The use of 2.0 marketing on websites of Croatian children´s and youth publishers

The use of 2.0 marketing on websites of Croatian children´s and youth publishers

Ivana Ostrički

Abstract

Digital technology is an important constituent of day-to-day life of the Net Geners, a generation born and growing up in an entirely different media and communication context in comparison to any other generation before. Traditional marketing strategies of publishers need to be revised in order to encompass information habits and competences of the new generation. Don Tapscott conducted an extensive survey of everyday habits of this generation and identified eight norms used in its activities: freedom, customization, scrutiny, integrity, collaboration, entertainment, speed, and innovation. The Net Geners wish to have an active role in creating new products and in making decisions related to the value of products. They are prosumers on whom guerrilla marketing doesn´t exert a great influence, instead, they discuss a product with friends and new young influencers in online communities (n-fluence networks). Tapscott suggests applying the concept of a 2.0 (ABCDE) marketing based on the consumer behaviour of the new generation – anyplace, brand, communication, discovery, experience.

This paper analyses websites of 14 Croatian children´s and youth publishers in view of the implementation of the 2.0 marketing principles and their orientation on that segment of population. The aim of the paper is to pinpoint the shortcomings in the design and functions of the publishers’ websites related to the communication with children and youth and their active involvement in the publishing business. The results of the survey could contribute to the identification of suitable communication strategies for the Net Geners. Before analysing Croatian websites, an analysis was conducted of five British publishers with a longstanding tradition, which suggests high quality of their business organisation. The data collected was used to identify the 2.0 marketing principles on Croatian publishers’ websites: social engagement, branding, additional content, customization, an interface adapted to new generations, online communities, and social networks.

Croatian publishers’ websites stimulate communication with children and youth only insufficiently. The publishers did not recognize the importance of n-fluence networks, the creation of new online communities or connecting with the existing ones. There is a lack of stimulating an active inclusion of this population segment in the creation of publishing products and in establishing their value, as well as the lack of  building a consumer’s experience. The publishers should therefore collaborate with experts on education of children,  but should also focus on the members of the Net Geners, especially those who have an influence on cultural and entertainment habits of that generation.

Keywords: Net Geners, 2.0 (ABCDE) marketing, publishers’ websites, communication strategies

Introduction

Digital technology is an important constituent of day-to-day life of the Net Geners[1], a generation born and growing up in an entirely different media and communication context in comparison to any other generation before. Traditional marketing strategies used by publishers need to be revised in order to encompass information habits and competences of the new generation.

Don Tapscott, one of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of technology on business and society, has conducted an extensive survey of everyday habits of this generation and identified eight norms used in its activities: freedom, customization, scrutiny, integrity, collaboration, entertainment, speed, and innovation. Tapscott suggests applying the concept of a 2.0 (ABCDE) marketing based on the consumer behaviour of the new generation – anyplace, brand, communication, discovery and experience.

This paper analyses websites of 14 Croatian children´s and youth publishers in view of the implementation of the 2.0 marketing principles and their orientation on that population segment.Before analysing Croatian websites, an analysis was conducted of five British publishers with a longstanding tradition, which suggests high quality of their business organisation. The collected data served as a reference to identify the 2.0 marketing principles on Croatian publishers’ websites: social engagement, branding, additional content (free of charge, interactive and video content),customization, an interface adapted to the new generation, online communities and social networks.

Characteristics of the Net Geners

Every generation has its own needs, attitudes, expectations and habits, characteristic behaviour and formative experience, all of which originate in a specific social, economic and political context. Depending on the technological and media environment, a specific way of communication tends to be developed within a generation.

Marc Prensky introduces the term digital natives to define a generation born in a new media and digital technology context, as opposed to digital immigrants , who have to adopt this technology to their everyday life (2001). Thanks to the technology which enables information to be accessible on portable devices anytime and anywhere, their business and private circumstances become flexible, because of which they have also been named digital nomads. Due to the aforementioned considerations, net gen develops different competences and habits in respect to older generations.They are used to receiving information swiftly andtherefore they have developed a hypertextual way of thinking, which implies a parallel operation of several tasks. Furthermore, simultaneous operation of several different media entertains them, “as though their cognitive structures were parallel, not sequential” (Winn, quoted inTapscott 2009, 105). Internet is a connecting platform and a foundation of their activities. Collaborating with other people and machines, net gen develops a collective form of intelligence which enables “distributed knowledge” (Tapscott 2009, 105). The net gen prefers picture totext and the Internet environment is the most natural one for conducting everyday activities (Prensky 2005). This generation does not value the copyright because it sees everything published on the Internet as a public good, and no user should be deprived of any piece of information.They do not feel that the information has to be remembered because they have access to them through digital technology whenever they prefer to. Because of this technological possibility, consumers develop a need to be up to date and are considered to have the so-called FOMO syndrome(fear of missing out ) (Sapadin 2015).

