International Community and Ad-Hoc Work for A Global Publisher

Understanding the audience to inform content, branding and positioning

Harris Interactive

Business Challenge

For our client, a global publisher, it is essential to properly understand the audience of their titles in order to inform book content, branding and positioning.


In collaboration with our sister company Toluna, we run seven research communities of our client’s readerships across the UK, US and Australia/New Zealand. Harris Interactive is the lead agency for this relationship and Toluna provides day-to-day project management services. In addition to managing the research communities, we also undertake many smaller scale ad-hoc surveys when our client requires research services that sit outside of their communities. For example, this might include research among nationally representative samples or among readers of a particular genre or a particular author. These surveys are run using the relevant Toluna panel for the UK, US or Australia/New Zealand

Some of the ad-hoc studies we have conducted include:

  • International Genre Research | Survey with readers of a specific genre of book across seven different countries and languages.
  • Mystery Book Research | A mixture of online survey and client CRM data looking into readership of one of the world’s biggest mystery/crime brands. This involved managing relationships with stakeholder teams across various international client offices as well as author representatives. This included a “boost” sample of mystery book readers in three different countries and produced a total of over 10,000 interviews. The survey included blurb heat-mapping and allowed us to provide specific insight into specific audience segments (e.g. by country, reading volume and genres read)
  • Healthy Eating Book Research | This study involved an online survey to support the branding and positioning of a high-profile healthy eating book in our client’s portfolio. This included a sample of nationally representative US book buyers as well as a boost of harder-to-reach “health and wellness book buyers”. The survey included various advanced methods including blurb heatmapping and CHAID analysis to identify target audience segments for marketing and an innovative conjoint design to determine ideal cover elements and the book’s title.


Our research has had direct impacts on books in stores: helping publications teams to make decisions on cover art and blurbs and marketing teams to best position their titles – often requiring different approaches for different audience groups.


  • Communities
  • global publisher