers of science fiction and fantasy. It does this by maintaining a steady presence on Red dit through the use of forums and other online community groups. Based on the analytics provided by similarweb.com, 82.11 percent of Baen’s relevant traffic comes from returning customers with an additional 8.79 percent coming from literature site referrals and 7.38 percent coming from social media (mainly Re ddit). Only 1.73 percent of Baen’s total traffic is generated through email marketing. This being the case, Baen has accomplished its place in the science fiction and fantasy publishing marketplace with 99 percent of its marketing being completely organic and free with only 0.49 percent of its effective marketing being the result of paid advertising (SimilarWeb, 2021). An example of its effective free marketing would be its continuous mention on science fiction blogs and its steady placement within articles present on literature referral sites. This generates optimum branding placement in areas that already possess a pre-existing customer population resulting in less bouncing, less unsuccessful click throughs and more conversion, since individuals browsing said blogs and referral sites would already have an innate interest in Baen’s products, as well as a desire to purchase it’s genre of content. The fact that 55.11 percent of Baen’s total relevant traffic comes from direct website visits and 27 percent originates from direct searches (individuals searching for Baen Books, Baen or similar related keywords), indicate a high probability that most of its visitors are returning customers and have an already existing loyalty to Baen’s brand as well as an appreciation for the quality of its products. All of these statistics and facts come together to create a picture of an organization that has earned its market share through organic growth and quality products; and has maintained its market share through effective customer management and tailoring its marketing strategy to appeal to the demographics within its customer base.

2- Based on the scenario provided, Baen Books is a perfect example of the strategy that should be adopted by LiBooks. A key strategy that I would adopt from Baen is generating a significant presence on Re ddit focus groups that are relevant to LiBooks products and the subject matter of LiBooks sites. This would create brand awareness in an already interested captive population of potential customers; for example, generating discussions on r/independentpublishers or r/frenchliterature. Another strategy that I would adopt would be to establish brand presence on literature referral sites such as bookauthority.com and goodreads.com. This would have the same effect as the Re ddit forum post. Online community groups such as Twitch are also another way in which individuals with common interests tend to converge, so I would establish a presence there as well. This would fall under the purview of social marketing which is defined as “the technique used by social media and influencers to work on the marketing and business needs of a company” (ENEB, 2020). ENEB (2020) goes further to explain that social marketing allows for the execution of classic marketing activities such as sponsorships and social adverts, as well as more novel social media marketing activities such as influence marketing as well as social media and blogs. Re ddit and Twitch are very useful in capturing a set of prospects who are already interested in your product niche which has the potential to generate more quality leads and often results in a higher conversion rate and higher levels of customer loyalty. While Re ddit and Twitch are more useful for capturing a set of prospects that are already interested in your product niche, we cannot disregard the impact that social media marketing on Facebook may have. Since Facebook has a much larger user base than Re ddit and Twitch, we can expect to gain a wider reach and more prospects on that platform through targeted ad campaigns using keywords that LiBooks readers would be familiar with and words that general book lovers of the genres would know and be interested in. What this does is locate current customers and reach new prospects thereby creating a greater brand awareness of LiBooks. I would highly recommend including social media marketing on Facebook since an effective weekly advertising budget could cost as little as US$25. I would not focus on email marketing as that provides little benefit based on Baen’s analytics, and thus if we extrapolate this finding to LiBooks’ scenario we can see that it would be largely ineffective.

3- Web Analytics is defined as “the process of analyzing the behavior of visitors to a website. This involves tracking, reviewing and reporting data to measure web activity, including the use of a website and its components, such as webpages, images, and videos.”(Tech Target, 2021). Tech Target (2021) further elaborates that web analytics often assist in determining the chance that a certain customer will repurchase a product after having previously purchased it. It also contributes to the personalization of the site for clients who return on a regular basis. Web analytics also enables businesses to track the amount of money that individual consumers or certain groups of customers spend, as well as the geographic locations from which the most and least people visit the site and make purchases of particular items. Finally, it may aid in the prediction of which items clients are most and least likely to purchase in the future, among other things. Based on the definitions from the text I would use advertising platform tools and census tools. Advertising platform tools are tools that “l help us measure the impact of our online advertising campaigns” (ENEB, 2020), an example of this type of tool is Google AdWords which is one of the most popular tools in this category, business manager is Facebook’s in-house equivalent. Census tools “consist of marking all the visitors in our digital asset and measuring any activity of these visitors within it. These tools include a few lines of code in each of our pages to capture and track the user through the generated cookies.” (ENEB, 2020), Google analytics, Kissmetrics and Crazy Egg are examples of such tools and coincidentally are the very same tools that I would implement in this scenario