Due to both positive and negative impact of digital technology, two opposing scientific trends have developed: techno-pessimism and techno-optimism.[2]As a techno-optimist, Don Tapscott, one of the world’s leading authorities on the economic and social impact of technology, emphasises positive features of modern technology. The author had conducted an extensive survey of everyday habits of the net gen (on 11,000 young people in 12 countries),which revealed startling results of its everyday on-line habits. Although they spend a vast amount of time on-line examining product characteristics, young people buy in shops rather than on-line (Tapscott 2009, 186). The results can be compared to the outcomes of surveys on the net gen’s reading and learning habits, which suggests the users’ need to establish a physical contact with the product they are consuming. In spite of their strong connection to technology in various aspects of their everyday life, young people still prefer printed books to e-books. Nearly 80% of examinees print out the digital text if it is long and require concentration throughout reading. 68% of examinees are better concentrated when reading printed texts (Liu, quoted in Mozuraite 2014, 87). Seven to twelve year olds prefer printed to digital texts because they can focus much better, they prefer visual aspect and physical contact, they can exchange print much easier than e-format and, surprisingly, they state they exceedingly use technology in everyday life (http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/new-survey-finds-millennial-readers-clingingto-print/). A research conducted in the United Kingdom in 2005 shows that four out of ten young people reads on a day-to-day basis regardless of their school reading tasks. In 2011 that ratio changed to three to ten; however, in both studies the percentage of children and young people that enjoy reading is almost the same (51% in 2005, 50% in 2011): “These findings together suggest a clear issue with children’s and young people’s leisure time with many children and young people enjoying reading but pushing it out in favour of other activities” (National Literacy Trust, in: Clark and Phillips 2017, 229).

Net Geners as consumers

Publishers and distributors that are members of Croatia’s Association of publishers identify “three dimensions of book policy: cultivating reading among young people, supporting authors, and cultivating media culture of writing about culture. It is easy to sell a book if people who want to read are informed about it and if there is an efficient system of distribution” (author’s translation; Antičević, quoted in Bartolčić 2014). Research results show that the net gen is much more involved in print reading than we could have assumed. However, the problem lies in the absence of systematic reading stimulation policy which would involve all age groups, including infants and their parents, education system at all levels, different social groups, and senior citizens. Professional associations and civil society organizations run many valuable reading programmes[3]. Although their examples bear witness to the social recognition of this problem, without the involvement of relevant government institutionsand the implementation of uniformed reading programmes, it is impossible to make a significant improvement in the educational and cultural development of a society.

Publishing is a complex socially responsible activity which, within the frame of the creative and cultural industry[4], has to fulfil both a commercial and a cultural and social task: “The emphasis on the profit characterizes a publisher as an economically oriented enterprise, whereas the social dimension of a publisher arises from its overall importance, which is reflected in the promotion of the culture of reading and educating for the benefit of the community as a whole”(author's translation; Dukić 2010, 83). Although a book is not a typical commercial product and the decision to buy one is also influenced by the educational and cultural background of the consumer, it is necessary to identify and implement the needs, wishes and competences of the net gen as a powerful and influential segment of the consumer society, in order for the publisher to be able to develop the appropriate marketing tools.

Tapscott identified eight norms used in Net Geners’ activities: freedom, customization, scrutiny, integrity, collaboration, entertainment, speed, and innovation (Tapscott 2009, 73-96; 188-192). Freedom of choice implies the market overflow with different models of the same product. Variety is a feature of great importance to the net gen because it provides them an experience of researching and finding an appropriate model. For the first time in history, one generation has a technology that not only allows but also incites customization in creating and using information, media and gadgets. Even if he or she does not decide to customize anything, a member of the digital generation finds it important to have this possibility, which is inherent in the technology he or she uses. This need arises from the fact that today’s young people – under the influence of the developed digital technology – are used to the possibility of choosing according to the principle “what I want, whenever, wherever and however I want it”. A detailed analysis is a characteristic of the Net Geners, which poses a challenge for marketing experts. In spite of finding information about a product on-line, they prefer to trust their friends’ and other young people’s opinion rather than the opinion of commercial and marketing professionals (ibid. 198). A new generation expects integrity, social awareness and ethics of the manufacturer of a wanted product and therefore marketing experts have to fulfil their expectations and stay committed to their messages. Todays’ young people want to feel important, express their opinion and be involved in creating and developing a product.[5]Children and young people expect entertainment in every aspects of human activity and life: consumer’s, social, educational etc. They expect fast and simple response in every form of communication and interaction and advocate automation. Automation technology enables the consumer to be notified about the product or service. The principle of innovation involves the young people’s need to be continuously informed about product’s performances because the permanent technology development has made them used to expect that.

Contrary to what is expected, the Net Geners are still not willing to abandon print in favour of digital. However, this generation includes infants, pre-schoolers, pupils and young adults. The issue is even more complex because publishers of children and young people’s literature have to direct their marketing not only towards their primary consumers, but also their parents and teachers. Those potential consumers are culturally and socially very heterogeneous. Family is fundamental in the process of cultivating a reader, which also involves teachers, publishers, and relevant institutions.[6]Because of that heterogeneous social structure, publishing has to implement digital media and interactive formats which provide a wider range of branding products:

This phenomenon is called ᾽crossmedia cooperation᾽ and it requires completely new strategies, new services and a multitude of new experts who had never before worked in the publishing industry (developers, producers, actors, animators, programmers, etc.). (…) After its adaptation as an e-book, a good illustrated story could become a computer game, an interactive application, a cartoon, an animated story, a comic, educational material, a musical, an audio-book or a TV show[7](author’s translation; Dumančić 2015, 8).

