Anna McCollum
Material Type:
High School, Community College / Lower Division
Creative Commons Attribution

Putting it Together

Putting it Together


"El Siglo llibreria" by Castellbo is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution

Putting It Together: Marketing Information and Research

Back to Bookends

Let’s pay Uncle Dan and his bookstore another visit, now that you’re a little further along in your understanding of marketing research.

You’ll remember that you and Dan conducted both primary and secondary research to get a handle on who Bookends’ customers are—and who they aren’t. With the help of your cousin Marina, you crunched the data and identified three target segments you believe Dan should focus on. Here is the profile data you compiled for them:

Bookends Target Segment Profiles
CharacteristicsBored Empty-NestersBusy FamiliesHipster Wannabes
Age & family status45–75, mix of single and married25–50, mostly married with kids under 1215–35, mostly single
Times most likely to visit BookendsDaytime, evenings, weekends, holidaysAfter school, weekends, summertime, holidaysEvenings & weekends
Most likely to buyCards, gifts, novels, history/biographyKids’ books, how-to books, bestsellersMagazines, used books, graphic novels, snacks
Why they come to BookendsSocialize, shop, readFamily outingSocialize
Communications preferencesHard copy, email, face-to-faceEmail, texting, FacebookTexting, Twitter, Instagram & beyond
Effective promotionsCoupons, loyalty cardsLoyalty points (recorded electronically)Point-of-sale
What they wish Bookends would offerBook clubs & discountsMore hours in the dayCoffee, beer & wine, live music
% of all customers/month36%27%21%
Avg. # of customers/month14410884
% of monthly revenue43%29%18%
Avg. monthly revenue/person$30$27$21

Together, these segments make up more than 80 percent of Bookends’ clientele and about 90 percent of its monthly revenue. Looking at what they buy and why they come to Bookends, you’re getting some good ideas for ways of making the store more attractive for current customers, and you’ve got some ideas for bringing in new ones. With this new and improved information, it’s time to get to work on a marketing strategy and mix for each target segment.

Marketing Strategy: Bored Empty-Nesters

Bookends’ Bored Empty-Nesters are both the largest and the most profitable of the target segments. They have more time and more disposable income, and they spend more of both at your uncle’s bookstore. They like to use Bookends as a meeting place with friends and acquaintances, and you think that is a promising direction. You and your uncle brainstorm about ways of using the four Ps to win over even more of these customers (and get them to spend). The “product” you’re adjusting is not just the books you carry, but the whole experience customers have when the come to Bookends. Dan is excited about introducing book clubs—one for fiction and one for nonfiction books—to cater to this segment’s interests. Since Empty-Nesters have told you they love both socializing and getting a discount, you and Dan are trying out a “buddy night” promotion, in which people get a better price if they talk their friends into spending at Bookends, too.

Here is your Bored Empty-Nester game plan for the next couple of months:

Bookends Segment Strategy: Bored Empty-Nesters
ElementMarketing Mix Adjustment
Marketing Goals15% increase in store visitors for this segment
20% increase in monthly revenue per person
ProductCarry larger selection of history and biography
Adjust shelves and seating to create more socializing spaces
Launch two book clubs led by Dan and longtime employee Emma, one featuring new fiction and the other on new nonfiction
PromotionPrint flyers, posters, and send emails about book clubs, buddy discount
Set up in-store sign-up table for book club
Introduce Thursday night “buddy discount”: Get 5% off if you and a buddy each spend over $20
Explore interest in loyalty program: Spend $100 to get 10% discount on next purchase
PriceOffer 5% discount on monthly book club selection
PlaceNo changes (yet). Explore opening online store

Marketing Strategy: Busy Families

Research tells you that Busy Families come to Bookends as a family outing, so you need to make some aspects of the store more family-friendly, without ruining the atmosphere for your other target segments. The socializing-area adjustments you’re already planning for the Empty Nesters will be good for the Family segment, as well. You’re trying to get parents to spend a little more money at Bookends each month, so you’re adding a small toy section, a slightly expanded children’s book section, and also bottled drinks, packaged cookies, and brownies from a delicious local bakery. These adjustments add to the Bookends experience and include some new items Dan can sell with a nice profit markup.

Your Busy Families marketing mix is shaping up like this:

Bookends Segment Strategy: Busy Families
ElementMarketing Mix Adjustment
Marketing Goals10% increase in store visitors for this segment
10% increase in monthly revenue per person
ProductIncrease selection of DIY, crafting, and “How-To” books
Slightly expand children’s book selection and add a small toy section
Add child seating to the kids’ area, and donate your old train table to the Bookends cause
Hold children’s story hour on Tuesdays and Saturdays with stories, songs, games
Sell packaged baked goods from a local bakery and bottled drinks
PromotionSend emails and post to Facebook about story time, bigger kids’ area, buddy discount, social media discount promo
Explore interest in loyalty program: Spend $100 to get 10% discount on next purchase
PriceRun Facebook promotion offering 5% discount to people who post about Bookends
PlaceNo changes (yet). Explore opening online store

Marketing Strategy: Wannabe Hipsters

The Wannabe Hipsters are an interesting group. You almost didn’t include them in the three target segments because they are a smaller-sized group and don’t spend as much as the others. However, they do make up one in five Bookends customers, so it’s worth reaching out to see if you can bring more of them into the store and get them to spend more money while there. Fortunately, they like to come to Bookends during times when there aren’t many Busy Families around, so that opens some unique possibilities for ways of appealing to both segments.

Dan is excited about your suggestion to invite local bands to perform on Saturday nights. The Hipsters you spoke with suggested Dan try this, and it could make Bookends more of a social draw for that crowd. By rearranging shelving to create more socializing space, it opens up enough area for a live band to play for a small audience. You’re not convinced it’s going to translate into more book sales, but it’s worth a try.

The Hipster crowd has decidedly different communication preferences compared to the other groups, so your communication and promotion activities reflect this. To make sure they see the buddy discounts you’re offering, you suggest that Dan add signage about this promotion near the checkout counter, since that’s the place this audience is most likely to notice it.

The broad strokes of your Hipster Wannabe strategy are the following:

Bookends Segment Strategy: Hipster Wannabe
ElementMarketing Mix Adjustment
Marketing Goals15% increase in store visitors for this segment
20% increase in monthly revenue per person
ProductAdjust shelves and seating to create more socializing spaces
Invite local bands to play on Saturday evenings
Add more prominent shelf placement to feature graphic novels
Sell packaged baked goods from a local bakery and bottled drinks
PromotionPromote live music nights and buddy discount nights via social media
Add point-of-sale signage about Thursday and Saturday night “buddy discounts”
Explore interest in loyalty program: Spend $100 to get 10% discount on next purchase
PriceThursday and Saturday night “buddy discounts”: Get 5% off if you and a buddy each spend over $20
PlaceNo changes (yet). Explore opening online store.

Onward and Upward for Bookends

After running the numbers with Dan, you are optimistic that outreach to these target audiences will be the jumpstart his business needs. Your use of near-term promotions and events will help generate renewed interest and traffic for the store. You have advised Dan to explore interest in and options for a customer loyalty program that rewards customers for spending more at Bookends. That’s what the next round of marketing research will investigate.

In the meantime, you’ve learned a lot about the marketing research process and how to turn marketing information into future marketing strategies and plans. You’re excited to keep helping Dan as he puts your ideas to work, and, best of all, if business at the Bookends really starts to improve, you’ve got free graphic novels for life.


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  • Putting It Together: Marketing Research. Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution