RESULTS: Urban Fantasy Market Research- Ideal Client Feedback

Here’s the background on why I launched this research. The survey was posted for a couple of reasons:

  1. To satisfy a class assignment for my ENT 645 class in Entrepreneurial Marketing
  2. and to gauge positioning in the market for Author A.D. White

I am posting the results of this analysis because of the overwhelming amount of reader respondents who wanted to see the results of the survey. The majority of whom answered the survey from a link on the Fans of Urban Fantasy! Facebook Group. A big thanks to the avid readers in that group who took the time to complete this survey.

The purpose of this six-question survey monkey designed survey was to poll readers who frequently read urban fantasy books on three main topics:

  • Purchase behavior:
    • Price point
    • Frequency of purchases
    • Deciding factors for choosing a book
    • Openness to trying a new author
  • Determine top competitors
  • Gain detailed insight into what readers look for in the genre

Method

The methodology was first to post the survey on both my personal Facebook page which has 606 friends and the A.D. White author/business Facebook page which had 110 followers at the time. I also posted the survey on my blog with tags like: books, fantasy, and urban fantasy. The link was posted on both Facebook pages and the blog for one day 7/11/18 and only 6 responses were received. This was done to test my theory that even though some people I know like the urban fantasy genre, simply releasing to a mixed demographic was not going to get the data I was looking for.

On 7/12/18 I posted the survey on a Facebook group page that I had recently joined called “Fans of Urban Fantasy!” which has 4,191 members. I posted the link to the page at 7pm and by 10pm the survey had 66 total responses, including the mere 6 responses from the previous day. I closed the survey on Saturday 7/14/18 at 9:00 am with a grand total of 181 survey responses. While the first 4 questions offer mainly quantitative insight into the ideal clients’ purchase behavior. The last 2 questions offer a spot for more qualitative narrative responses from readers.

“Urban Fantasy Market Research” Survey Responses by Question:

Question 1:

How many urban fantasy novels have you purchased in the past year? (4 options)

181 of 181 responded to this question

Q1.1

Q1.2

Question 2:

Rank how important the following factors are to you in choosing an urban fantasy novel? (8 ranking options)

181 of 181 responded to this question

I made an assumption that the survey tool explained the significance of the rank order and it did not. However, in polling folks who answered on Facebook, most ranked with 1 being the most important and higher numbers being less important. There was some deviation from this method, so these rankings are somewhat flawed.

Q2.1

Q2.2

Question 3:

How much do you usually pay for an urban fantasy e-book? (6 price range options)

174 of 181 responded to this question

Q3.1

Q3.2

Question 4:

Are you willing to purchase a novel from a new or relatively unknown author? (yes or no)

179 of 181 responded to this question

Q4.1

 Q4.2

Question 5:

Who are your preferred authors in the genre? (open ended)

174 of 181 responded to this question

This question was a bit hard to analyze because some people listed full names, some only last names and there were multiple answers per open ended response. Now that I have tallied the top names, I will ask this question as a drop-down or list in future surveys.

Question 6:

What comments do you have that might help an author in the genre understand their readers’ preferences? (open ended)

145 of 181 responded to this question

Because the feedback provided on this question varied widely from style preference, to content preferences, to book length and beyond, I won’t post the verbatim comments and instead group themes into: truths, trends, and unique but insightful ideas.

General Insight on Open Ended Preference Question:

Truths:

  • Good grammar and editing.
  • Well-developed and engaging characters.
  • Voice matters. 1st or 3rd person is preferred. Don’t switch between.
  • If you label the book as urban fantasy, don’t go to heavy on romance or sex scenes. Write sex and romance as it is necessary for the story; it shouldn’t dominate the book.
  • Listen to your readers (social media, blog, ask them opinion, etc.)