There is a possibility of connecting an e-book and Internet to enable a more comprehensive reading experience. This way technology helps to create an environment with additional content a consumer wishes to read in (author’s translation; ibid.): “Future generations will desire to enter their favourite story. When they read a story, they will want to express their opinion, on the spot. They will want to see the characters in a computer game. They will want to see them in a cartoon. As toys, in applications, on their smartphones, etc. In other words, they will desire the deeper experience of a story, interactivity and customization”.[8]They will even want to go a step further and create their own story[9]or become a part of its content. There are many publishing network services worldwide that already make this possible (e.g. iAuthor[10]). This way self-publishing becomes a new trend in information creation and distribution.[11]

E-marketing adapted to the Net Geners

New strategies of publishing marketing have to embrace informational and technological habits of the new generation and also target the family as a fundamental factor in the creation of reading habits. In accordance with technological development and user requirements there is a dominance of electronic format of marketing: “Although some authors identify it with Internet marketing, e-marketing has an extended meaning. (…) in addition to the marketing that is implemented through Internet, it includes other types of new technology like mobile phones and digital television” (author’s translation; Turkalj 2008, 7, quoted in Dukić 2010, 82-83).[12]Due to the aforementioned technology, the greatest benefit of this kind of marketing is in its communication potential “(…) and in management of customer relationships. Marketing activities in electronic environment are defined by a vast quantity of data on consumers and their behaviour, by interactivity and a high level of their measurability of their efficiency due to direct consumer response” (Škare 2011, 276).

E-marketing should be directed towards the identification of buyers, of their wishes and needs and of the method of meeting their needs (Blažević 2016, 1). In 2007, consumers spent more than 25% of their time on-line, and advertisers are still spending less than 10%of their budget on e-marketing(according to OgilvyOne survey, Tapscott 2009, 214). 73% of Croatian publishers use e-marketing always or often, but 27% of them still hadn’t implemented this marketing model into their business (Blažević 2016, 140). 

Croatian publishers are still not willing to use the advantages of e-marketing, although e-marketing is already to evolve and change its approach to attract a new generation „immune“ to ubiquitouscommercials that can be filtered according to one’s preferences. The new generation grows up in a world of guerrilla marketing[13]which is intensely used in all media and modern information technologies. That is why children and young people have developed mechanisms of overlooking such content: “While they are not impervious to the power of advertising, they are more adept at filtering, fast-forwarding, and/or blocking unsolicited advertising than previous generations were” (Tapscott 2009, 186). Due to improved possibilities in finding targeted information, this generation can more rationally recognize the product value. That is why e-marketing shouldn’t be based on the rules of an old 4P marketing mix (product, place, price, promotion). Unidirectional 4P marketing strategy doesn’t affect the consumers that culturally prefer bilateral communication and wish to have the power of choice. Based onthe aforementioned competences of the new generation, Tapscottdevelops a concept of 2.0 marketing, or the so-called ABCDE marketing (anyplace, brand, communication, discovery, experience):

Net Geners want to buy things anyplace, where and when they want. They’ll help shape the Brand, and the product. And they won’t tolerate a lecture, however amiable. The standard ad will be replaced by Communication, a two-way conversation. As in any relationship, integrity will be one of the key building blocks of this new interactive brand. Since Net Geners research the product and its priceonline, they’ll negotiate the price. I call this the Discovery of Price. And finally, they expect products to be at the same time an Experience (ibid. 187-188).

Members of the net gen are digital nomads because they use mobile technology for information retrieval and purchasing. They enjoy using numerous information and purchasing platforms that are being continuously upgraded with new interactive features.In this way they develop their purchasing experience. It is vital for this generation to have an opportunity to evaluate products, as well as to create a price of a product depending on market circumstances(e.g. on the speed of delivery, quantity, product disadvantages, etc.). This way they become prosumers: “Prosumerism is more than an extension of mass customization, customer centricity, or any of the other terms that boil down to companies making basic products and letting customers tweak the details. It’s what happens when producers and consumers both actively participate in the creation of goods and services in an ongoing way” (ibid. 208). The producer-consumer relationship and gaining the consumers’ trust needs to be developed through a mutual brand creation, which means that a creation of a consumers experience has to be emphasized. This way a publisher develops a brand which ties “values and characteristics into a recognizable package that can be trusted” (author’s translation; Braun, quoted in Blažević 2016: 83). The brand value oversteps the value of a product because it includes buyers’ emotions and experience, and, at the same time, adds a cultural, intellectual and financial value to its producer.[14]Publishers can design a brand around an author, illustrator, book series, a character, or an edition.

