John Hayes is the EMEA Business Development Executive for iContact, who offer email marketing and social media tools to enable small and medium sized businesses to collect data, build community and effectively engage with their clients. You can sign up to try iContact for free on their website.
Today John shares how author J.K. Rowling is using the new Harry Potter website to build a community to market to.
A wizard lesson in marketing from Harry Potter
With only three weeks to go before the UK cinema release of the final instalment of the Harry Potter movie franchise you’d be forgiven for thinking that the launch of a new Harry Potter website by author J.K. Rowling was part of the pre-release hype.
But there is so much more to the website than the new and previously unreleased content promised by Rowling. In short it’s an online marketing master class worthy of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Pottermore will enable J..K. Rowling to capitalise on three extremely effective promotional techniques that have long been the bread and butter of internet marketers.
Initially, she is capturing her readership’s data. By understanding who her readers are, where they come from and how they interact with the Pottermore site will enable her to more effectively plan and market future site developments and promotions.
Secondly, she is building community around the Harry Potter brand. Involvement in a community leads to perceived ownership. She is effectively hiring an army of brand ambassadors who will continue to evangelize about the boy wizard long after the hype of the print books and movie franchise has faded.
Finally, she is embracing the Freemium business model. The Pottermore site will be free. However, it will also be the exclusive retail outlet for purchasing newly available digital content which of course will be eagerly snapped up by her online army of fans.
Effectively Pottermore will give Rowling unrivalled access to her readership and ensure the Harry Potter brand lives on for many year to come. Quite simply it’s another magic move by Rowling to keep her readers under Harry Potter’s spell and keep the money rolling in.
As marketing moves go – it’s pure magic.