Needles in a Virtual Haystack: Discoverability as a Route to Market

Chris Bennett
Head of Online Sales, Oxford University Press
Play (19min) Download: MP4 | MP3

One of the most significant challenges facing publishers today – and arguably the greatest opportunity – is how to make their content the most easy to locate in an increasingly crowded digital landscape. For the end-user, finding information has never been so easy; yet finding the right information is becoming increasingly difficult. From the publisher’s perspective, the tried and tested methods of marketing a physical object have been replaced by a daunting array of requirements such as enhanced metadata, search engine optimization and linking, as well as the unsettling (or stimulating) possibility that the unit of sale itself – the book or journal – might cease to exist in its established form. The technical building blocks involved may present a complex and expensive obstacle to publishers, but are the foundation of a discoverability strategy which has the potential to unlock a truly global marketplace for the first time. This presentation will outline some discoverability methodologies, and discuss the benefits of taking a market-orientated approach to their application.