Tapscott stresses the value of n-fluence networks and word of mouth communication[15]on today’s young people. The n-fluence networks are communication networks, as well as the connections that rise up and are induced by them. Such networks are created through groups of friends, acquaintances and other young people that have significant influence in decision making (2009, 193).[16]Tapscott distinguishes best friends, social networks and a world within an n-fluence network.  At the same time a ratio between a group size and its influence is not proportional because a larger group has minor influence (ibid. 197-200). The power of such influence mustn’t be ignored because new technology enables communication with an exceedingly large number of people on exceedingly technologically advanced platforms. Although this kind of communication should be implemented in publishers᾽ marketing strategies, it is not controllable and there is a great possibility of negative criticism:

Smart companies, for instance, are making friends with their customers by posting online product reviews and by seeking out enthusiasts to spread the message for them, as well as by accepting that when they do so, they can’t control the message or the brand. (…) A good way to start identifying these new voices of authority is to spend time with Net Gen customers and catalog the new sources of information and “experts” that they depend upon. (ibid. 187, 196).

In his book Grown Up Digital Tapscott points out to bloggers’ recommendations to marketing experts. Among other things, bloggers emphasise the influence of avatars[17]which enable the users to interact with a website (ibid. 203-204). Some publishers are already embracing n-fluence networks and developing their own viral[18]online communities and implementing their social codes

(…) in return for greater control over the data created. The most successful of these communities offer members something they won't get elsewhere – professional development, or access to an exhaustive encyclopedia for their favourite fiction genre — while gathering data that can be more easily aggregated and interpreted than the information obtained from social media.(…) Community sites may be built around different levels of content aggregation: imprints, genres, series or individual bestsellers (…) The community has to have a purpose that matters to the people who the publisher is trying to reach (Clark and Phillips 2017, 242).

The analyses of the implementation of the 2.0 marketing principles on websites of Croatian children´s and youth publishers

This paper analyses websites[19]of 14 Croatian children´s and youth publishers[20]in view of the implementation of the 2.0 marketing principles and their orientation on that population segment.[21]It should be noted that the analysis does not cover websites and social networks profiles. If on a publisher’s website a certain principle has not been identified, it does not mean that it has not been implemented in their publishing activities, but rather that it does not figure prominently on their website and, accordingly, it does not have the e-marketing function oriented towards the net gen.

The aim of the paper is to pinpoint the shortcomings, but also the positive examples in the design and functions of the publishers’ websites related to the communication with children and youth and their active involvement in the publishing business. The results of the survey could contribute to the identification of suitable strategies for the Net Geners.

The 2.0 marketing principles have been chosen as the subject of the analysis because they are a result of a comprehensive research based on the direct communication with the members of the net gen, and websites have been chosen because they are sites where most useful information on publishers and their business activities can be found.

Before analysing Croatian websites, an analysis was conducted of five British publishers with a longstanding tradition, which suggests high quality of their business organisation.[22]The data collected served as a reference to identify the 2.0 marketing principles on Croatian publishers’ websites: social engagement, branding, additional entertaining content, customization, an interface adapted to the new generation, online communities, and social networks.

Social engagement

Publishers who are socially engaged develop a socially positive image of themselves. Therefore, children´s and youth literature publishers should encourage reading. In addition to their books, British publishers Bloomsbury and Egmont offer a teachers᾽ guide with creative examples and ideas for text analysis and thematic activities for children.[23]In addition to reading encouragement advice and materials provided free of charge, the British publisher Egmont has launched a study on reading comprehension and changes in reading habits in the context of family and school living, as well as research of the book market in Great Britain.[24]These initiatives actively contribute to the reading encouragement policies.The Croatian publisher Naklada Nika publishes an on-line magazine Vodič za roditelje (“A parents᾽ guide”)[25]and offers a link to the reading encouragement campaign Čitaj mi (“Read to me”). Naklada Nika᾽s websiteUpoznaj Hrvatsku (“Get to know Croatia”) promotes cultural, scientific and ecological events for parents, which can be browsed by different categories (workshops, exhibitions, events, storytelling, tours, etc.) and provides categories Family friendly and Applications, which are not in function yet.[26]The publisher Planet Zoe  notes links to relevant websites for parents (The SUVAG Polyclinic, Croatian Logopedic Association, Croatian Dyslexia Association, parenting portals). The publisher Naša djeca  has an educational corner for parents.[27]The publisher Kašmir-promet / Dječja knjiga started a project to encourage firms and local community offices to buy new books for local libraries, offering advertising on their website free of charge .[28]Although the main goal is a profit, this idea is a positive example of a creative business model that also integrates social engagement. The examples provided here do not directly address children and youth, however they are relevant in the publishing industry because of the heterogeneous audience structure that has its interest in this kind of literature.[29]The only example of social engagement towards youth is found on Znanje website in the form of a literary contest for teenagers called Ja sam pisac (“I am a writer”).

Additional entertaining content

Offering additional entertaining content is a good way of publisher’s promotion among Net Geners. Maverickbooks offers free of charge materials, such as colouring pages. However, the interface is not adapted to children but rather refers to parents and teachers who can download the material for children.[30]Bloomsbury has applications suitable for children with activities thematically related to their picture book characters.[31]It is insufficient to promote publisher’sproduction on the most common social media (Facebook and Twitter). As video is one of the most attractive media to the Net Geners, publishers should open a YouTube channel and promote on Instagram. Bloomsbury promotes books with increasingly popular trailers, i.e. video commercial for books. Although this form of expression is well applied in media workshops in schools and educational events for children, Croatian publishers have not yet adopted the potential of this media trend, for there are no examples of video commercials on their websites. Few Croatian publishers offer some free of charge materials for children, such as on-line video games, quiz, e-postcards, software additions to books, etc. (“Get to know Croatia” by Naklada Nika , “Picturebook Planet” by Planet Zoe , Algoritam ).Znanje offers a link to an e-library Took Book and benefits from its marketing potential.[32]Entering the e-library also expands the publisher’soffer of services.

