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Random House Case Study - WOMMA, School of WOM Presentation


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Presentation at School of WOM event in Chicago, May 2011. Random House | The Building Blocks of a Successful WOM Platform Through its "Random Buzzers" online community platform, Random House is facilitating conversations between the publisher, authors, and Millennial readers. In this session, you'll not only learn the mechanics behind this program (2010 Gold WOMMY Award Winner), but also find answers to questions like; How do I best utilize a 'Give to Get' philosophy to drive WOM? How can I sell that concept internally? How can brands act cross-functionally to maximize consumer experience and program ROI? How do I employ segmentation strategies to optimize engagement? What are optimal content development and frequency strategies? How important are engagement incentives? How can I report on and measure online and offline WOM?

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Random House Case Study - WOMMA, School of WOM Presentation

  1. 1. The Building Blocks of a Successful WOM Platform <br />Sonia Nash, Social Media Manager, Random House<br />Warren Ackerman, EVP and Principal, Affinitive<br />
  2. 2.<br />
  3. 3. Random House Children’s Books<br /><ul><li> Focused on Teen Division
  4. 4. Typically 30 – 45 books published each year
  5. 5. Notable Authors: Christopher Paolini, Lauren Kate, Carrie Ryan, Markus Zusak, Michael Scott, James Dashner</li></li></ul><li>Random Buzzers Background<br /><ul><li> In market since 2007, program evolved and optimized year over year
  6. 6. Brand community, free to join, currently 62,000 registered members
  7. 7. 2010 redesign, iPhone app, brand ambassador program</li></li></ul><li>Socializing the Reading Experience<br />Book/Author-specific Forums<br />Member “Bookshelves”<br />Reviews and Ratings<br />Reader Groups<br />
  8. 8. Video Case Study <br />
  9. 9. “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”<br />-Dale Carnegie<br />
  10. 10. Education Drives Sustainable WOM<br /><ul><li>Adopting a ‘Give to Get’ Philosophy
  11. 11. Willingness to talk about products you don’tsell
  12. 12. Teaching aspiring writers about the writing process
  13. 13. Encouraging critical thinking and discussion</li></li></ul><li>Engagement Lessons<br /><ul><li>Curation & collaborative approaches
  14. 14. Monitor external engagement success
  15. 15. Primary relationship with consumers but teachers, librarians, authors have engaged </li></ul>Author Lauren Kate created a special video message for Random Buzzers prior to her visit in the fall of 2010. <br />
  16. 16. Teacher Feedback<br />“My students just read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and I have asked them to join the forum and post their own questions. I just wanted to say thank you! I have been reading their posts, and I am impressed with the quality of the discussions they are having. During class, a few students will run the discussion, but this forum creates the safety and anonymity for all of them to participate. <br />- Kerri M., English Teacher<br />
  17. 17. Author Feedback<br />“What a gift for an author to be able to go where the readers are.  Unlike Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other social networking sites, Random Buzzers brings young adult authors directly in touch with their audience.  I love the contests, Q & A pages, discussion groups, and other ways the teen readers get to participate.   If Random Buzzers had been around when I was a teenager, I would have been on that site for hours every day!”<br /><ul><li>Robin Brande</li></ul>Author of Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature<br />
  18. 18. Efficiently Managing Ongoing Content <br /><ul><li>Staffing and Post Frequency
  19. 19. Weekly - Author Visits & Profiles, Editorial Activities, Polls, Surveys, ARC Giveaway, Email Newsletter, Blog Posts
  20. 20. Monthly - Video Book Reviews, Contests
  21. 21. Quarterly - Store Updates
  22. 22. Ongoing – User generated content (Groups, Send to Friend, Product Registration, Reviews, Blogs, Forums)</li></li></ul><li>
  23. 23. Evolving a Platform into a Corporate Asset <br /><ul><li>Getting executives on board
  24. 24. Synching business units, acting cross-functionally
  25. 25. Leveraging success of ‘Buzzers’ for other divisions
  26. 26. Internal momentum from WOMMY recognition</li></li></ul><li>Brand Favorability Results<br />
  27. 27. Purchase Intent Results<br />
  28. 28. Offline WOM Results<br />
  29. 29. Key Metrics And Results <br />87%<br />Indicated Random Buzzers has improved their perception of Random House<br />25,000+<br />Monthly <br />Visits<br />Engagement<br />25+<br />Minutes per Visit<br />Brand Favorability<br />62,000+<br />Members<br />43,000+<br />Offline WOM<br />Conversations<br />106,000+<br />Consumers<br />Reached Offline<br />WOM<br />76%<br />Indicated Random Buzzers has increased their likelihood to purchase from Random House<br />14,000+<br />UGC Objects<br />(photos, images, video)<br />19,000+<br />Books Added<br />to Bookshelves<br />Purchase Intent<br />UGC<br />45,000+<br />Text and <br />Feedback Items<br />13,000+<br />Book Reviews<br />2,500+<br />Author Questions<br />
  30. 30. Offline WOM Anecdotes<br />5,000 – 7,000 offline WOM conversations per month, each reaching 2.5 consumers <br />
  31. 31. A Marketing Program that’s ‘Amazing’<br />"How do you know when books are coming out and if they are any good?" I mentioned sites like Goodreads and Shelfari and then I said RandomBuzzers. My friend really liked the idea of being able to come on a community and be able to express her love of books. :) I said it was an amazing place.”<br />
