Expert Insight: 'Data Is Central To Deciding Where We Are Spending Our Time'

We sat down with Jennifer Dwork, Head of Content and Partnerships at Book of the Month


Jennifer Dwork is the Head of Content & Partnerships at Book of the Month. She oversees the company's content strategy, including all production and distribution, social media, public relations, and key brand partnerships. She helped to relaunch the 91-year old brand as an e-commerce subscription service company and build its audience through social media and content-driven partnerships. She was named to AdAge's 40 Under 40 list in 2017 for her work on Book of the Month.Previously, Jennifer worked in Corporate Development and Strategy at TripAdvisor, and was a cable news television producer at CNBC and Bloomberg. 

Ahead of her presentation at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit in New York this July 17-18, we sat down with Jennifer to discuss the industry, from vanity metrics to data's influence. 

How do you get your content noticed?

Our audience is very engaged on Instagram. So that’s where we focus a lot of our efforts. Broadly speaking, we’ve found that emotional, funny, and relatable content performs well with our audience. And we also use Instagram as a platform to feature a lot of reposts from our highly-engaged members.

‘Vanity metrics’ are a tempting way of assessing social media success, but how can publishers ensure they’re measuring what matters?

We try to track, measure and analyze whichever metrics are most closely associated with a particular initiative. In a membership-focused contest or promotion we might measure participation rates. For influencers, we look at increases in our followers. For an enrollments-driven campaign, we track cost per enrollment.

What audience development tactics have you found to offer the best return?

Book of the Month’s brand ambassador program has been successful in growing our audience on Instagram. Our ambassadors are people who are truly excited about our mission of introducing great books every month. They reach millions of followers with their posts, and the photos they take are beautiful. It’s helped us to amplify our content efforts, and to inspire our own creative ideas.

How much does data influence your decision-making day-to-day?

Book of the Month is at the intersection of media and e-commerce. Data is central to deciding where we are spending our time, what platforms we engage with, and what partners we work with.

What will the audience take away from your presentation in New York?

How to take a disciplined approach to a content strategy – including defining the metrics to assess what’s working for your brand. Determining what you’re not doing is just as important as deciding what you are doing as a brand. 

You can hear more from Jennifer, along with many other industry leading digital publishers, at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit, taking place this July 17-18 in New York. To see the full schedule, click here.

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