Wiley Merges Old and New
How has the emergence of the online space and all of its potential affected the 200-year-old company?
Dunn: … The way we’re organized here, I’ve really tried to empower the teams to be entrepreneurial in how they look at the lists, how they market and promote, and really think more about having conversations with customers rather than just marketing to them in the traditional sense. And everyone interprets that in different ways, but the size of Wiley makes it a place where there are lots of resources available, if you know where to look, … and you get a lot of support to try new things as well.
At the end of the day, we’re all just trying new things in the online environment. Every time you publish a book, you’re going to discover a new community, a new list, a new place to put an ad … and when you go online, that just flows exponentially in a number of different directions.
So over the last year, we’ve really allowed that kind of experimentation, and are building our confidence and trying out new tools so that we can make better decisions down the road. As we [move forward], it’s going to be more about measuring what those experiments have done and then adapting them.
But, at the same time, when you’re a 200-year-old company, you don’t forget what works. So we’ve tried to use new media to enhance our traditional marketing efforts so that you’re really looking at a multimedia, multidimensional campaign.
How are you leveraging new online strategies like video and audio?
Dunn: We lucked out quite early and found some really nice outside partners who enabled us to explore a lot with video. You can’t go on any Web site these days without seeing some video. And what we’ve found is that if we wanted to ask another site to place a banner ad for us, chances are we’d have to pay for that. But if we say, “Hey, we have this video of one of our authors talking about entrepreneurialism. It’s two minutes long. Give it a look,” they’ll usually post that for free, because they see it as a value-ad. … And if you can keep someone’s attention online for 30 seconds or more, then you’ve made a lot more progress than by hoping you get one of those fleeting [online ad] impressions we’re all still not sure how to measure.