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OpenBook: Toronto External Online Marketing Review

OpenBook: Toronto External Online Marketing Review

Online marketing review and strategic planning for OpenBook Toronto


OpenBook: Toronto (OBT) is an online organization funded by the Organization of Book Publishers of Ontario (OBPO) dedicated to the promotion and awareness of Ontario’s books, authors and literary community. The OBPO commissioned Boxcar Marketing and Craig Riggs and Kiley Turner of Turner-Riggs to perform an independent business and marketing review of OpenBook.

Client Quote

“I am thrilled with this report; both the process and the report are immensely useful for Open Book. I think this review has resulted in excellent feedback and innovative, smart suggestions which we are eager to explore! All of the included information is useful to the Open Book project—immediately or for the future. I look forward to discussing the details with everyone.”—Amy Logan Holmes, Executive Director of Open Book: Toronto and Open Book: Ontario


Having completed its first three years of operation, the OBPO wanted an independent review of Open Book: Toronto and whether the project was meeting its goals; its impact and effectiveness on Ontario books and authors; and its strategies for growth and development in the greater Ontario market.


OpenBook: Toronto’s goals are to increase the profile of Canadian authors and publishers—and the awareness of both among the general public, private funders, and institutions—and to expand the readership of Canadian books.

With these goals in mind, Boxcar Marketing and Turner-Riggs undertook the review in four phases:

  • Phase 1: Design, Discovery, and Secondary Research. The team completed a thorough review of OpenBook: Toronto’s online presence, a review of its website analytics, and an environmental scan of OpenBook: Toronto’s competitors.
  • Phase 2: Primary Research. OpenBook: Toronto team members were interviewed and OpenBook users were surveyed. The team also reviewed a recent survey conducted by Open Book.
  • Phase 3: Strategy Development. Looking at the primary and secondary research, Boxcar Marketing and Turner-Riggs developed strategic recommendations for OpenBook: Toronto. This included ROI opportunities, marketing strategies for community development, and online and offline measurements that can help OBT track program performance in the future.
  • Phase 4: Report Authoring. Boxcar Marketing and Turner-Riggs co-authored a report that summarized the review’s findings and provided strategic recommendations for moving forward.


The review was carried out between May 1 and June 30, 2010, and resulted in a 70-page review for OBPO, as well as a presentation of the findings to representatives from the board of OBPO and the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

Throughout the process, Boxcar Marketing was able to provide timely feedback and detailed instructions on how to fix a number of usability issues with the website. Both Boxcar Marketing and Turner-Riggs were also able to brainstorm with OBT several ideas for campaign and workflow enhancements.

All parties are really pleased with the action items from the report and are steadily working to implement changes according to an agreed upon prioritization.

Completed on August 2010

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