Marketing Interview: The Move Toward Fluid Content
Is this the way publishing Web sites will look in the future?
Yamaguchi: Yes. The one-paragraph description of your book—author photo, author bio—isn’t going to take you very far. Publishers and authors are doing a lot of interesting stuff—cool videos, podcasts—so you need a place to put it all. And you need a place to anchor it … somewhere on your own site in a way that makes sense.
… Go where the traffic is. [If we create a video,] we place that video on the video-sharing sites [like YouTube and Vimeo]. If we take pictures at an author event, we’re putting those up on Flickr. If you have a podcast, people should be able to subscribe to it, and that podcast should live in many different places. … Go where the people already are.
What has been your biggest challenge so far at Doubleday?
Yamaguchi: … With the site, we’re all in the honeymoon phase. It’s getting great feedback, but we’re seeing places to make improvements and push it even further. Also, there’s a whole style guide that has to be created—[with the site’s] looser, flexible environment, that creates inconsistencies in how you’re presenting your content. We don’t want to do that. We want to be consistent. But with the ease of updating, what you see is what you get. It’s a simple approach, and I really am impressed with how the challenges are not overwhelming.
Do you have any advice for marketing professionals looking to move forward with their careers?
Yamaguchi: Especially in the online space, there are a lot of unknowns. One of the things I’ve always found interesting is [that] there are a lot of bad ideas. A lot of things don’t pass the “would I do it myself?” test. You’ll see people come up with an idea, spend a lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of resources, doing something they themselves would never do. My advice is, don’t get angry, don’t think that you know better than anyone else. But at the same time, if you feel like you’ve got a better path, keep fighting for it.