J. L. Hahn Consulting Group
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Case Studies

The goal of the J. L. Hahn Consulting Group is to provide clients with the capacity to get their work done the same way they would like it to be done if they had the time to do it themselves. We are an extension of the client.

The following are several case studies of successful publishing engagements:

Successful First Edition Product Launch

A Full-Service Plan to Ensure Success

The J. L. Hahn Consulting Group was hired by a large college publishing house to develop a strategy to support the launch of a new political science textbook. The book was due to be published in five months and very little market development had been done to support the textbook.

Working with the customer, the J. L. Hahn Consulting Group put together a market development program that consisted of the following:

  • » Created a detailed database of over 2500 potential customers: the database included names, enrollment, email addresses, and book-in-use
  • » Launched a targeted email campaign directed at all database customers
  • » Developed a market-focused online reviewer program - included 300 key customers in the review process
  • » Coordinated 8 focus groups across the country targeting key customers

The textbook sold close to 30,000 units, exceeding projection by 15%. The publisher is convinced that our efforts made the difference in the success of the title. The key to a successful product launch is that we work closely with the client to meet their needs. We are part of the team, funneling leads to sales representatives and supporting the implementation of your company plans. Through our systematic business development methods, we give our clients more control over the launch of their textbook.

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Targeted Rollover Business Sales Support

Capitalizing on Turning Inventory

The J. L. Hahn Consulting Group has a sales staff of trained college professionals that support the needs of our clients. One of our clients was looking to accelerate the revision cycle of one of their psychology textbooks, but was concerned that the sales force would not have time to call on the title. The book was being added to the call list on such short notice, therefore it might end up being overlooked by the sales force.

Within two days of the call from the client, the J. L. Hahn Consulting Group was on the phone rolling business.

Using the lists provided by the client, we were able to contact 300 customers over an 80 hour period of time. We rolled 5,000 fourth quarter units for the client, exceeding their sales budget by 20%.

The key to this type of engagement is the ability to act quickly. Sales support projects must be started right away to be effective. The J. L. Hahn Consulting Group employs experienced sales professionals who can get up to speed quickly in any discipline. We have worked in the sciences, social sciences, and business disciplines for most of the major publishers.

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Discipline Sales Support for New Editorial Program

Reaching New Customers at a Reasonable Price

The J. L. Hahn Consulting Group has a client that is entering a new discipline. Because of the nature of the discipline, the client finds it difficult to get sales representatives to call on these titles. In many cases, the new discipline is located across campus, and to make matters worse, the courses are fairly small and somewhat idiosyncratic.

The client hired the J. L. Hahn Consulting Group to act as its sales force for these products. For the past two years, we have worked 1000 hours a semester calling on these titles for the client. Sales have increased significantly over that time, with the client meeting their sales goals for the program.

Using the J. L. Hahn Consulting Group as sales support allows the client the flexibility to only pay for time worked while not paying for the summer months and holidays. For less than the cost of a full time inside sales representative, the client has coverage for all titles across all schools.

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Class Testing with Sales Follow-up

Reaching Out to Students and Instructors

We have a client that picked up a somewhat successful textbook from another company. As part of the launch strategy, they wanted to class test a sample chapter with instructors. The J. L. Hahn Consulting Group, working closely with its client, organized 40 class tests of one sample chapter. The class test data was collected online using the state-of-the-art reviewing portal, Textreviews.com, and all data was shared with the client's marketing and editorial group.

The client then hired the J. L. Hahn Consulting Group to follow-up with all 40 class testers and work on closing the business. Our sales team worked closely with the client to support these adoptions, and we were able to close 20 key adoptions based on the class testing.

The class testing and sales follow-up project helped close 50% of the client's projected sales for the title being supported.

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Streamlined Priority B and C Development Support

Adding the Capacity to Publish More Titles

More and more companies are struggling with the development of their priority B and C titles. These books are extremely profitable, but there is little time to develop the revisions or launch new editions of lower priority textbooks. The J. L. Hahn Consulting Group provides its clients with streamlined, value priced project management for lower priority titles.

For example, we are currently working with a client where we handle all lower priority titles for a list. We review and develop eight titles per year for the program, working closely with their production department to turn the books over on time and in pristine shape.

By offering this service, we allow our clients to spend more of their resources on Priority A titles. We make sure our clients retain their control over the lower priority titles, while we give them the capacity to publish these important books.

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Rebuilding Technology Assets

Transitioning to the Online and Hybrid World

The J. L. Hahn Consulting Group was approached by a client to rebuild 100 interactive exercises that had been created in Shockwave. The assets were no longer well received by clients - they were dated and stale. The J. L. Hahn Consulting Group's technology team, working with a subject matter expert, redeveloped these assets using FLASH.

The J. L. Hahn Consulting Group redesigned the "look-and-feel" of these interactivities. Working with a subject matter expert, all of these interactive exercises were redeveloped to be premium learning objects. Voice over was added to many of the interactivities along with student quizzing.

The J. L. Hahn Consulting Group developed all 100 interactivities on time and on budget. These 100 interactive exercises are now the key selling feature of the client's web portal that supports their textbook. These exercises are a showcase for the sales force to use when calling on instructors interested in technology.

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Pre-Revision Reviewing Strategy

Protecting Your Investment by Creating Successful Revisions

A major college publisher had a problem with the launch of a new textbook series. The book came in second in numerous large adoption situations and they did not know why. The client hired the J. L. Hahn Consulting Group to run their pre-revision reviewing strategy in hopes of determining why they always came in second.

Using a targeted list of customers, the J. L. Hahn Consulting Group hired 40 reviewers for each title to provide detailed feedback on the series of books. The reviewer questions were written by the J. L. Hahn Consulting Group. We crafted a research document that focused on both quantitative and qualitative questions that addressed the strengths and weaknesses of the book in use as well as the title being reviewed.

All reviewer data was captured online and could be parsed in numerous ways to better understand the research.

The final reports provided the authors and the publisher with a detailed, data-driven revision plan. The authors indicated they had never seen such a meticulous, well-crafted set of reviews.

The results of our systematic, well-focused revision strategy were apparent with the launch of the new edition. The revision of the series sold 25% above projection, making the textbook series the most successful series on the publishers list.

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Developing the Branding and Marketing Message

Choosing the Right Words to Reach Your Customers

Our client was launching a new social science textbook with a unique branding message. No matter how they positioned the book during the review process, they were finding it difficult to develop a branding message that resonated with instructors. They hired the J. L. Hahn Consulting Group to develop a unique research project to "uncover" the correct branding message for this unique textbook.

Working closely with the client, we wrote a 25 question survey focused on the feature set of the book. We informed the 100 instructors who participated in this review project that we needed their help to determine the marketing message for the text. We used the creativity of the instructors to craft the marketing message for the book - and they really enjoyed doing it!

All the instructors that reviewed the project rated the book very high - we were able to develop 100 "friends-of-the-book" while crafting the branding message. These 100 reviewers controlled over 40,000 units.

In the end, the client had a branding message that was endorsed by instructors as well as a list of potential adopters that felt like they were part of the marketing team for the project.

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