Immediate partnership opp at major English language publisher
is reporting that Random House Publishing Group (RHPG), the world's largest English language trade publisher, has created a new position dedicated to direct-to-consumer marketing.
Melissa Possick is taking on the new director of marketing partnerships role where she will create strategic, direct-to-consumer marketing partnerships and alliances for RHPG’s brand authors and popular titles.
also announced that Gina Wachtel has been promoted to vice president of mass market and trade paperback in its Trade Paperback group.
In an interview with WinmoEdge, Possick and Senior Vice President and Marketing Director Sanyu Dillon discussed this new direction for RHPG.
Possick stated that Random House is now focusing more of its attention on marketing and directly connecting with consumers, which had been traditionally done through booksellers and other B-to-B efforts in the past.
“This gives me and Random House a chance to think about the different levels of a title and a franchise, and look at how we can leverage these things in small to big ways,” she added. “We can then align our content with large companies and their different products to match our target audiences. We want to find brands that would be a right pair with our authors.”
Before, Random House’s marketing efforts centered primarily on getting booksellers on board through B-to-B components. Then, the publisher would utilize consumer focused initiatives, including online promotions, after a book’s release.
“We basically relied on the bookseller to sell the books and to get consumer to notice them on tables,” Dillon said. “Now with the shift to digital, we realized that we need to focus our efforts to speak directly to consumers instead of waiting until the book went on sale.”
Possick said her experience is tailored to this new position as she has aligned top authors with brands and their manufacturers in the past.
“Hopefully you’ll see things about our books where you normally wouldn’t expect to find them,” she continued. “We want to be at all sorts of different places and retailers. It could be in categories outside of books, and in fact, that would probably be the best place to go about it.”
Currently, Random House’s marketing department is set up with marketing directors focusing on specific titles. Dillon said Possick instead will focus more on overall categories like romance, for example, which the publisher is a leader in.
“If there’s a way to link up to consumer organization or companies that have the same demographic, that’s what we’re seeking,” she acknowledged. “We see this as a new way to bring readers into romance versus traditional advertising and social media during typical romance times. We see this as enhancing the things that we’ve already been doing, but really being able to focus on the category whether its romance or cooking, for example.”
She added that this type of alliance should create outside of the box opportunities for all parties involved.
“It’s not just about the content of the book,” Dillon expressed. “It’s everything combined with the authors and their franchises. The brand awareness of some of the authors that we work with is enormous. They’re celebrities in the media world; they’re much bigger than just the title.”
As such, an author can offer a unique voice that a partnering brand can take full
“If something is a good match we’d love to hear more about it,” Possick acknowledged. “We’re very receptive.”
Dillon said that Random House does work with book advertising agencies, though most of its traditional book advertising is handled internally.
This won’t change, but she believes that Possick’s new position creates a “great opportunity” to talk with agencies outside of Random House’s usual sphere.
“In the past work I’ve done, I had to put some partnerships together and I didn’t know which agencies worked with certain manufacturers, so it could get pretty difficult,” Possick expressed. “If they’re looking for a new type of voice that we can create content for, that would be terrific. I’d love to hear from all sorts of different places.”
The List reports that the New York-based company handles its media buying and planning internally, while Verso Advertising
, also out of New York, serves as its advertising AOR.
According to Nielsen, Random House allocated $25.5 million towards measured media in 2010. About $8.3 million was spent on national magazine ads, about $7.9 million was spent on national newspaper ads and about $4.9 million was spent on local newspaper ads.
Random House Inc.
New York, NY 10019
Director, Marketing Partnerships
Senior Vice President & Marketing Director
Senior Vice President & Executive Director, Publicity, Promotions, & Media Relations
Associate Director, Marketing
Vice President & Director, Advertising & Promotions