Press Release: Peter McCarthy and Mike Shatzkin Announce New Digital Marketing Services for Publishers
McCarthy offers additional detail on his perspective and philosophy. "In concert with a terrific team and a highly supportive and visionary management at Random House, I was able to test hypotheses and hone techniques. I was fortunate enough to be in the position to combine that with a longstanding background in publishing and technology. I firmly believe that good digital marketing practice requires research and constant experimentation. Increasingly doing that also requires a sophisticated and nuanced understanding of the technologies involved. Gathering information is one thing; using it wisely is another. The idea that an editor or marketer can just write SEO'd copy for a book - any book - without research into the presumed audiences is just wrong. The same is true of paid media efforts. Skipping research is a mistake. But research done in the absence of the understanding of how to properly apply it to business objectives might as well not have been done at all."
McCarthy employs a broad range of tools and tactics to optimize an author's online presence and he applies insights gleaned online to the physical channel. "Sometimes the most famous authors offer major challenges because there is so much activity on the web for them that getting the new book to cut through the noise in, say, search can be very challenging. Then again, regional interest can be seen and capitalized on. Social media efforts often enable insights into the demographics, beliefs, and behaviors of core audiences and suggest others - online and off."
Often the issues uncovered are surprisingly basic but hard for an untrained eye to see. Citing a recent example, Shatzkin says, "At the other extreme, we find authors - even with big houses - with the most fundamentally flawed online presences including a recent case where an author's website had an archaic version of a 'do not crawl' instruction in 15-year old code. Of course, that means Google couldn't see it!"