Branding

Besides using the usual publisher’s sites on social networks, Bloomsbury and Egmont attract readers by creating websites dedicated to specific children’s brands of literary characters, authors and illustrators.Furthermore, those publishers use brands such as Harry Potter on specially designed websites for children and youth, which offer noteworthy facts on author, different editions of the serial, interesting sections such as glossaries of work related terminology, dictionaries of quotations, games, quizzes and challenges, as well as ideas for stimulating discussion among teachers and parents, accolades for books read, fun facts, etc.[33]Penguin’s Puffin offers a book sectioning by “worlds”, i.e. author or character brands, enabling young readers to get to know them better. The book annotations are linguistically adapted to children, publisher offers free of charge applications, video book trailers, on-line games and similar content.[34]

The publisher Naklada Nika had developed a brand on a book serial Upoznaj Hrvatsku (“Get to know Croatia”). The publisher has designed an interactive website with a children-friendly interface in order to promote the brand.[35]Planet Zoe is a publishing house renowned for its translations of prominent European authors and for its high quality illustrators, which are promoted in its online book club for children.[36]The publisherMozaik knjiga offers annotations of book serials as well as links to websites specialized on authors and book titles.[37]The publisher Naša djeca brands individual books by creating Facebook profiles dedicated to specific literary characters.[38]Algoritam has a great marketing potential in Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings brands, but has failed to use their potential, although hardly noticeable links to brand’s websites with free on-line book chapters show that the publisher has recognized them as brands.[39]The publisher Znanje formed a kind of brand with its book series Knjiga dostupna svima (“A book available to everyone”), which enables readers to buy an inexpensive book on accessible sale points such as post offices, supermarkets, newsstands, etc.[40]The publisher also singles out young adult and fantasy literature as the most popular youth’s category.[41]The publisher Semafora is focused on branding the authors and illustrators by emphasising their biographies.[42]However, this information is linguistically not adapted for young people. Although Egmont’s book production is based on brands, Croatian Egmont uses this marketing potential only partially on some picture book and magazine brands. Školska knjiga and Lumen publishing publish many authors, children’s and youth book serials popular worldwide, but do not use them as a marketing tool on their websites.[43]The Publisher Hum-naklada failed to brand a Janosh picture book serial, just like the publisher Golden marketing-Tehnička knjiga did with brands Miffi and The Chronicles of Narnia. Although Andrea Petrlik Huseinović and Kašmir Huseinović are a widely recognized and appreciated export brand in Croatian picture book production, there is insufficient use of such a value in promoting their publishing houses Kašmir-promet and Dječja knjiga . Their websites are embellished with Andrea Petrlik Huseinović᾽s illustrations, but apart from aesthetics, they don’t have a marketing use.[44]Znanje has also failed to use brands like Smurfs, Star Wars and Angry Birds for marketing purposes.

Customization

Customization is one of the basic possibilities which young people expect of modern technology, which is being increasingly used in products for everyday use. Neither British nor Croatian publishers offer the possibility of book customization. In Croatia, specialized companies offer this service.[45]The British publisher Egmont is an exception, as it offers customized picture books centred around famous Walt Disney characters.[46]In addition to the product, the publishers also offer no option of customizing the interface or individual contents on the website.

 

A user friendly interface

An interface adjusted to children and youth in terms of language and style, visual appearance and contents is still uncommon on both British and Croatian publishers’ websites, the notable exceptions being the publishing house Puffin [47], whose site is completely oriented towards communicating with children, and the projects of Naklada Nika (Upoznaj Hrvatsku / “Get to know Croatia”) and Planet Zoe publishers (Planet slikovnica / “Picture book planet”). Naklada Nikas website has a graphically attractive and linguistically adjusted interface offering an interactive map with short and interesting information, animation and sound effects.[48]Planet Zoes online club enables virtual paging and is enriched with sound effects. Visitors can leave a comment in a guest book and the publisher is posting children’s art work in the category Your drawings.[49]

Some publishers attract young buyers with prize contests and competitions (Alfa, Egmont ). There are few publishers who offer an option of sending a buyer’s review directly from their websites (Naklada Nika, Algoritam, Mozaik knjiga ).[50]Planet Zoe and Evenio address adults, but still offer an insight into illustrations and picture book pages, which could be appealing to children.[51]Algoritam has a poorly designed interface with a font size which misfits the website format. The website is graphically and aesthetically unorganized and, therefore, the vast information available loses value.[52] 

Online communities

The power of the influence of online communities on the Net Geners as consumers was recognized by two British publishers – Orion Publishing and Puffin , who support their young consumers to actively evaluate the publications they offer. Puffin created a YouTube online community entirely designed and edited by Net Geners.[53]Orion Publishing , one of the most important SF literature publisher, started a website dedicated to the genre fans.[54]This website doesn´t serve only as a promotion tool for publisher´s books, but it has an SF e-books repository, as well as an online community function. Therefore, a website stimulates communication and enables the publisher to create a target group data base. Additionally, the publisher provides guidelines about a book club as well as additional material about the books.[55]

There are no examples of online community principles implementation on any of analysed Croatian publisher's websites.