4- The tools I would utilise are as follows:

Google Analytics: As explained by Tech Target (2021) this platform is a tool for tracking and analyzing online traffic, user activity and conversions. It monitors page views and unique visitors as well as bounce rates, referral URNs, average time on site, page abandonment and demographic data. Kissmetrics: referring back to Tech Target (2021) this platform has the capacity to gather data from websites and provide it to users in an userfriendly format. With this platform, companies may have a better understanding of their customers and utilize this knowledge in order to improve their websites, as well as in their marketing activities. Crazy Egg: This tools main attractive feature is its ability to track the exact components of a site the customer clicks. It does this through tracking visitors, heatmaps and user session recordings.Organizations may use this data to learn more about how visitors engage with content and why they leave the site.

With all of this combined with the native analytics tools in each social network and Google AdWords, LiBooks would be able to map out several detailed customer profiles and target them accordingly which would positively improve its sales and brand awareness. The issue with analyzing its competition can be solved by simply researching the web analytics available on public record using sites like similarweb.com. . When examining metrics, I would look at the following:

users

percentage of new users

percentage of returning users

bounce rate

sessions

average session duration

new session percentage

paid sessions

organic sessions

page views u

nique page views

hot zones (areas of high user interaction such as specific links or buttons clicked)

conversion rate

The total number of users would enable LiBooks to track the general status of the company’s client base’s growth. The total number of sessions indicates the rate at which the website’s traffic is growing. The bounce rate and average session time both show the influence of the site’s content on a specific visitor. A comparison of the percentages of new users and returning users would assist the firm in determining the success of its marketing outreach in relation to its retention rate. The total number of page views would reflect overall site activity. The number of unique page views indicates how many new prospects are drawn to LiBooks’ marketing content. Aside from analytics, I would consider user factors such as geolocation, age, and gender. All of these variables and characteristics operate in tandem to assist LiBooks in directly targeting its most profitable prospective markets and determining the amount of emphasis it should allocate to a specific demography in a given market, simplifying marketing and perhaps enhancing ROI.

The specific reports I would generate are as follows:

General Reports:

I would generate general monthly reports that contain an overview of key metrics such as page views, unique page views, sessions, average session duration, bounce rate and percentage new users. This would indicate libook’s general progress.

Site interaction reports:

This would be a quarterly report that focuses on how users interact with the site. It would utilize the hotzone metric to determine what aspects of the website get the most user interactions.

Conversion Reports:

This would be a monthly report that compares the conversion rate to total page views and sessions. It would also look at whether the conversions came from new or returning visitors

5- The text defines a loyalty program as “as a tool created by the company to communicate with its customers” (ENEB, 2020) and goes further to state that companies implement these programs in various ways, including clubs, apps, and membership cards, which allow consumers to get incentives. Two sorts of incentives are available to members: rational (discounts and special offers), and emotional (personalized communications and free courses and activities). Based on the definition and description given above, Baen’s books do not offer a loyalty program. However, it makes up for this by having frequent discount offers that it only advertises in its red dit discussions and email campaigns. Thus, there is an incentive to pay attention to the company’s content. This generates a high percentage of returning customers and keeps customer retention high, while also allowing new users to be funneled to the site as they can also take advantage of the said discount offers. Based on its mechanism of action, I would say that this technique takes advantage of Pavlovian conditioning, which is described as “a method to cause a reflex response or behavior by training with repetitive action.” (MedicineNet, 2021). This ingenious technique almost guarantees return business as the action of visiting the site and forums becomes reflexive rather than intuitive.

6- I would suggest combining a promotional policy with a loyalty policy. According to the text, loyalty policies seek to honor loyal consumers, i.e., to recognize and reward our most important customers. The most often obtained prizes are those earned via previous purchases. It goes on to say that promotional policies promote and market in order to increase sales. This strategy assists us in meeting our objectives for each client category by growing customer consumption and base value. Discounts or rewards for specific goods or spending amounts reflect this policy. The end result would be a program aimed at encouraging customer loyalty through discounts earned by being a long-term active customer; these rewards could then be enhanced through a customer referral program in which new customers referred by long-term customers would be prioritized in terms of earning rewards. Other non-discount perks may include exclusive material (author interviews, panels, book previews, and so on) and the option to vote on what they want to see next (blogs on French literature vs. Spanish literature, for example).

I would also replicate Baen’s Pavlovian method and run it concurrently with the combined loyalty program described above, often (but randomly) posting discounts and special offers on red dit and twitch, encouraging customers to habitually visit re ddit boards for new promotions

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