MarketSquare Europe, April 16-18, 2018, in Budapest Hungary, will include a day of training and education, featuring two sessions on marketing for publishers and retailers, a panel discussion on the future of Christian literature distribution, and a follow-up session on contracts to maximize partnerships and sales.

In partnership with CBA, Daryl Wearring, head of marketing for CLC International (UK), will help lead the training, covering key trends for each sector and focusing on the main elements required to stay relevant and increase engagement with potential readers and consumers.

“It’s tough to ensure your message connects in a noisy world with many competing outside influences,” Wearring says. “Devising simple and effective marketing strategies to reach and engage with their target audiences is essential for publishers and retailers, to make sure their services and products stand out from the crowd and are exposed to the possibility of recommendation and sale,” he says.

Noting that marketing is all about relationships, he says that in the UK, “publishers are reacting to a challenging market by consolidating, and even trimming their lists, and bringing more focus to their publishing output. Those that are doing well are engaging with their authors more and utilizing their networks, engaging more directly with their readers, and using their own content in more engaging ways through blogs, video, and social media.”

The biggest trends in marketing, Wearring says, center around utilizing technology to give shoppers the best experience both in-store and online and creating a fully integrated experience however they shop.

“This may sound out of reach [for] some Christian retailers,” he adds, “but I will share some ideas on how to tap into this trend.”

For stores with a tight budget, he understands that marketing dollars have to go a long way.

“Marketing spending is becoming more of a challenge as there are many more opportunities these days,” Wearring says. “It can be a bit overwhelming, and what works takes some testing. Digital opportunities do at least allow for a better idea of your return on investment. But there are some ways to tap into areas of marketing with little or no spending, utilizing other people’s spheres of influence and networks.”

The 2017 MarketSquare Europe drew more than 60 attendees representing 18 countries. All the CLC countries in Europe that publish will be present at this year’s event along with a few additional CLC countries such as Colombia and Korea.

To learn more about MarketSquare Europe, visit cbaonline.org/marketsquare-europe/.

—Ginny McCabe