Perspectives, insights, and research


From Digital to Data: Marketing Strategies and Technologies for the Next Era

September 28, 2023  |  By

C&E’s Colleen Scollans spoke on a panel at Silverchair’s 2023 Platform Strategies with Dustin Smith (Hum), Erin Ganley (Oxford University Press), and Rory Williams, APR (Rockefeller University Press).

Here are our top takeaways:

  • Open access has put the focus on the author and Author Experience. This focus and change impacts the entire organization – most notably Editorial and Marketing. Teams must work together towards common goals in new agile (and data-driven) ways.
  • This shift to more B2C data-driven marketing is significant. It is not about a single technology tool but rather a multi-year transformation journey. New strategies, skills, structures, and processes are all required. Like all change, this requires a disciplined and well-planned approach – a clear vision, a multi-year roadmap, agile experimentation, and a commitment to change management. It also means most organizations likely need to spend more on this new B2C marketing than was historically spent on supporting the B2B models.
  • Legacy publishing and association technology are unsuitable for new Audience Engagement and Author Experience (AX) use cases. Organizations must prioritize modernizing their (MarTech) stacks and developing marketing teams to adopt and use the tools successfully.
  • While new marketing skills are required (e.g., testing and optimization, segmentation analysis), there is also a real need to master marketing fundamentals (e.g., strategic planning, customer/audience feedback, campaign planning, positioning/messaging). However, many marketing fundamentals must be reimagined for this new world. For example:
    • How are messages created and structured for Artificial Intelligence (AI) content generation, personalization, and testing?
    • How does campaign planning reflect the nuances of always-on campaigns and journey orchestration?
    • How does Audience Intelligence refine campaign, channel, and content strategies?
  • Association brand values and primary value propositions are about community. They must have complete control and access to their data – even when their journals are part of a commercial publishing arrangement. Data is required to understand their audience and to effectively promote society products, services, and mission-centric objectives. Data sovereignty (i.e., providing access to partner data) should be a priority for all publishers with society partners.
  • Editors play an essential role in author commissioning and community building. Editors and marketers need to work collaboratively on defining ideal author target lists and acquisition strategies, and creating engaging and community-oriented content. In addition, Marketing can play a vital role in warming leads for editors and MarTech can help identify trending topics for collections and special issues.

Many key takeaways from this session were captured by Silverchair’s sketch artist in these visual notes:

Colleen Scollans

Email  |  Linkedin

Colleen Scollans leads Clarke & Esposito’s Marketing & Digital Transformation Practice. She is a seasoned marketing, digital strategy, and customer experience leader. Prior to consulting, Colleen was the Chief Marketing Officer for Oxford University Press’s (OUP) Academic Division. See Full Bio

All Perspectives By Colleen →