Report – The Art of Personalisation and The Art of Discoverability

Posted on: Thursday 06 July 2017 1:06pm by Simon Bor

The second two-for-one Art of… sessions took a look into the world of personalised publishing and how children will, or will not, discover your content


  • Your child’s data can be used to create a personalised book
  • Find a niche. You are not going to be able to compete with Harry Potter straight away
  • Know your audience and engage with it


The Art of Personalisation

Alison Stewart, Head of Production at CBeebies, introduced the session and the first speaker, Nick Marsh, Head of Product at Lost My Name (the world’s leading personalised publishing company). Nick was pleased to be back in Sheffield where he grew up. He took us through the personalised books his company makes available online. They are print-on-demand books which use data to personalise them for the intended child reader.

In a nutshell, by the purchaser adding in the name of the child, the child’s address and their date of birth, there is the option to buy a range of books with personalised text. In one book, satellite maps are added to generic illustration to show the street the child actually lives on.

Now on offer is a book that takes it one step forward with a range of character variations to personalise the illustrations to include the child’s interests as well, and in development is a personalised super hero comic book.

The Art of Discoverability

Peter Robinson, Global Head of Research, Dubit, was the next speaker. He described the trends on how content was being consumed by children. Kids are consuming not just on their phones, TV is still relevant as well as reading books, but Dubit’s findings show that kids are struggling to find new content in the multi-platform world, with the top five brands getting stronger.

A case study showed how Minecraft was looked for when their fan base was in the early years, and how fast they were then able to grow once smart phones were in the hands of young people. His advice for content providers was to find the potential fan base early on and engage with it.

His five tips were:

  1. Find a niche. You are not going to be able to compete with Harry Potter straight away.
  2. Find the real user. Engaging with early users will mean they have an investment in the property.
  3. Create a feedback loop. Observe the loop, listen to the audience.
  4. Go where the user is. Peter gave an example of Minecraft getting into mobile at the right time.
  5. Don’t forget who the buyer is. Engage with the parent, the guardian.

David Kleeman, SVP, Global Trends-Dubit, opened up the session for questions. He wanted to link the two presentations so asked Nick how his product found its audience. “It’s a mix of paid Facebook promotion, traditional advertising such as TV and word of mouth,” said Nick.

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Simon Bor

About the author

Simon Bor


Simon studied Animation at Farnham, and, more recently, was awarded an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University. He set up Honeycomb Animation with Sara Bor and has been involved in children’s television since the mid 1980s. As a writer, Simon has co-written and created several shows including Milkshake’s 'Funky Valley'. As a director and… Read more