Personalization is the key to our professional future

As dissimilar as the book industry and the insurance industry may be, they are linked by a key digital trend: the increasingly manifest potential of personalized, direct-to-consumer marketing. This thesis didn’t just take keynote speaker and digital strategist Klaus Driever from Weltbild to the Allianz Group, it also introduced a word that neatly connects disparate aspects of the 2018 Publishers’ Forum agenda.

Successful personalization requires the latest technological foundations. Personalization of publishing products presupposes that the processes are organized in such a manner that it is possible to generate data on customers, their preferences and purchasing habits for analysis.

Trailblazers in this area include the British academic publisher Taylor & Francis, which recently acquired Colwiz, a software startup with its roots at the University of Oxford that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to increase the discoverability and usability of relevant content for researchers, as well as logistics specialists like Ingram, the world’s largest provider of distribution and print on demand services to the book business and early adopter of these technologies. Sadia Shahid from colwiz and Ruth Jones from Ingram will present their companies’ respective lighthouse projects and be available to answer detailed questions in a round-table session. René Büst from the artificial intelligence specialist Arago will provide a panoramic view of the principles and applications of this science with a view to the publishing industry.

The development of a successful personalization concept also needs input from a very different perspective – a precise and realistic understanding of consumer behavior, how their preferences develop, which media they use, how they communicate, and how they can be contacted. This requires a combination of knowledge and intuition.

At the Publishers’ Forum, Felim McGrath will impart his knowledge of consumer trends and their influence on reading and learning. He will draw on the comprehensive market research that the GlobalWebIndex performs in key segments like mobile, social media and mobile commerce.

The final piece of the overall picture – the intuitive perspective – comes from Paula Zuccotti. The industrial designer has augmented her designer’s tools with the observational methods of ethnology and has traveled the world to study the daily lives and purchasing habits of people from an array of diverse backgrounds. The result is a fascinating book – “Every Thing We Touch: A 24-Hour Inventory of Our Lives” – with photographs of all the objects that we use in a single day. For the Publishers’ Forum, she is bringing a selection of these glimpses into individuals’ lives to Berlin.

At the Publishers’ Forum, Big Data and Direct to Consumer are not just abstract buzzwords. Rather we invite you to join us on an expedition – from concepts to tools to concrete examples – that will immerse you in the topics that will shape the future of the publishing business.