Random House promotes the gift of books

Viral promotion teasing to a new site translates to increased sales.

Give books this Christmas – that’s the message Random House wants to promote this season with the launch of www.giftsforreaders.ca.

A multimedia campaign to build awareness of the site, which launched in September, extolled books as a better and cheaper option to electronic gifts that flood the market this time of year.

‘We are competing with CDs, iPods and more,’ Constance MacKenzie, senior marketing director, Random House, tellsMiC. ‘This time around, instead of going the traditional route of promoting just a title or a bestselling novel, we’re promoting the concept of making books a bigger part of one’s life.’

From print ads in mainstream papers such as the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star to banner advertising on niche websites such as Foodnetwork.ca, Random House is driving traffic to the new site.

As well, social websites such as Facebook are an important part of the strategy. ‘We targeted any user that identified books in their profiles. This allowed us to do theme targets, i.e. bestselling books, gifts for teens, gifts for fiction readers, etc.’ Adds Heather Sanderson, manager, digital sales at Random House, ‘The company used Google’s key word-search-based ads to get maximum results for the promotion.’

While MacKenzie can’t reveal numbers of hits, she says in terms of visitors and sales November?/December? has been the best month yet. ‘We believe it is this organic approach that has benefited our campaign and generated successful results.’

Accordingly, the company plans to keep the website as a year-round part of their marketing, says MacKenzie.