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How Mobile Powers New, Engaging Publishing Models

Topic: Books, Mobile Marketing, Mobile Research | Author: Peggy Anne Salz | Date: November 18, 2013

mobile the great connectorMobile allows marketers to interact with people and grow their community of brand advocates. But the power of mobile is not just in its ability to reach and influence consumers every step of the journey. Mobile also bridges the digital and physical worlds. In this new role, where mobile has become the “connective tissue,” it gives an entirely new dimension to people’s experiences and enables marketers to achieve new levels of continuous customer touch and interaction.

This is the key takeaway of Mobile: The Great Connector, a new publication I have researched, written and produced on behalf of the Mobile Marketing Association in the U.K. (Free to download here.)

Drawing from research on second-screening and exclusive brand interviews, this 60-page resource identifies the key components and approaches marketers must embrace in order to drive real results (conversions) and benefit from mobile’s unique ability to bridge the physical and digital worlds.

Telegraph iPad app marketing package

MMA mobile marketing researchIn a world where people increasingly switch between screens, the role of mobile is also shifting. At first marketers correctly embraced mobile as a way to deliver marketing. Fast forward, and brands are coming to recognize that the real power and value of mobile increasingly lies in what it enables, namely holistic experiences that connect people with other digital screens, or the real world around them — or both.

Telegraph Media Group, which incorporates The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph newspapers and media properties, has harnessed mobile to deliver its readers what they what the way they want it.

Investments in new formats and approaches, ranging from a mobile-optimized website to an iPad new reading app that was released in 2010, are paying dividends as the company reports double-digit growth in revenues from mobile platforms.

Today the iPad app, originally released as a free app, is a successful paid app. But the app isn’t just making money; it’s helping the company make its readers more loyal. As Mark Challinor, Director of Mobile Platforms at Telegraph Media Group puts it: the combination of the “comfortablity” of the iPad app, and the company’s deliberate choice to deliver an app that looked like the newspaper, not the website, has encouraged users to spend more time reading the newspaper in total.

UK Consumer use and insights

Mark has mapped the multi-screen journey of his audience and made some key conclusions about his audience segment. Readers start the day reading the print newspaper, move to their smartphone for breaking news and updates, and then settle back to access the articles they couldn’t finish — or just didn’t have time to start — on their iPad.

“Focus groups tell us they like the ‘finishability’ of the product and appreciate the convenience of being able to pick up in the app exactly where they left off reading the newspaper,” Mark observes.

Indeed, internal data from The Daily Telegraph indicates that 80% of men and 72% of women read the newspaper on their iPad in bed. This convenience is especially important to the print audience, a segment of readers that has an average age of 60 and appreciates the familiarity of the newspaper on a mobile platform.

To make the user experience valuable to both customers and the company The Daily Telegraph combines the data related to the physical world (around distribution of the newspaper to homes and businesses, for example) with analytics related to mobile (context, location, browsing preferences). This equips the company to identify and cater to new audiences.

To date Telegraph Media Group has drawn from this information to create new “packs” of content that combine its digital and physical assets in new way to appeal to new audience segments.

An example is the Digital Pack, an offer that targets younger audiences with a content bundle that emphasizes smartphone and tablet access paired with a loyalty card offering real-world discounts and promotions. Of the readers who sign up to trial such packages, Mark reports that 90% have “renewed and paid for content beyond that.”

More on Mobile Presence radio

Examples such as this show the many ways companies and brands are using mobile to reach, influence and activate consumers.  Executed correctly, these  approaches can help marketers improve CRM, build trust and maintain competitive advantage.

Mark continues the conversation, and shares his insights, on Mobile Presence. We discuss how mobile’s new role in the center of a  multi-channel approach that bridges media (print, radio, cinema), screens (TV, PC, games consoles) and worlds (digital, physical, augmented) to enable new levels of interaction and activation.

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My take:

Mark’s case study (excerpted from Mobile: The Great Connector) shows that media companies do not have to re-invent reading to please their multi-screen, multi-tasking audience. But they may have to adapt how they show advertising.

The technology is not the focus here; it’s all about the flow. Reader feedback clearly favors a tablet experience that resembles the print experience. Read between the lines, and that could also play in favor of new ad formats (thinking here of native ads and more contextual advertising as opposed to the banner ads and interstitials we know from the Web)  that fit the experience.

Clearly, the real value of mobile isn’t what it does (although device features such as the accelerometer on smartphones do enable more creative and effective campaigns). It’s what mobile enables when marketers use it to orchestrate experiences and enhance our real-life existence. Mobile has indeed become the connective tissue and Mobile: The Great Connector has been created to help you understand and manage all the moving parts that make up today’s multi-screen marketing campaigns and experiences.

Editor’s note:

Look for more excerpt from this valuable marketing resource — and more companion posts and interviews. In the meantime, I would like to thank the MMA and the amazing companies, brands and mobile authorities who provided their insights and case studies.

  • Chad Wollen, Vodafone
  • Hesham Al Jehani, comScore
  • Mark Challinor, The Telegraph Media Group
  • Monica Ho, xAd
  • Paul Berney, mCordis
  • Paul O’Grady, Unilever
  • Phil Hendrix, immr
  • Pratick Thakrar, Inspired Mobile
  • Stephen Jenkins, Millennial Media
  • Tim Linsell, John Lewis
  • Tomi Ahonen

And a special personal thanks to Carin Thakrar over at Imagine for her excellent design and good humor!


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