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Publishers Alert: 2 Digital Branding Secrets Exposed

  |  August 5, 2011   |  Comments

Ensure your success when migrating to a digital strategy.

I'm hoping that my email skills have stayed strong enough to entice you to read at least this sentence of the column. I suppose if you are reading this, my plan is working! Keep reading.

For any publisher of content (and that means you advertisers), I have some secrets to share. These secrets will help ensure your success when migrating to a digital strategy (meaning digital content distribution, a.k.a. apps, etc.).

The first thing to know is that creating a digital product (like an app) puts you in an interesting spot. Your competitors disappear, and you enter a 100 percent level playing field. This means you give up all control. Control is now in the hands of the consumer and, according to Macrolabs, "People want tools, they want to interact with friends, play games, learn things, get discounts and enhance their experiences. If a purchase happens now and then, okay."

The secret to success here is to accept this reality and revisit your competitors in terms of who they are in the eyes of the consumers. What I mean by that is, if you have an iPad app, your top five competitors (the top five grossing apps on the iPad) are: "The Smurfs," Pages, Zinio, Tap Pet Hotel, and Quickoffice Pro. Chances are, whatever your brand is, you have not had to compete with these companies in the past.

The second thing to understand is that this isn't a hopeless effort; it's a tremendous opportunity…if you have the right mindset. For instance, take a look at this innovative ad in an older issue of VIVMag from Donna Karan. This ad does a brilliant job of marrying product exposure with interactive games and a tarot card reading. But what is does most brilliantly is to offer a connection to a real-world product. You can either order this online or go to a store and check out the fragrances.


The secret to success here is two-fold. First, be innovative and open the door to testing an engaging program to entice usage. Second, always, and I mean always, have a link to a real-world effort. Touching, feeling, and experiencing a product, company, or brand can often mean the difference between one year of loyalty and 10.

If you can own these two items and build your strategy around them, you will be in fantastic shape for success. Do you have secrets to success you would like to share? I'd love to hear about them.



Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition. 

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