Cover Story: Direct Marketer of the Year: Pegg Nadler
That's where, in 2005, she met Hachette's Philippe Guelton. The HFMUS executive vice president and COO had always wanted to build a database. "He had established a database when he was running Hachette's operations in Japan," Nadler explains.
Guelton hired Nadler as a consultant in 2005, and she worked on the Hachette project for two years, while mixing in other consulting projects and adjunct professorships at New York University and Baruch College, City University of New York. Finally, in 2007, Guelton successfully recruited her to work full time for Hachette so she could complete building and implementing the database operations.
"The last thing I wanted to do was give up my consulting," she says. "It's so much fun to be on the outside looking in and letting people tell you what really is troubling them. Because you're outside the whole political arena, and people will be very honest with you about what is truly making them unhappy and what their aspirations and dreams are. So, as I say, it was a big quantum leap to go from consulting back to working in a corporate environment [at Hachette]. But, as I said, it was certainly for a really good cause. And it's been hard. It's been challenging. And not for one day have I been bored."
Grabbing Nadler's attention for a few moments while she's implementing database operations in an environment she classifies as undergoing a revolution can feel like pulling a surgeon out of an operating room. (While headlines about the publishing industry have been less than flattering, reflecting widespread industry trauma—from editorial layoffs to magazines folding altogether—Nadler is energized about the future. She envisions a personalized multi- channel experience that's relevant to the consumer. More on that later.)
"We're in the process of putting together a very strong operation," she says during a quick call on a recent Monday, in between planning and budget meetings and searching for a director of analysis and modeling. Database operations, she says, are meant to determine "the new products, businesses and services Hachette should be offering. And that's the most fun."