Visit Opening the Book United States

Differentiating reading audiences

In the retail sector, companies know a great deal about their customers and, when planning marketing strategies, they break their market down into very specific segments. This helps them to target their marketing more successfully. In the public sector, where we are committed to offering a quality service across the board, it is harder to adopt the principle of aiming specific services or promotions to specific groups.

The promotion which is aimed at everybody tends to miss everybody. We need to target more specifically to be successful but we don't have to follow the standard differentiation of the commercial market based on lifestyle and income.

In planning targeted promotions think about new ways of differentiating between your users:

  • by time - the person who rushes in during their lunchbreak has quite different needs from the retired borrower who builds a lengthy library visit into their weekly routine.
  • by frequency of visit - people who come in every day, people who come in once during the borrowing period, people who drop in occasionally. Any book displays could be refreshed according to these patterns of use so that borrowers weren't seeing the same things every time they visited.
  • by purpose of visit – small mobile selections of books could be used to provide pop up displays to tempt parents accompanying small children to storytimes, young people dropping in after school, members of an audience, people attending a regular club.

Visit website:

 Audience development

Related Resources

Putting the reader first

The literature world concentrates mainly on writing and publishing. This is true of both the commercial sector and the arts funding sector. Opening the Book's unique contribution has been to introduce the concept of intervening at the point of consumption.

Making the reader visible

Reading is something we do by ourselves in private. There are more readers than there are practitioners of any other art form but because reading is largely an individual and domestic habit, this is often overlooked.

Respecting other people's reading experience

What makes us think that the reader of romances is probably deeply unhappy with no social life?

A reader-centred approach to quality

Reader development takes an inclusive approach to whatever people are reading. We don’t need to make value judgments about the 'quality' of books as we shift the focus to the quality of the reading experience.