The tsunami of content available today is daunting and overwhelming, as is the wealth of information available to publishers navigating the complex consumer environments created by Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and others. And, like the content tsunami, the surfeit of data is also overwhelming. Each year, more and more content makes its way onto the market, increasing the need for tools and insights that help publishers effectively identify and reach the readers for their books.
That’s why my colleagues and I created OptiQly, a marketing technology company. We’ve created a proprietary predictive algorithm and technology platform that applies machine learning and Big Data concepts to the challenge of selling products online. Our systems gather and assess dozens of unique data points, signals, and triggers by which books (and soon other products) are ranked, promoted, and sold by online retailers (including the likelihood of discovery and sell-through) and provide actionable real-time guidance to publishers and authors.
Whether through a snapshot analysis of a book’s online presence using our lightweight Chrome browser extension, or through the deeper and more comprehensive market profile afforded by our platforms, OptiQly is designed for the dynamic, 24/7 markets in which we now find ourselves selling.
The idea for OptiQly grew out of the consulting work that Pete McCarthy and his colleagues were doing for publishers, agents, and authors at Logical Marketing. Drawing on his years of experience running marketing research and development at Random House, Pete’s team employed a reader-driven multifaceted analysis of the sources and signals that impact each title to recommend specific actions to improve sales. Their work made it easier to translate and act on the myriad factors that influence placement and attention—and, thus, success—within retail environments.
It immediately became clear to me that every single book would benefit from this kind of market optimization analysis, with the overarching goal of matching the right book with the right consumer. And so, OptiQly was born with the goal of translating the bespoke marketing analysis pioneered at Logical Marketing into scalable software tools that provide our customers with actionable advice. Now, 12 months and countless lines of code later, our vision is becoming reality.
As we come from the publishing world, books are our initial focus. But the concepts behind OptiQly are universally applicable, and we anticipate quickly extending our technology to other products and platforms. Though we’re still in the early days, we are gearing up for launch early in the third quarter of this year, with a beta waiting list (optiq.ly/beta) that is already long and growing.
In our experience, content creators, marketers, and the C-suite too often view disparate data points in analytic silos, which can yield misleading, incomplete, or even damaging conclusions. Our approach is both analytic and holistic, integrating signals from a wide array of social media platforms, search engines, and other predictive environments and tools to definitively identify which books would most benefit from a marketing spend (and where), and evaluate when authors’ brand authority may be flagging or spiking.
And, importantly, OptiQly can do this for all your books—the scalability of our technology is a key facet of its effectiveness, and a driving force behind the company’s birth. Much like the emergence of search engine optimization as an effective means to optimize discovery in nontransactional environments, our groundbreaking Merchant Engine Optimization platform seeks to transform the business of selling all books online. OptiQly is about analyzing and assessing the sources and signals that predict online sales to empower publishers and authors with strategic, actionable advice.