Scholastic turns to data, loyalty in renewed push for book clubs

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While many in the publishing world have been slow to embrace the digital evolution (save for a few e-readers), Scholastic is looking to take its decidedly old-fashioned - but popular - book clubs and bring them into a new era. The publisher turned to focus study groups to gather data directly from its customers, teachers and the K-12 education system, to begin a new $9 million campaign for its Scholastic Book Club that delivers new books to classrooms around the country, according to a report in The New York Times.

As part of the effort, Scholastic will broad its e-commerce portal, in effect since 2000, beef up its loyalty points programs and add specific tab for new teachers to its Facebook page. From the Times:

This school year, however, the bookseller is taking a new approach to getting its books into classrooms. For the first time, it plans to reach teachers using a combination of social networking, expanded e-commerce and new back-to-school promotions, in addition to the standard paper catalogs.

The reasons for the new effort include trying to find better ways to reach a rapidly moving population of teachers. Each year, many start their careers, move to new schools or leave the profession.

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