Direct Marketer of the Year Grolier's Dante Cirilli (3,801 wor
Today, Grolier Direct also has an e-commerce presence through its Grolier Online Store, a Web site offering Grolier products, and in the future, products from some affiliated book and electronic publishers.
"We look at it as another marketing medium and much more," says Cirilli.
"Some smaller programs may go to the Internet if they can't use direct mail efficiently any more. Others will simply add the Internet to an existing marketing mix."
Plans were in place for a new Grolier Direct Marketing e-commerce site to launch September 15. "It took one and a half years to build it," Cirilli says, pointing out that, "the most challenging part was connecting to our legacy systems."
The site will sell several one-shot products, offer sign-ups for book club memberships and promote Grolier's new Book of Knowledge Online—a product originally built for schools and libraries which has now been converted for consumer (student) use. "For a yearly subscription of $29.95, your child can be part of it. It not only includes history, facts and figures, it helps kids organize research on a topic, suggests articles to read, links to other sites that are American Library Association-approved," Cirilli says. The product will be updated with new information weekly.
Barbara Gregory says plans are also in the works for more tie-ins from Grolier's book club products to the Web. "It's going to be a new direction for us," she says, explaining that a Barbie book might, for instance, drive readers to the Web site for more information on the story or to play a related game. "We will go where the audience wants us to go," she says.
Adds Cirilli, "The Internet is here to stay. Our franchise has to transition to the new business environment." In response to the changes, Grolier recently set up an electronic marketing group. Cirilli says to watch for more stand-alone Web products to come soon.