Trends:

  • Audio books are a must to compete in the market
  • Use humor, snark, and wit
  • Write good action scenes
  • Strong lead characters
  • Strong female characters
  • Relatable, flawed, complex characters
  • Clear “blurbs” and book synopsis
  • Don’t change or reinterpret mythos too much

Unique Ideas:

  • Write a dog or two into your stories
  • Don’t stretch a story line past 5 books, preferably. Even popular series need to wrap up by the 10th
  • Get beta readers
  • Read top 100 reader reviews for the top sellers in urban fantasy for more info on what readers like and dislike
  • The story line or “world-building” can’t be so fantastical that it alienates the reader. The reader has to relate to the story as a human
  • Choose your group of readers and be consistent in the genre

 

Text analysis by number of times a word was used in the comments:

Q text analysis

General Insights on Purchase Behavior

Price point:

  • Readers typically expect to pay between $2.00 and $9.99 for an e-book
  • The highest percentage 33.61% typically pay between $6 and $9.99
  • Anecdotally, in comments readers did say they would and do pay more for books from favorite and best-selling authors.
  • D. White is priced well in the market with his e-books selling for $2.99 and paper books selling for $7.99-$10 depending on outlet.
  • Only 1% of respondents reported paying more than $15.99 for an e-book

Frequency of purchases:

  • Readers who prefer this genre are avid readers. A whopping 110 (60.7%) of respondents read 10+ books per year

Deciding factors for choosing a book:

  • It is important to mention that the ranking on this question is flawed because the rank order was not explained.
  • However, the three items that stood out were:
    • Book synopsis
    • The mythological or paranormal topic
    • Recognizable author

Openness to trying a new author:

  • Readers in this genre are very open to trying the works of new or emerging authors with 171 (95.5%) of 174 who answered the question saying they are willing to read a new author’s work.

General Insight on Competitors

In general, because of the open text format of the question, this item was a bit difficult to analyze. I was able to tally authors by mention. Here are the top 10 favorite authors by number of mentions:

 Q author analysis

Note: Ilona Andrews was most likely mentioned 66 times when line 3 and 7 are combined. It’s also possible that Patricia Briggs has a total of 90 mentions when combining lines 1 and 7.

Final Conclusions:

The insights from these 6 questions lends great knowledge to determine A.D. White’s positioning in the urban fantasy market. I will do some further analysis and post a positioning grid for my ENT 645 classmates.

 

Urban Fantasy Books Market Research

Do you like to read? Do you like fantasy or urban fantasy genres? Help me out by taking this 5-minute, 6-question survey.

Take Survey

And share the url, please, with anyone you think would like to share their opinion:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MHTYZXV

Subject Matter Expert: Karen Vernon on Marketing & Communications

This past April 2018, I had the privilege of interviewing my friend and colleague Karen Vernon, to gain her insight on how entrepreneurs might approach marketing and communications. At the time Karen was a Senior Consultant in Marketing & Communications for Mission Health, concentrating most of her time in human resources and internal communications. Since that time Karen has been promoted to Director of that team, and her advice still rings true.

Spend a mear 25 minutes listening to her expert advice, it might help you make a great decision in your marketing strategy:

Book Launch Party: Sun. July 15 3-5pm

Join A.D. White author of urban fantasy novel series, Asheville Hustle, for a drop-in book signing and launch party for book one. A limited number of books will be available for purchase by cash or check.

Light snacks will be served and great beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks are available for purchase at the bar.

Habitat offers free off-street parking around back.
Party is 3pm-5pm
Habitat is open 2pm-6pm on Sundays if you want to come early or leave late.

If you have already ordered your book on Amazon, bring your copy for a signature. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1983218405/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1530374354&sr=8-2&keywords=Asheville+Hustle+book

Facebook Invite

Book Release Party(1)

Ideal Client? AD White has 3

The purpose of this exercise for ENT 645- EntreprenurialMarketing is to understand your customer base. For AD White, it’s a matter of understanding three customer bases: e-book readers, paperback readers, and “buy local” enthusiasts. Watch the screencast for more detail.

Happy Independence Day!