Social networks

Links to social networks on publishers’ websites are a common promotion tool.Social network promotion is essential in digital age, and the diversity of social networks offers a possibility for publishers to determine new strategies and to be distinguished among other competitors. While Croatian publishers mostly have their social network profiles on Facebook and Twitter, British publishers have their profiles on at least four different social networks. In addition Facebook and Twitter, they are active on YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn. Two Croatian publishing houses still do not use any links to social networks on their websites, although they have Facebook profiles (Alfa, Hum-naklada ), while one publisher has no social network profile whatsoever (GMTH).

 

Conclusion and references for further research

The social engagement of British publishers is evident from their active contribution to the policy of promoting reading by exploring reading habits, and also in their offer of free of charge materials for experts working with children. Croatian publishers usually turn to parents, offering links to family relevant websites, thematic articles on education as well as information on cultural and educational events for children. Social engagement targeted at children was identified merely in the form of promoting competitions for young writers (Znanje ).

Additional entertaining content which young people can either access online or download on their computers is a common marketing tool used by British publishers. Although only a small number of Croatian websites we analysed has this option (four of them), in terms of content it is not different from the option offered by the British publishers (they refer to online games and other types of entertaining content). Croatian publishers still offer no book trailers on their websites although they are an inexpensive, simple and popular way to attract younger audiences. Croatian publishers are still not willing to accept the e-book, not only as a source of profit but also as a marketing strategy that can attract the new generation. For example, only Znanje has joined the e-library Took Book[56]and offered a link on the website.[57]

Branding, one of the more successful ways of attracting consumers, is nothing new in the business world, and can be achieved by different means. British publishers (Bloomsbury and Egmont ) attract readers by creating websites dedicated to specific children’s brands of literary characters, authors and illustrators.In spite of the significant potential of established illustrators and familiar titles and characters, Croatian publishers generally do not use the potential of branding. At the same time, young publishers specialized in children’s literature direct the 2.0 marketing principles precisely towards brands. The publisher Naklada Nika has developed a brand for a book series called Upoznaj Hrvatsku / “Get to know Croatia”, for whose promotion it designed an interactive website with a children friendly interface. Planet Zoe is a publishing house renowned for its translations of prominent European authors and for its high quality illustrators it promotes in its online book club for children. The publisher Mozaik knjiga brands individual books by creating Facebook profiles dedicated to specific literary characters.

Customization is one of the basic possibilities which young people expect of modern technology and is being increasingly used in products for everyday use. Neither British nor Croatian publishers offer the possibility of book customization.[58]In addition to the product, the publishers do not offer the option of customizing the interface or individual contents on the website.

An interface adapted to children and youth in terms of language and style, visual appearance and contents is still uncommon on both British and Croatian publishers’ websites, the notable exceptions being the publishing house Puffin , whose site is completely oriented towardscommunicating with children, and the projects of Naklada Nika (Upoznaj Hrvatsku / “Get to know Croatia”) and Planet Zoe publishers (Planet slikovnica / “Picture book planet”). British publishers have tailored interfaces for certain brands, and the same is being subtly applied by some Croatian publishers on their websites. There are signs that publishers intend to communicate with the new generation, but such examples do not use the potential of online communication to a significant extent.

The power of the influence of online communities on the Net Geners as consumers was recognized by two British publishers – Orion Publishing and Puffin , who support their young consumers to actively evaluate the publications on offer.There are no examples of online community principles implementation on any of Croatian publisher's websites we analysed.

Croatian publishers focus mainly on Facebook and Twitter, while their British counterparts have profiles on at least four different social networks.There are three Croatian publishers that don't provide links to social networks on their websites.

Net Geners expect changes in goods and services production and marketing. In order to attract the new generation, a publisher has to adopt communication techniques based on the principles of 2.0 marketing. Croatian publishers’ websites stimulate communication with children and youth insufficiently. The publishers have not recognized the importance of n-fluence networks and the creation of new online communities, or connecting with the existing ones. There is a lack of stimulating an active inclusion of this population segment in the creation of publishing products and in establishing their value, as well as a lack of building consumer’s experience. Publishers should therefore collaborate with experts on children’s education, but should also focus on the members of the new generation, especially those who have an influence on cultural and entertainment habits of Net Geners.

To get a more detailed insight into this issue, the research could be extended by dividing the aforementioned principles into specific marketing strategies, analysing other publishers’ websites and surveying publishers on their marketing strategies focusing on the net gen. Furthermore, a comprehensive research of the new generation as publishers’ website consumers would offer an insight into their preferences and gather criticisms, which marketing experts could use to improve e-marketing promotion strategies.

