Archive for January, 2014

Mobile Usage – An Interesting, Fast Ride

2013 saw the exponential growth of smartphone and tablet adoption — and marketers didn’t fail to notice. As might be expected, US mobile-ad spending increased in a big way too, as more and more traffic moved from the desktop to the mobile web and apps.

Here are some interesting statistics about mobile usage in 2013, according to

  • In 2014, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage.
  • Smartphones and tablets have driven a 93% increase in internet use since 2010, according to comScore.
  • By the end of 2013, there were more mobile devices on earth than people.
  • 56% of US adults own a smartphone.
  • 91% of adults “have their mobile phone within arm’s reach 24/7.”
  • In Q2 of 2013, 62% of emails were opened on a mobile device. (48% of emails were opened on a smartphone, and 14% of emails were opened on a tablet.)
  • Mobile accounted for 48% of all online traffic this past holiday season, a 28.3% increase over last year.
  • In 2013, mobile sales approached 29% of all online sales, up 40% over 2012.
  • 91% of mobile internet access is for social activities, versus just 79% on desktop.
  • 53% of American consumers use their smartphones to access search engines at least once a day.
  • 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop.
  • 71% of tablet owners make purchases from their tablets each week.

Jodi Ordover at b2c says, “There’s no doubt that smartphones have transformed our daily lives. We’re living in an always-on, always-connected world, and mobile has changed the way we interact with each other — and with brands. Our experiences can be shared anywhere, at any time. Consumer content, including brand experiences and recommendations, is shared and engaged more frequently than ever. Consumers routinely use mobile to provide brands with real-time feedback and to search for on-the-spot consumer recommendations and reviews when making purchase decisions.”

Mobile apps will continue to grow for at least the next few years, and the leveling-off point cannot yet be determined. In order to take advantage of changing buying habits and the ways in which consumers get and use information, the publishing industry must provide consumers with the right tools to create a seamless user experience across devices. Ask us about how we can help you get there.


Better Times Are Coming

In recent years publishers have often beenfaced with doomsday scenarios and forecasts of their industry’s future. But as we move into 2014 there is a growing sense that a change for the better is in the air. For one, MPA-The Association of Magazine Media says 2013 showed growth for magazine media across platforms and the latest PIB report shows ad losses moderating for consumer publishers.

2013 was actually a pretty good year. In the United Kingdom for example, The Digital Publishers Revenue Index Report (DPRI) revealed digital revenues were up 18% and the North American industry is seeing similar gains. The MPA-The Association of Magazine Media said today that final numbers for 2013 will show that it was an up year for consumer magazine publishers in the U.S. It’s definitely a positive sign on the direction of the industry.

The online publishing world has found its feet in many ways. When digital publishing first became main stream, many publishers used a model based on solely copying their product. Paywalls replicated the historic practice of buying a magazine at a brick-and-mortar news stand. The first forays into advertising within digital publications for the most part replicated the print advertising sales model. The results at first were less than stellar. But today, publishers are increasingly beginning to embrace digital media, taking advantage of the different formats available and making the most of new opportunities. With less and less use of old offline models in 2014, the industry is finding itself increasingly at ease with the digital landscape.

IDC (International Data Corporation) estimated that 190 million tablets would be sold in 2013. While there may have been a decline of print magazine and newspaper readership, more people than ever before pick up their tablets and read their favorite publications online. 2014 offers the opportunity for publishers to take advantage of the mobile boom, expand their audiences and earn more from dynamic advertising programs.

At the same time, online ad spending is increasing and the trend is likely to continue as publishers incorporate online advertising into their customary ad spend. More ad dollars means more revenue for media owners and looking ahead to 2014 the odds are in the publishing industry’s favor. With more brands fighting over premium ad placements, power is increasingly returning to the hands of publishers.

Here’s to 2014.

Content IS Marketing

The digital revolution has made a number of things clear, including the fact that consumers don’t want to read advertising – they want interesting, engaging content.

The newest use of digital publishing technology is in custom publishing – also more commonly known as “content marketing”. It is becoming a major part of the communications strategy of many big brands from a variety of industries. In every genre the aim is the same: to find and retain customers by engaging them with relevant, interesting reading.

In this multi-platform environment, digital publications don’t just compete with other magazines, but with any media that take up consumers’ time. Content has to be top-notch and must not feel like advertising. What’s important for digital publishers to focus on is that their content is made available wherever customers want to engage, which is most often within the context of a multi-platform strategy, including digital, print, and websites.

The line between digital and print is blurring, but any digital strategy must include content that is created and customized for each part of a multi-platform strategy. While print magazines continue to be the anchor of most content marketing strategies, at this point in the digital revolution readers still want print magazines. For now, brands that don’t embrace both platforms are at a disadvantage.

It is becoming increasingly understood that custom magazines, those that focus on reader-driven content, increase brand engagement. The beauty inherent in content marketing is about the customer experience. It’s about immersing the consumer in the brand. Content marketing lends itself really well to this. The difference between a brochure that pushes products and a magazine that gives your client lifestyle inspiration is the way it makes the client feel. The consumer mustn’t feel sold-to; they must feel engaged. It’s all about storytelling.

For many brands, an investment in content marketing may seem expensive. But as consumers are exposed to more and more content, quality stories can help these brands stand out. And even in an increasingly online world, magazines are still the lynchpin of a wider strategy.