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Issue for May 2011

Go Beyond Digital to Fusion

Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 12:44 AM

Don't let digital gurus lead you astray. Here are 3 tips you can use to advance toward a fusion approach.

By Jill Adams

So much of the talk these days is about how publishers must adapt to survive in our newly digitally driven world. That is equally true for those in marketing communications, the field in which I work.

A recent IBM study of global CMOs (chief marketing officers) found that over 60 percent expect to continue increasing their interactive/online spending and decrease their allocation to traditional advertising. No doubt, it's a brave new world. But the brands and publications that will truly rule in this new world order won't be led by digital gurus.

The real champions will be the visionaries who advance "interactive" communications to a new level -- where a fusion of tactics will power a new era. That advancement to "fusion marketing" will require us all to stop trailing after digital crazies, as well as to move beyond the common stereotypes of integrated marketing communications.

Here are 3 tips on what it will take for you to lead your organization into this new Cosmos:

Tip 1

We need to go beyond "multiple touch points" to seamless connections.

Too many of us still plan and measure singular "transactions." How many people read the magazine. Click on the banner. Follow us on Twitter.

Today, consumers are driven by email to websites where they watch "TV spots" that drive them to Facebook pages that link to feature articles published in magazines whose ads feature QR codes that take readers to YouTube videos.

That requires a new type of planning, one that doesn't put each tactic into a separate box. Today we need organic strategists -- people who can analyze each medium's specific strengths, and synthesize how to turn those strengths to best work together to turn consumer emotion into motion.

Stop viewing social media or any media as a "tactic" and recognize it as just another channel in the surround-sound that's essential to reaching today's B2B as well as B2C audiences.

Tip 2

We need to go beyond Web analytics to integrated analytics.

So much of the shift to digital has been driven by the panic to prove ROI. But just because digital advertising results are more measurable doesn't mean they are more effective on their own.

With all the noise in the Websphere, one timeless marketing principle is more timely than ever: People won't want to talk to you unless they know of you. So if you are serious about pursuing the new holy grail of "brand engagement" for your publication, you'll also need to be smart about deploying public relations and "transactional" advertising in a fresh way. And together you need to develop better ways of measuring those integrated marketing results than just clicks, likes, fans, or followers.

Tip 3

We need to go beyond standing out to standing for something.

Of course, getting readers and advertisers to know your publication, your brand, is only the first step. Getting them to care about it takes building trust -- something in very short supply these days. So publication brands need to be more than memorable. They need to be admirable. That means publishing organizations need to stand for something. And publishers need to reach across the organization to work with those involved in audience development, editorial, advertising sales, public relations, and every other kind of relations to collaborate on building -- and living -- your publication's brand.

These three tips are examples of the new levels of fusion thinking that will characterize the next generation of communication leaders.

Jill Adams is CEO of Adams & Knight Inc. (www.adamsknight.com), a marketing communications firm in Avon, CT, that provides strategic research, advertising, public relations, and digital marketing services.

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Subscriptions Now Available on the iPad

Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 12:44 AM

In the news: The New Yorker and Wired iPad Subscriptions.

Condé Nast's The New Yorker recently became the first magazine to offer a subscription in the iPad app store. Other magazines such as GQ have followed suit.

Elsewhere, Wired has also begun offering subscriptions on the tablet device. In the past users could purchase individual issues only. Now, the tablet magazine edition will be available to digital subscribers for a yearly rate and to print subscribers as a free perk. The magazine describes its model thusly: "Subscribe once, read anywhere, anytime." The research and development doesn't end with the iPad; the magazine also plans to explore desktop, Android, and smartphone publishing.

Annual Wired iPad subscriptions are $19.99 (one issue per month), monthly subscriptions are $1.99, and individual issues are $3.99. Read more.

Also Notable

Digital Content Creeps Up on Print

The U.K.'s Future Publishing Limited has posted its first-ever digital profits in the first half of 2011. The numbers are impressive: According to PaidContent.org, digital revenue is up 30 percent, and both the Lick of the Day app (an extension of Future's Guitar World magazine) and MacLife magazine had over half a million downloads this spring. Future's digital editions are experiencing meteoric growth (up ten times over last year), while print edition sales have been weak.

For the time being, most digital Future magazines are replicas of the print editions, but tech magazine T3 is published on the iPad. Read more.

Should You "Mobilize" Your Website?

According to Outspoken Media, content providers need to be reaching out to their mobile users. More and more users are seeking out information on their smartphones, and publications must capitalize on this trend in order to reap the full benefits of the digital wave. Outspoken Media goes a step further and warns, "To be a site that doesn't render in mobile is similar to not having a site at all." The site offers five tips for making online content mobile-friendly. Read more.

Social Networking Demographics

Curious about who is using the popular social networking websites? AdAge.com has compiled statistics regarding Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. The statistics might reveal where your magazine might be best served in the social networking universe. Read more.

The Bundling Approach

Could bundling of print and digital content be a lucrative solution for magazine publishers? According to The Wall Street Journal, more and more publications are experimenting with a new model: charging for digital content and throwing in the print product as a free or deeply discounted digital subscription perk. In the past, the trend has been the inverse: to monetize the print edition and give away online content for free. Will more and more magazines jump on the print-as-perk bandwagon? Read more.

Next Issue Media Newsstand

Last week, Next Issue Media launched its Android alternative to the iPad digital newsstand. The digital magazine store is a collaborative effort by several magazine giants (including Condé Nast and Hearst) to provide alternatives to iPad editions. Next Issue Media hopes to make over three dozen titles available by the end of the year. Read more.

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