Know the Customer

Develop your digital publishing channel.

Do you know your customer? I’m sure you have all sorts of demographic data describing who your typical book buyer is – female, aged 35 to 54, middle income with children, two dogs and a cat. But do you really know your customer? Do you know what their name is? Do you know where they live? Do you know how much they have spent on products purchased from your company? In most cases, your answer would be, “No, I don’t know any of that, but boy do I wish I did!”.

Before the Internet age, the most information you could expect to gather about your customers would be the number of books they buy and where they buy ‘em. You could know that Betty Jo’s bookstore on the corner of 4th and Main sold 25 copies of the latest business title, but you’d never really know who bought those books. Nowadays, it’s becoming easier to actually know who your customer is.

For example, your website can open the door and let your customer right into your virtual lobby. Statistic gathering software can show how many customers are visiting your site and can reveal their general location. You can see which pages they read the most and how much time they stay on your site. Customers can submit their email address and receive a special email newsletter from you in return. Of course, this is great news for your marketing department, but remember this – every customer you meet through your website is a future digital book buyer. They’ve got everything they need to obtain and use digital products from you. They’ve got the computer, they’ve got an internet connection, they’ve got an email address. With a little effort, you’ll find that the customer is willing to share their product preferences with you.

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