Marketing Through Case Study Videos

This summer semester I am starting a class called “Entrepreneurial Marketing,” and after reading the syllabus, I realized I have more experience than I initially thought with modern marketing tactics. So much of what I do every day is internal marketing and I partner with some great vendors to tell our stories more widely.

This past year, I was asked to be on camera with some other colleagues at Mission Health to tell the success story of how we helped transform performance and engagement through a tool called “StandOut.” The Marcus Buckingham Company powered by ADP captured our story to share with prospective clients. I want to share those videos here because they are excellent examples of compelling case study videos (of course I may be a little biased).

StandOut & Mission Case Study Video:

StandOut & Mission Strengths Video:

StandOut & Mission Leadership Video:

5 Outdoor or Stunt Ads

Outdoor ads have a long tradition in marketing. There are entire sites dedicated to unearthing vintage ads and collectors who buy up old signage. Most of us recognize billboards and outdoor signage as a part of our memories and current everyday lives. I have found some very creative outdoor ads for you, some that may cross over into a slightly different genre and be considered more of an advertising “stunt.” I hope you enjoy and learn from these great examples:

“Carbon Cloud”

carbon cloud

Link to Ad: http://www.adsoftheworld.com/collection/climate_change_awareness#showdelta=23

  • Firm: Ogilvy, Beijing, China
  • Company: World Wildlife Federation (WWF)
  • Title: Black Cloud
  • Event Date: January 2007

Objective: Show people how much carbon is released into the air for only one day of driving. Additionally, the WWF received a lot of press/news coverage in China and gained many new volunteers because of the balloon stunt.

Target Market: Young commuters (Millennials and Gen X) who understand their environmental impact but need concrete tips and facts on how to change their behaviors.

Action: Convince drivers to refrain from driving one day per week to reduce carbon emissions.

Value Proposition: By reducing the number of days you drive, you will reduce the amount of pollution in the air. Drive less, breath better.

 

“Exam in Progress: Please Talk”

Exams

Link to Ad: https://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/ambient/papyrus_dont_be_silent

  • Firm: TBWA\Manchester, UK
  • Company: Papyrus
  • Title: Don’t be Silent
  • Publish/Event Date: April 2017

Objective: Papyrus, a mostly paper and stationery company, decided to use their name to help bring attention to stress and anxiety among students.

Target Market: Students who bottle up their stress and anxiety during exam/finals time each year.

Action: Papyrus urges students to talk about their stress rather than remaining silent. They posted these flyers around schools with information at the bottom of each on how to seek help.

Value Proposition: Companies who extend goodwill and help are remembered as “good” companies. For a student who isn’t stressed, it’s a sweet gesture. To a student who uses the referenced resources, Papyrus will forever be a name they trust.

 

“Prius Launch”

Prius

Link to Ad: https://www.effie.org/case_database/case/NA_2011_5329

  • Firm: Saatchi & Saatchi LA
  • Company: Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc.
  • Title: Harmony Installations
  • Publish/Event Date: 2011
  • Awards: Effie-2011 BRONZE MEDIA INNOVATION

Objective: Relaunch the Prius brand as a “mainstream” environmental alternative in a down market.

Target Market: Expand their demographic to be wider than just the “environmental crowd.” Market to all car consumers by proving a commitment to their local businesses and communities.

Action: Allow consumers to interact with the lovely displays and widen their demographic through the interactive traveling show that looked more like art and less like a car ad.

Value Proposition: To the consumer, this approach said, “Prius isn’t just a car brand, it’s a commitment to a lifestyle and Prius is committed to that lifestyle beyond just the car.”

 

“This is not a billboard.”

Royal Cruise

Link to Ad: https://www.effie.org/case_database/case/ME_2017_E-1617-529

  • Firm: MullenLowe Mediahub U.S. *Lead Agency
  • Company: Royal Caribbean International
  • Title: #ComeSeekLive
  • Publish/Event Date: 2017
  • Awards: Effie- 2017 Silver

Objective: Combine digital outdoor advertising boards with a new technology, Periscope, that allows specific preselected passengers of the Royal Caribbean to show live adventures aboard the cruise ship.

