TOR TOUR: THE MARKETOR

04 April 2013

By Rob Cox

proof

When the other members of the team requested I write a 'Day In The Life', my initial response was: Can I write about my Saturday? 

My Saturday

settlers

But seriously, folks: the long and short of it is that, as a Marketer and alongside my gorgeous and brave team, I'm in charge of the promotion of the books on our list to the reading public. This promotion can encompass tube posters, billboards, online ads, advertorials, competitions, brand partnerships, on-pack giveaways and website takeovers, or none of the above. It can occasionally just be about trying to get the proof into as many hands as possible via our social networks, and then trying to convince those same people to tell their friends that, hey, they quite liked it and why don't their mates give it a go too? (I very casually say 'just' there -- this is actually the most difficult thing to achieve).

This is difficult

 

On an average day, I'll be juggling a couple of campaigns of various sizes as well as handling all the admin-y bits like budget and bookings. For our bigger brand-name authors, the promotional budgets are typically quite generous (INSIDER KNOWLEDGE) and the campaigns follow suit, so once I know the budget my first call is to our media buyers, Total Media, who I then work with over a period of a few months in order to plan the most successful way to market the books and therefore the best slots through which to advertise. During this, I'll also be briefing a designer and liaising with the editor and the author to come to an agreement about the best creative for communicating the key message of the book. My rule for a successful design is that the message should be smart and original, but that you have to be able to 'get' it within a second or so. You're only going to have about that much time to sell it to someone browsing a magazine, or passing the poster on their way to the Piccadilly Southbound.

If all else fails, remember: sex sells 

bookad

Alongside this, I also manage the Facebook accounts for a variety of authors, which includes updating all news, reviews or images wherever possible and answering any fan queries in an engaging, informative and fun way. I hate it when there's a stuffy voice on an official Facebook page; my perfect model at the moment is the Lego page, as they use a laidback, friendly tone and engage with almost every person who posts on the wall so that it feels like a proper community. It's something I'm trying to emulate within the pages I control.

When things are going well (last week one of my books was a Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller, and another was No. 3 in the paperback charts), it's wonderful. And while things don't necessarily go 'wrong' in the traditional sense, it can be really frustrating when a book you've adored and are sure is going to fly disappears without a trace. 

But even when that happens, I can't be too sour because I'm surrounded by such a fantastic team. I'm (rightfully) going to get a dead leg for saying it, but the single most enjoyable element of my working life is the collaboration involved in getting the book from script to shelf, and it makes everything -- even the misses -- a total blast.

* * * * *

The Tor Tour is part of a series of regular posts covering the varied publishing roles within the Tor imprint and across Pan Macmillan as a whole. These are the posts so far:

INTRODUCING TEAM TOR by Tor UK Editorial Director Julie Crisp
TOR TOUR: NOT JUST EDITING by Tor UK Editorial Director Julie Crisp 
TOR TOUR: A PUBLICITY DEPARTMENT EXPOSÉ by Publicity Manager Sophie Portas 
TOR TOUR: COMMISSIONING & SOCIAL MEDIA by Senior Commissioning Editor Bella Pagan
TOR TOUR: THE MARKETOR by Senior Marketing Manager Rob Cox
TOR TOUR: THE EDITORIAL ASSISTANT by Editorial Assistant Louise Buckley
TOR TOUR: PRODUCTION CONTROLLER by Production Controller Holly Sheldrake
TOR TOUR: THE DIGITAL ZONE by Analytics Director, James Long
TOR TOUR: THE RIGHTS DEPARTMENT by Rights Assistant, Kerry Lagan
TOR TOUR: HEAD OF WEB DEVELOPMENT by our digital department's James Luscombe 
TOR TOUR: THE AUDIO BOOK DEPARTMENT EXPLAINED by Audio manager Becky Lloyd