Market challenges for professional publishers (Part I)

Market challenges for professional publishers (Part I)

By |2018-07-19T14:54:50+00:00June 7th, 2018|Categories: e-Publishing|

What are current challenges in digital market developments for professional publishers? And how to tackle them?

In May we attended the PPA Festival in London – a professional conference for the publishing industry. Our colleague York Walterscheid and Leonard Burns from TIME Inc. had an interesting discussion on stage about the above topic. Some highlights are re-written here.

Part one covers the challenges and the right marketing strategy for your digital channels.

Part two covers advise on “How to WOW? How to turn your users into paying customers?”.


Challenges and the right marketing strategy for your digital channels

Currently, trends and interests of current generations change a lot faster than they used to change. We have seen in the past ten years’ new means of communications coming up and new devices such as tablets as a new daily routine. Millennials do not focus on one particular brand anymore but are rather interested in a certain topic or star and just search for all information on it on the web. Brand loyalty is up for challenge. Publishing companies need to be flexible enough to react to market changes and changing consumer needs. Strategy and focus shift in faster cycles than they used to and publishers also need to adapt their internal processes and organizational setup accordingly.

In addition, monetizing content is quite difficult. So production and distribution of content has to be as efficient and effective as possible but still be engaging and of high quality.


Is “APP” still a valid channel?

If we look on market figures, consumer spending in apps is still very high with about 100bn US Dollar a year, although games are still the top ranked apps in the stores, entertainment still has a good share. Consumers spend about 2 hours in apps A DAY in mature markets such as UK and Germany. Digital channels definitely are on the rise. Often web is still the main focus for publishing companies but web often does not allow to get in a direct exchange with your readership and/or to tailor the content and offers to your users’ preferences. App is a very interesting channel but it really depends on your strategy how to make it a profitable and/or useful one.

Ready for a change? Let’s talk!

What is the right app strategy for you?

It is not only about having the right marketing strategy for app, it is about having the right joint strategy for all your digital channels. An app can be an important one. So, once you have decided for an app as an important channel for your specific readership, it is important to also recognise it as a channel that needs attention, planning, budget and strategic thought. Today, app is often the black sheep that is more a burden than a strategic focus. The strategy depends on the target audience, the tenets of the users and possible strategic goal of the app (e.g. revenue, branding, etc.). There are also constant adjustments needed; the strategy is basically just as short-term as deciding on how to use your overall marketing funnel. Digital editions, web as well as app, need to be aligned a lot more. Digital bridges need to be build and cross-marketing activities need to be implemented. The web can easily be used to leverage also the app and vice-versa. If you want to learn more about how to choose the right app strategy for your company, read our free current white paper on app monetisation.

Leonard Burns strongly agreed that an app strategy is part of the overall picture. It remains a pivotal part of all the channels that will need to be supported. It is the role of the publisher to bring the story to the reader in their preferred format.

Importance of the right marketing mix

As always in marketing the right mix is the most important and creativity is required because with about 7 million apps in the 2 main app stores competition is stiff.  So, it is about creating a funnel, an app marketing funnel. Awareness, consideration, conversion. So, to fill the funnel you need action to increase awareness: advertisement, sharing, recommendations, unique content, etc.…

Our unique Purple DS Recommendation Engine for example automatically recommends your website visitors content from your app. A great example for multi-leveraging and cross-marketing your web content. The need of advertising the app is also often totally underestimated.

How do you want to get your app out there, if you don’t promote it? Seems like a simple task but many forget about it.

Leonard Burns mentioned that key activities that are used at Time Inc. are in-app promotions using push notifications and promotional banners as well as 30 day free trials on targeted subscriptions. There is also a need to capturing on trend topic. Time Inc.’s 5:2 diet app seized the moment of dietary interest and has been a commercial success.

Continue reading the second part here: “How to WOW? How to turn users into paying customers?”

Ready for a change? Let’s talk!

One Comment

  1. Dieter June 14, 2018 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Publishers struggle with the digital transformation over the last couple of years. Most of the publishers come with the professional background of maintaining and mastering the delivery workflow to be optimized. From information collection to the delivery of a newspaper or magazine. e-Publishing should be an additional channel enhancing their content delivery and not replacing their traditional ways of serving their existing audience base. The struggle comes from the misunderstanding that they believe they need to move in 1 step total to the digital world. With the right product (Purple DS) and the right strategy, they can overcome this challenge and achieve a digital transformation.

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