Target Market: Adults in New York City who were considering a vacation and who had never considered a cruise as an option. Reportedly, due to these ads, Royal Caribbean saw a 19% increase in bookings from New York from passengers who had never previously cruised.

Action: Passers-by of these live billboards had a hard time looking away. The real-time feed showed beautiful blue water, fun in the sun, and it was easy to relate to the selected “influencers” who were broadcasting from the cruise.

Value Proposition: The value to the consumer was a real-life glimpse into what a Royal Caribbean cruise was like. Many people view cruises in a certain stereotypical light, but the live feed to the New York billboards showed a younger, more fun and adventurous side of cruising.

 

“Cardinals have flown away.”

Cardinals.PNG

Cardinals 1

Cardinals 2

cardinals 3

Link to Ad: https://www.effie.org/case_database/case/NA_2007_33

  • Firm: Schupp Company, Inc. *Lead Agency
  • Company: KTRS
  • Title: Missing Birds
  • Publish/Event Date: 2007
  • Awards: Effie- 2007 SILVER MEDIA IDEA

Objective: Creatively get the point across that the broadcast of the Cardinals baseball games would be moving to a different station after 52 years at a different station.

Target Market: Adult men (and some women) in St. Louis who typically listen to baseball games while driving in their cars.

Action: The Cardinals on the billboards physically “flew” to a different sign to signify that they had moved to a 550 KTRS radio station. This creatively informed the consumer to tune into a new station.

Value Proposition: The value to the consumer is they were informed of the change in the station in a clever and fun way.

 

**Cover Photo Credit: http://www.vintageadoftheweek.com/1971-mercury-cougar-xr-7-billboard/ follow them for a vintage ad of the week**

5 Magazine Ad Campaigns

This week I’m analyzing Magazine Ads, and wow, there were so many good ones to choose from! I decided to go international for you. Most of the ads I’m exposed to are from my home country of the US, so I really enjoyed spending some time on the adsofthewold.com site. Here is a selection of ads that really get their point across:

“Yes we can.”

Obama-yes we can

Link to Ad: http://www.adsoftheworld.com/collection/obama_in_advertising#showdelta=16

  • Firm: Ogilvy, South Africa
  • Company: Volkswagen
  • Title: Obama
  • Published: November 2010

Objective: The very simple ad states, “yes we can- 2008” at the top and “Small can be powerful. 118kW 1.4l TSI. Das Auto. Volkswagen” at the bottom. They are comparing the small but powerful Obama campaign slogan to the small but powerful VW car.

Target Market: South Africans who had followed the US presidential election of Barak Obama.

Action: Inspire trust. Invoke a sense of power and simplicity through comparing the short campaign slogan to the design of the VW.

Value Proposition: If a short but powerful slogan can win an election, just imagine the power of this small car.

 

“Come back another day.”

polar bear

Link to Ad: https://aef.com/ad-campaigns/polar-bear-3/

  • Firm: Scholz Friends Berlin GmbH, Berlin
  • Company: Zoo Berlin Zoo Card
  • Title: Polar Bear
  • Publish Date: 2007
  • Awards: Clio award 2007

Objective: Expand sales of season passes to the zoo by showing reasons a consumer might want a season’s pass zoo card.

Target Market: Adults, children, adults who have to comfort little children who have been disappointed in not seeing their favorite animal at the zoo.

Action: Buy a zoo card. It’s worth the cost when you can’t see everything in one day. Upgrade to a season pass and come any time you would like.

Value Proposition: If the polar bear or whatever favorite animal you came to see won’t come out on the day you go to the zoo, there is a good reason to get a zoo card. The consumer can always come back another day.

