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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. 

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