In a world where most new marketing content exists in 140 characters or is served up in snippets, it was an absolute pleasure to work on several book based projects in 2016. Books? I hear you say, what has that got to do with marketing?
Before marketing became obsessed with lead gen and revenue building, there were two strands of this industry that looked after the needs of others – namely internal marketing (staff) and corporate marketing (stakeholders). So, in 2016 we went back to the old school and helped clients with several projects targeted on reinforcing their brand, identity and ethos with people other than clients and prospects.
In early 2016 we worked with a major horticultural client to deliver a yearbook, looking back over the previous 12 months in their business. The project involved working with every department and site to write a review of their activities and then collate photographs to create a beautiful reference point celebrating one of their most successful years.
The print spec for the yearbook was incredibly high and the print run quite low, a combination which makes most bean counters suck their thumbs and call for their mum; but the client understood the value this book would bring and was willing to invest accordingly. The finished article is available across all their sites for staff and visitors to look through and a handful of copies were given to a selective audience including significant business partners, industry figures and senior staff.
Whilst the year book was a celebration of a single year, later in 2016 we were asked to produce another book for internal marketing purposes which was a celebration of 50 years in business. The book was a very special walk down memory lane for the business founder as he reduces his day-to-day involvement in a business he started and grew to a multi-million turnover industry leader. Whilst on behalf of the business, this was a personal book and so we went to the Directors house, took the brief, looked over old records and photos and then came away to assemble a stunning hardback coffee table book which was shared with the family business partners and staff of the organisation at Christmas.
Encapsulating the history and heritage of a business of 50 years is every bit as important in marketing terms as seeking new clients and from an internal perspective it helps staff understand the roots of the business and what made it become so successful.
So whether you are creating annual reports, year books or a history of your organisation, never underestimate the power of a good book. People do still read them and yes, they absolutely are marketing.