It’s ‘Tea Time’ for Random House
How do you come up with the featured books for the book club?
Vaughn: … We discussed the kinds of books that Celestial was interested in with Burson-Marsteller, and then reached out to [our] divisional marketing managers for suggestions of titles that would work. The marketing managers came back with a lot of great ideas, which we’ve passed on to Burson-Marsteller and Celestial. They’re reading the books now, and we’re looking forward to discussing [the] prospective title selections [they’ve chosen] for the spring.
How is Random House marketing the book club?
Vaughn: Celestial Seasonings is doing most of the marketing for the book club, but we are featuring it in our newsletters and in a banner on our site to get a sense of our audience’s reaction to [it].
Do you have any ideas as to what the demographics of the book club members will be?
Vaughn: It will be especially interesting to look at where the book-club participants come from—in-store advertising, online marketing, messaging on the tea boxes themselves, or other sources. One of the great things about online marketing is the additional data you gain about where people come from and their behavior once they are on your site.
What are some other marketing ventures Random House has been involved with recently?
Vaughn: Our divisions are constantly trying new and creative marketing approaches. Some of these include Bantam Dell’s presence [The Bantam Dell Book Café] on the online community SecondLife [which features a store, where consumers can browse books before following a link to the Random House Web site to buy them, and events such as “live” readings]; and personalized editions of “The Poky Little Puppy,” from our children’s books division, [which include an individualized dedication and photo].
Amanda Baltazar is a Washington-based freelance journalist who specializes in writing about business.