References

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Sažetak

Digitalna je tehnologija iznimno značajan dio svakodnevice mrežne generacije, koja je rođena i odrasta u potpuno drukčijem medijsko-komunikacijskom kontekstu od bilo koje prijašnje generacije. Tradicionalne strategije nakladničkog marketinga treba revidirati kako bi obuhvatile informacijske navike i kompetencije nove generacije. Don Tapscott proveo je opsežno istraživanje svakodnevnih navika ove generacije te uočio osam normi koje primjenjuju u svojim aktivnostima: sloboda, personalizacija, pomno istraživanje, integritet, suradnja, zabava, brzina i inovacija. Ova generacija želi aktivno sudjelovati u kreiranju novih proizvoda te u donošenju odluka o kupnji i vrijednosti proizvoda. Umjesto o konzumentima, govorimo o tzv. prozumentima na koje tvrtke i njihov gerilski marketing nemaju velik utjecaj. Oni ne vjeruje reklamama, već o proizvodu raspravljaju s prijateljima i mladim autoritetima u online zajednicama (mreže n-utjecaja). Tapscott predlaže upotrebu koncepta 2.0 ili ABCDE marketinga temeljenog na načelima proizišlih iz potrošačke prakse nove generacije - bilo gdje, marka, komunikacija, otkriće i iskustvo.

U radu su analizirane mrežne stranice četrnaestero hrvatskih nakladnika za djecu i mlade s obzirom na implementaciju načela 2.0 marketinga i njegove usmjerenosti na navedenu populaciju. Cilj je rada ukazati na nedostatke u oblikovanju i funkcijama mrežnih stranica nakladnika, vezane za komunikaciju i aktivno uključivanje djece i mladih u nakladničko poslovanje. Rezultati istraživanja mogu doprinijeti identifikaciji poželjnih komunikacijskih strategija usmjerenih na mrežnu generaciju. Načela 2.0 marketinga odabrana su kao predmet istraživanja zato što su rezultat opsežnog istraživanja temeljenog na izravnoj komunikaciji s pripadnicima mrežne generacije, a mrežne stranice zato što su mjesta na kojima saznajemo najviše potrebnih informacija o nakladniku i njegovu poslovanju. Prije analize hrvatskih mrežnih stranica provedena je analiza mrežnih stranica petero britanskih nakladnika s dugom tradicijom koja sugerira kvalitetno organizirano poslovanje. Prikupljeni su podaci poslužili kao referentni podaci za prepoznavanje načela 2.0 marketinga na mrežnim stranicama hrvatskih nakladnika. Načela koja su tražena kod hrvatskih nakladnika su sljedeća: društvena angažiranost, brendiranje, dodatni sadržaji, personalizacija, sučelje prilagođeno novoj generaciji, online zajednice i društvene mreže.

Mrežne stranice hrvatskih nakladnika uglavnom ne potiču komunikaciju s djecom i mladima. Nakladnici nisu prepoznali važnost mreže n-utjecaja i kreiranja ili povezivanja s postojećim online zajednicama. Posebno je uočljiv nedostatak poticanja aktivnog uključivanja ove populacije u kreiranje nakladničkih proizvoda i brendova te u određivanje njihove vrijednosti i neprepoznavanje potrebe izgradnje potrošačkog iskustva. Stoga bi nakladnici trebali ostvariti suradnju sa stručnjacima koji sudjeluju u odgoju i obrazovanju djece, ali se također okrenuti pripadnicima nove generacije, posebice onima koji imaju utjecaj na njihov kulturni i zabavni život.

Ključne riječi:mrežna generacija, 2.0 (ABCDE) marketing, nakladničke mrežne stranice, komunikacijske strategije

 

[1]Children born after 1995 (net generation / children of the media / generation Z / digital natives / iGeneration / iGen / millennials…).

[2]Techno-pessimists (such as Nicholas Carr) stress the negative impact of technology on all fields of human activity, whereas techno-optimists (such as Don Tapscott) stress the positive impact thereof.

[3]E.g. Čitaj mi (“Read to me”) campaign (Croatian Library Association and partners), Čitamo mi, u obitelji svi (“Let the whole family read”) project (Croatian Network of School Librarians), Čitalački program za roditelje zatvorenike (“Reading programme for imprisoned parents”) (“Roda” foundation and Croatian Reading Association).

[4]Creative, cultural and symbolic products include ideas, experiences, perceptions, images, software, media contents, information and services (Tomašević – Horvat 2012, 14).

[5]The Lego company has recognized this phenomenon and has included its consumers in the development of the Mindstorm app (Tapscott 2009, 191).

[6]http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/new-ebook-discovery-efforts-differ-on-means/

[7]http://www.evenio.hr/bili-smo-na-najvecem-svjetskom-sajmu-knjiga-u-frankfurtu/

[8]http://www.evenio.hr/bili-smo-na-najvecem-svjetskom-sajmu-knjiga-u-frankfurtu/

[9]Carr references an example of an SMS book to illustrate the genre changes motivated by contemporary readers’ competences. In 2001, a group of Japanese digital media users started a creation of a novel consisting of a series of short text messages which they posted on a dedicated website. Thanks to the possibility of interacting with the text and the authors, “mobile phone novels” have become extremely popular and read widely, and publishers have begun to publish them in print. In 2007, three best-sold novels in Japan were originally written on mobile phones (2011, 143-144).

[10]https://www.iauthor.uk.com/

[11]http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/new-ebook-discovery-efforts-differ-on-means/

[12]Ružić et al. use synonyms such as digital / online / cyber / web / e-business marketing (2009: 65), the differences between these concepts being too insignificant (Škare 2011, 267).

