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Digital Publishing - A Virtual Snowstorm in the Making

  |  September 2, 2011   |  Comments

Four unique factors that need to be considered when creating a digital publishing strategy.

They say that no two snowflakes are alike. That is pretty amazing. Equally amazing is that the same theory applies to digital publishing fans. In my last column, I spoke about different generations wanting different things out of their digital magazine. In this column, I overlay those different interests with four other unique factors that need to be considered when creating a digital publishing strategy. When it's complete, it looks like a digital snowflake, and interestingly, no two snowflakes are the same.

Are you ready to make yours?

There are two ways to approach it:

  1. For those of you tactical people, stop and go get four toothpicks.
  2. For those of you digital fans, draw four lines.

In either case, line them up like a snowflake, like this:


Step 1: Name the data points for each of the four lines as follows:

  • Line 1: Replica – interactive (enhanced is in the middle)
  • Line 2: Smartphone – tablet (PC is in the middle)
  • Line 3: Leisure reader – frequent traveler
  • Line 4: Baby boomer – digital native

Step 2: Take a look at your current consumer behaviors and plot them on this snowflake in one color.

Step 3: Add your "wishlist"-targeted buyers' behaviors on the snowflake in another color.

Step 4: Analyze the gap and define how you need to begin to customize messaging, offers, product presentation, partnerships, and other defining principals in order to make progress toward your goals.

The magic to the snowflake exercise is that it forces you to look at four very unique factors that have a significant impact on your business and customize your sales strategy around capitalizing on the realities.

In the digital publishing world, it is no longer good enough to create a one-size-fits-all merchandising strategy, or even variations off of a strategy. Success comes from building to the market demands across a plethora of options. Each of these four lines commands their own plan, and when overlaid onto each other, they create a new monster of a different size.

Good luck! Post your snowflakes on Twitter and Facebook for fun. And tune into the next four columns as I will be diving into strategies for each of these four key elements.



Jeanniey Mullen

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

Prior to her role at NOOKTM Jeanniey launched a wearables fashion technology company called Ringblingz. Before getting into the wearables business, Jeanniey was the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Zinio, where she grew the business by more than 427 percent, into one of the largest global digital newsstands. Other notable roles in her career include her involvement as the executive director and senior partner at OgilvyOne, where she led the digital Dialogue business and worked with Fortune 50 brands including IBM, Unilever, and American Express, and being a general manager at Grey Direct. At Grey Direct Jeanniey launched the first email marketing division of a global advertising agency. Prior to her time in advertising, Jeanniey spent seven years in retail leading a variety of groups from Consumer Relations and Operations, to Collections and Digital at JCPenney.

One of Jeanniey's favorite times in her career was when she founded the Email Experience Council (which was acquired by the Direct Marketing Association). Jeanniey is a recognized "Women in Business," a frequent keynote speaker, and has authored three books and launched a number of companies ranging from entertainment to technology and fashion.

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