  32. 32. A Marketing Program that’s ‘Addicting’<br />“Someone did a post on how we could get free books and this site was mentioned there. I checked it out because I am a blogger and finding recently published books is hard. I got involved with all the other things that were happening here. Now I am addicted. Random Buzzers is an awesome community for all book lovers.”<br />
  33. 33. WOM at Home with Friends<br />“Well, one day my books that I got from Randombuzzers store arrived and my friends were over, so we all started reading the book out loud like a big read a long! (Book was The Running Dream by the way) Anyhow, my friend ended up really loving it and she even bought a copy for herself!”<br />
  34. 34. WOM at School in the Classroom<br />“In English class we had to find books to read for a project and I suggested to my friends a number of the books featured on Random Buzzers, as a result a few of them read the books for the project” <br />
  35. 35. WOM in School while Online<br />“I am always on the site in my spare time to see if there are any more updates. When I am in class (Our school has laptops) everyone is fascinated by the look of the site and they ask me what it is. So I explain to them what the website is about and how they can join.”<br />
  36. 36. WOM on the Road with Family<br />“I went to see my sister and my two nieces whom I' m lucky to see once every couple of years. And when I went to see them I brought about twelve books published by Random House. And they loved them so much that my sister ask me where I got them and I told them that I earned them on Random by answering quizzes, activities, reviews, etc. "<br />
  37. 37. Improving Family Relationships<br />“I have come to love so many of the featured books on this website that I have started sharing them with my mom who is now reading them with me. Its very cool to be able to share something like that with my mom! We read one of the books and then talk about it.”<br />
  38. 38. WOM from Online Influencers<br />“I try to be really active on social media to help promote books that I love, including (and especially) Random Buzzers books. I discuss the ARCs that I've received and other Random Buzzers books that I'm excited about or have read on Twitter with other book lovers, on Goodreads and LibraryThing as well. I make sure to post reviews of the books on my Tumblr blog and always mention the Random Buzzers program when I do, and I recently convinced my boyfriend's younger sister to check it out .”<br />
  39. 39. WOM at School in the Classroom<br />“I got up in front of my English class and told everybody in it that there was a great book website for teens where you can win books and they're just awesome and everybody loved it!”<br />
  40. 40. WOM in Spanish Class?!<br />“My friends and I talk about Random Buzzers A LOT at school. Different people hear us and ask about the site and the books. One time in Spanish we started talking about the books before class and the whole class got involved in the conversation and wanted to know what the books were about. A few said they even wanted to buy the books when they came out!”<br />
  41. 41. WOM in Class from Teacher<br />“I showed my students some of the books I won/earned from Random Buzzers. Once they saw they could get free books they couldn't wait to check the site out.”<br />
  42. 42. WOM in the Classroom from Teachers<br />“Through Random Buzzers, I have helped turn students on to authors like Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan. Now, names like Dash and Lily and Naomi and Eli are common language in our school.”<br />
  43. 43. A Marketing Program that Improves Friendships<br />“My friends aren’t big readers but I have showed them the website to try to get them into reading. Its worked! Thanks to your website my friends have actually started to read and talk about books with me! So thanks for making this site!!!”<br />
  44. 44. WOM in the Library<br />“I asked a girl at my public library if she had the book Fly on the Wall and she said she didn’t. She asked where I'd heard of the book and I told her about RB. We had a talk about all the books; now she is trying to get them into the library.”<br />
  45. 45. WOM from Librarians<br />“I am a librarian so whenever I'm stuck for a display in the teen area, I go back and look at books that have been featured here and put them up in a Random Buzzers display.”<br />
  46. 46. A Marketing Program that Educates<br />“I really like being able to ask authors questions directly on the forums. As an aspiring author, I think it’s really neat and valuable to be able to do that. I get such good insight from the authors and their advice has even helped me with my own writing.”<br />
  47. 47. A Marketing Program that Inspires Novelists<br />“My cousin took an interest in young adult novels after I told her about Random Buzzers books! I don't take full responsibility, but she did switch majors (English Composition to Creative Writing) and she is at work on a young adult fiction novel.”<br />
  48. 48. A Marketing Program that Breeds Advocates<br />“When I won a book off of Random Buzzers I ended up really liking it and I went on and on about Random Buzzers so much that a friend decided that she had to check it out. Now we both are unpaid walking spokespeople for Random Buzzer featured books.”<br />
  49. 49. A Marketing Program that Saves Christmas!<br />“I'm a poor college student, so I'm giving some of the books that I bought with Buzz Bucks as presents. It's a win; win; win situation: friends and family members get to read some of my favorite books, I don't have to be stingy with Christmas gifts or spend money that I don't have, and I get to spread the word about Random Buzzers and Random House books.”<br />
  50. 50. Thank You!<br />Sonia Nash, Random House<br />Warren Ackerman, Affinitive<br />