 

“Wild Night”

Valentine Bed

Link to Ad: https://www.adsoftheworld.com/collection/highlighted_valentines_day_ads#showdelta=31

  • Firm: Cheetham
  • Bell, Manchester, UKCompany: Dreams
  • Title: Bed
  • Publish Date: February 2015

Objective: Highlight one of the many reasons that someone might need to buy a new bed. Use humor and the thought of a recent Valentine tryst to convince the viewer that they too, might need a new bed.

Target Market: This ad particularly targeted couples, the day after Valentine’s day in 2015 to persuade them with humor that they need a new bed.

Action: Come buy a bed at Dream. They understand your predicament.

Value Proposition: It’s ok if your Valentine’s Day gets a little wild because Dream is having a sale the very next day!

 

“Just Fly There”

just fly there

Link to Ad: https://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/print/eurowings_just_fly_there_1

  • Firm: Lukas Lindemann Rosinski, Hamburg, Germany
  • Company: Eurowings
  • Title: Just Fly There
  • Air Date: October 2017

Objective: This is one of a series of four ads depicting someone on the beautiful blue water enjoying the scenery. The objective is to entice the viewer to want to “just fly there.”

Target Market: Young, working adults, with some vacation time and some disposable income.

Action: Use some of your time off and just go somewhere cool, wonderful, relaxing.

Value Proposition: Travel can be as easy as a little money and a plane ticket. The value is in the reminder to take time away and go to places the viewer has always dreamt of.

 

“Smart Kitchen & Bathroom”

smart kitchen

smart bathroom

Link to Ad: https://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/print/eon_eon_climasmart_kitchen

  • Firm: M&C Saatchi, Milan, Italy
  • Company: E.ON
  • Title: E.ON ClimaSmart – Kitchen & E.ON ClimaSmart – Bathroom
  • Publish Date: October 2017

Objective: These two ads show the problem of wasting energy in homes. ClimaSmart technology is their solution. They use: #wehatewaste

Target Market: Adult homeowners with some climate control problems within their homes.

Action: Look further than your car or recycling for your environmental impact. Energy in homes is a great place to start. Their tagline is, “A better climate starts from your home.”

Value Proposition: E.ON can help you reduce waste, better control the temp in your home, and help you have a better environmental impact.

 

**Cover Photo Credit: https://www.picxclicx.com/free-stock-photos-stack-of-magazines-12/ **

3 Reasons to Market at Trade Shows and Professional Association Conferences

I am behind my computer today trying to catch up after two weeks of attending conferences. The first of which was the Bersin Impact conference in Hollywood, FL and the second was the Society for Healthcare Volunteer Leaders (SHVL) conference in Lexington, KY. I attended these very different conferences to stay up to date on the latest trends for departments that I lead: Human Resources (HR) and Volunteers.

While both of these conferences were very different, they had one very significant thing in common that relates to strategic marketing for entrepreneurs. A formal vendor presence. Here are some reasons why you might consider marketing your product or service at a trade or professional show:

  1. Captive Target Audience– If you are selling a cutting-edge HR software, who better to talk to than HR professionals attending a conference on the most up-to-date social capital trends? Once they find out the trends, they’ll want a way to implement it in their own organizations. Sell them the tools while they are there.
  2. Sales Leads– People like games and free stuff. You can cold call people all day and not get a lead, or you can purchase some fun swag and create a contest at your trade show booth. You wouldn’t believe what contact information people are willing to share for a free hoodie. Once you wrap up from the conference, you have an entire list of people to follow-up with. All of whom you have already established a positive, reward, relationship with.
  3. Scope Out the Competition– We don’t always know our top competitors until they set-up booth 10 feet from us. In this day and age companies are created quickly to fill needs in the business world. Sometimes companies make their debut or release upgrades at conferences. As a fellow vendor, you have full access to the vendor show floor. You can collect brochures and make contacts with other players in your area of expertise.

There are professional associations for just about everything these days. Don’t count yourself out of attendance just because no one else you know is going. A quick internet search can yield many results for your niche market. And don’t worry if the association you are interested in doesn’t allow for vendor booths at conferences. Join anyway. By joining associations, you can often sponsor speaking sessions or at minimum have access to basic contact info for fellow members.

