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Issue for July 2016

Cross-device Portability Demands, Part V

Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 8:51 PM

Advertising lags behind editorial in adopting responsive Web design.

By William Dunkerley

Editors are loving what responsive Web design (RWD) is doing for their publications. Editors Only, our sister publication, just did a mini-survey to sample opinions about RWD.

Here are a few examples:

"It has simply made our content look better and easer to use and access for our readers. I think it is essential to have it today." --Dave Zoia, editorial director for WardsAuto

"Stories just look much better with the new design, and look great on whatever device -- tablet, phone, desktop, etc." --Kate Robertson, director of editorial strategy for NowToronto.com

"Mobile Web usage continues to increase, making responsive design essential for any publication website." --Yvonne Hill, editor of Ensign magazine

Christopher Coleman, technical manager for Science, explained:

"It's important to think of content in terms of semantics and structure first, and visual presentation second. If the structure is consistent, a well-designed site will take care of the presentation. In the early days of the Web, designers and producers were concerned only with presentation, because the tools to do more just didn't exist. Today, modern HTML and CSS give us the tools to create accessible content that works well on all devices. Properly structured content will work well on future designs and with technologies that we haven't even thought of yet.

"In 2016, responsive design is the only kind of Web design. Today's mobile-first approach to front-end development means that responsive is the default, and preventing a design from working well on all devices would actually require extra effort. Since launching Science's redesign in January of this year, we've seen a real year-over-year increase in traffic and unique visitors. A disproportionate percentage of this increase comes from mobile users taking advantage of our new responsive design."

Advertising, however, has not kept up with editorial at many publications. Non-responsive ads are shoehorned into the editorial grid with results like this:

Example of the mobile view of a non-responsive ad being truncated.

This kind of thing cheats the advertiser of the results that would be possible if the ad were somehow displayed in its entirety.

Quartz magazine is one example of a publication that has taken the lead in building responsive creative for its advertisers. This approach makes the publication fully device agnostic, not just the editorial.

Desktop view of ad appearing just above an editorial headline.

The same ad in mobile view.

You can see that the ad consists of three separate modules. In the mobile view they are rearranged and resized to give a presentation just as effective as the desktop view.

If an ad is built modularly, it can be adapted well to RWD. Here are three examples of another approach to constructing a modular ad:

Four modules arranged horizontally in the desktop view.

For tablets they are arranged 2 by 2.

The mobile view stacks the modules vertically.

These approaches make advertising responsive to whatever device is being used by the reader. When advertisers are given cross-device portability like this, they'll truly be getting their money's worth. And that will make your transition to RWD much more successful, too.

William Dunkerley is principal of William Dunkerley Publishing Consultants, www.publishinghelp.com.

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B2B Revenues on the Rise

Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 8:44 PM

In the news: Recapping the state of B2B media in 2015.

The latest numbers are in from Connectiv's Business Information Network report, and they show that 2015 was a good year for B2B media. Revenues were up 2.7 percent over the previous year. Digital advertising and marketing posted some of the most impressive numbers, up 17.4 percent in 2015.

Events, the leading revenue stream for B2B companies across the board, were up 3.7 percent and continue to evolve in scope. According to SIIA.net's report summary, "While expositions continue to draw big dollars, B2B publishing is increasingly seeing revenue from a mix of conference-expo hybrids, hosted buyer events, awards programs and online learning and training."

To read more about the state of B2B media in 2015, read SIAA's summary here.

Also Notable

Time Inc. Restructures Sales

Earlier this month Time Inc. restructured, among other things, its sales operations. Writes Becky Peterson of Foliomag.com: "The new structure breaks the advertising and marketing organization into category, brand and digital sales, and completely eliminates the title of publisher." Also on the agenda is a new digital sales group that will pursue digital-only advertiser relationships. Read more about the shakeup here.

Revenue Up at Meredith Corp

Meredith Corp. has released its 2016 fiscal year report, and overall revenue is up by 3 percent, according to Foliomag.com. Operating losses clocked in at $18 million, but operating profit was up 10 percent. Also up were print readership, circulation, and advertising. Read more, including a brief forecast for the 2017 fiscal year, here.

Selling Archive Access for Revenue

Yet another revenue stream has emerged for publishers looking to boost profits. Now some publishers are selling archival subscriptions to educational institutions, libraries, and nostalgic readers. Read more here.

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