[13]“Guerrilla marketing is a series of unconventional advertising methods which use minimal costs to shock consumers, who are expected to re-transmit their experience” (author’s translation; Dukić – Balić Mihalj 2012: 16).

[14]Cf . Blažević 2016, 84.

[15]A 2015 trust in advertising survey, which also included Croatia, shows that 83% of those questioned trust the recommendations of their friends, family or colleagues (Nielsen, quoted in Blažević 2016, 150).

[16]Gladwell notes that each individual inside such a network has a different role which can be that of a connector, an expert or a vendor (2005).

[17]“Avatar is an 'object' representing the personification, or a so-called alter ego, of a user in a two or three dimensional world” (https://www.tportal.hr/lifestyle/clanak/sto-je-avatar20100319?utm_expid=.P7ypB0NVQfaQzvpcmC600Q.0&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F
%2Fwww.google.hr%2F).

[18]“Viral marketing involves creating a website plus a video, email, mobile phone message, advertisement or other marketing event that is so infectious that customers will want to pass it along to their friends. Because customers pass the message or promotion along to others,viral marketing can be very inexpensive. And when the information comes from a friend, the recipient is much more likely to open and read it.” (author’s translation; Kotler, quoted in Clark and Phillips 2017, 244).

[19]The social media webpages and profiles were not included into this analysis.

[20]This analysis includes publishers specializing in a certain publishing field (in this case children´s and youth publishers), as well as non-specialized publishers (Velagić 2013, 43).

[21]Semafora, Egmont, Naša djeca, Planet Zoe, Evenio, Naklada Nika, Alfa, Školska knjiga / Lumen, Kašmir-promet / Dječja knjiga, Mozaik knjiga, Hum-naklada, Algoritam, Znanje, Golden marketing-Tehnička knjiga (GMTH)

[22]Bloomsbury, Egmont, Maverickbook, Puffin, Orion Publishing

[23]https://media.bloomsbury.com/rep/files/nodragon_storytellinga4.pdf

[24]https://www.egmont.co.uk/reading-fun/reading-street/

[25]http://www.nakladanika.hr/novost/vodic-za-roditelje-o-casopisu-105.html

[26]http://www.upoznajhrvatsku.info/category/dogadanja/

[27]https://www.nasa-djeca.hr/hr/edukativni-kutak/

[28]http://www.djecjaknjiga.hr/projekt/32/jedna-knjiga-%E2%80%93jedan-osmijeh--------------------------------za-veselo-odrastanje-djece-u-osnovnim-%C5%A1kolama

[29]School book publishershave recognized the importance of providing teachers with free of charge additional educational materials that are available and continuously updated online.This kind of an approach could be an indicator for publishers to attract the new generation with interesting, useful and free of charge materials.

[30]http://www.maverickbooks.co.uk/activities/colouring-in-sheets/

[31]https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/childrens/books-for-0-5/apps-for-children/; https://www.egmont.co.uk/teacher-librarian-resources/

[32]https://library.tookbook.com/

[33]http://harrypotter.bloomsbury.com/uk/; https://www.egmont.co.uk/childrens-websites/

[34]https://www.penguin.co.uk/puffin/worlds/

[35]www.upoznajhrvatsku.info

[36]http://slikovnice.info

[37]E.g. http://mozaik-knjiga.hr/proizvod/medo-i-klavir/

[38]https://www.facebook.com/Hrkalo-Snorybear-539947079457674/

[39]http://www.algoritam.hr/?m=1&p=proizvodi&Korak=btrazilica&trazi=Harry+Potter&q=i

[40]http://znanje.hr/kategorija-proizvoda/knjiga-dostupna-svima/

[41]http://znanje.hr/kategorija-proizvoda/beletristika/young-adult-i-fantasy/

[42]http://semafora.hr/new/suradnici/

[43]E.g. https://shop.skolskaknjiga.hr/tom-gates-moj-savrseni-svijet-1-knjiga.html

[44]http://www.djecjaknjiga.hr/

[45]There are Croatian companies that exclusively publish customized picture books (Tvornica snova, Jabooka, Zmalac ).

[46]https://shop.egmont.co.uk/?utm_source=egmont&utm_medium=egmontsite&utm_campaign=egmontsite

[47]https://www.penguin.co.uk/puffin/

[48]http://www.upoznajhrvatsku.info/

[49]http://slikovnice.info/

[50]E.g. http://www.nakladanika.hr/knjiga/ne-bi-zelio-graditi-veliki-kineski-zid-13.html

[51]E.g. https://www.planetzoe.hr/kad-je-findus-bio-mali-i-izgubio-se-serija-pettson-i-findus/

[52]http://www.algoritam.hr/?m=0

[53]https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClESv5hi1S52cmNtzQUj1BQ

[54]http://sfgateway.com/

[55]https://www.orionbooks.co.uk/Search.page?SearchText=reading+group+guides

[56]https://library.tookbook.com/

[57]E-library Took Book offers books from 26 publishers. Among publishers included in this analysis, only a publisher Znanje had entered this project.

[58]The British publishing house Egmont is a notable exception.

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