5 Newsprint Ad Campaigns

While newsprint is a less popular form of marketing these days, there are still lots of people who subscribe to a printed paper. In fact, if your aim as a Marketer is to target members of the Traditionalist generation or older baby boomers, newsprint ads might be a great option for your product or service. Here are a few ads that prove the point as a great way to market to these generations.

 

“Five Minutes of Peace on Mother’s Day”

Nissan Mothers Day Ad

Link to Ad: http://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/print/nissan_the_colour_in_ad

  • Firm: Boys and
  • Girls, Dublin, Ireland
  • Company: Nissan
  • Title: The colour in ad
  • Published: March 2016

Objective: Woo mothers on Mother’s Day by giving them a coloring page for their child in the local newspaper. The ad gives a mother a few moments of peace on her special day.

Target Market: Mothers who might be the decision-makers in choosing the next family car.

Action: Consider Nissan as a company who designs for and understands the needs of parents.

Value Proposition: Nissan is providing you with a fun activity to entertain your child. If they understand your need for a few minutes of peace, what else might they understand and design for that caters to the needs of parents?

 

“Product Safety Called Out”

60 House Fires

Link to Ad: http://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/print/which_governments_lack_of_urgency_on_product_safety_called_out

  • Firm: Grey, London, UK
  • Company: Public Interest
  • Title: 60 House Fires
  • A Week. They’d Act Quicker If It Was Their Home.Published: April 2018

Objective: Inform the general public that the government is not moving fast enough to regulate and recall products that are known to cause harm in their countries.

Target Market: Older adults who might be more likely to spend more time at home and read print ads.

Action: Go to the website to help petition the government to publish an action plan on what they are doing to help consumers.

Value Proposition: By helping petition the government for an action plan, consumers, homes, and communities will be safer.

 

“Shouldn’t Every Day be Women’s Day?”

Today-womens day

Link to Ad: http://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/print/amcv_today

  • Firm: Fuel
  • Company: Public Interest
  • Title: Today
  • Published: March 2018

Objective: Bring awareness to violence against women by sharing average daily statistics on international women’s day.

Target Market: Newsprint readers in Portugal who may be unaware of both the statistics for abuse/violence against women and who may not have known that the day it was published was international women’s day.

Action: The call to action is to not just be concerned about women’s rights on one single day. The call to action is to do something about human rights and equality.

Value Proposition: By supporting AMCV.org the reader can do something meaningful to help women’s rights.

 

“Looking for an Ark”

Greenpeace Ark

Link to Ad: http://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/print/greenpeace_white_house

  • Firm: TBWA\PHS, Helsinki, Finland
  • Company: Greenpeace
  • Title: White House
  • Published: April 2007

Objective: Bring awareness to the fact that the USA was a necessary party to making the Kyoto protocol and agreement work.

Target Market: Awareness for readers all over the world that the US needed to sign the Kyoto protocol to extend the United Nations framework on climate change.

Action: Insist on US participation in the Kyoto protocol.

Value Proposition: US participation in Kyoto is imperative to the safety of the entire world. The US government had a duty to the world, not just the US to get involved in combating climate change.

 

“Hitler vs. Chaplin”

The Hat.PNG

Link to Ad: http://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/print/hut_weber_hitler_vs_chaplin

  • Firm: Serviceplan Hamburg / München, Germany
  • Company: Hut Weber (Fashion Hats)
  • Title: It’s the Hat.
  • Published: March 2008
  • Awards: Top 15 Greatest Minimalist Ads

Objective: Show the striking difference a hat can make.

Target Market: Older adults who would be reading the paper and not only understand the cultural reference, but also find the reference clever or funny.

Action: Buy from Hut Weber because a hat can really make all the difference in how you are perceived.

Value Proposition: Hut Weber has a sense of edgy humor and understands that your fashion choices can have bigger implications on how you are perceived by others. Buy from Hut Weber.

**All photos are from links referenced in each analysis**