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2012: The Year of Big KISSes and Lots of HUGS

  |  December 9, 2011   |  Comments

If you remember to "keep it simple stupid" and "have underlying grassroots sentiment" you will drive revenues and readers like you have never seen before.

As the CMO of one of the hottest global digital marketplaces showcasing explosive growth, I am always on the go. My typical day begins at 5 a.m. and ends at 1 a.m. (ask anyone who knows me). It's incredibly addictive. In the past seven days I have been in Hawaii, London, and New York, and in two days I'm off to San Francisco and Seattle.

As I travel and meet with press, partners, clients, and customers and forge new grounds, I am often asked to share trends, strategies, or secrets of success in the business. My answer is fairly consistent; in this digitally-driven world, we are only in the first inning of a very long game. Every day we learn new things, introduce or integrate with new innovations, and consistently strive to define learnings that can begin to build some consistency in long-term strategy planning and evaluation. Every so often all of our hard work causes what we call a "light bulb moment." Light bulb moments are moments of clarity where an idea or action not only becomes crystal clear, but it sets the stage for future strategic successes.

One of these light bulb moments came to me this past weekend as my team and I were planning our Q1 efforts. With a goal of growing revenue by double digits month over month for our over 5,000 titles, we needed to create a series of strategic efforts that are effective, sustainable, and capable of being implemented on an ongoing basis.

The light bulb moment came when we decided the solution to our challenges would be to focus on creating big KISSes and lots of HUGS.

Big KISSes

These are big programs that follow the old adage "Keep it Simple Stupid." As the digital publishing industry explodes in popularity, post-holiday free content, deep discounts, and maintenance of the old subscription models will not be enough to garner long-standing success. That said, focusing on a few large ways to drive mass awareness and trial of digital reading demands some programs that are simple to the consumer and remind them of the basics they love about reading. Every month you should be creating one to two very large, awareness-oriented simple programs meant to induce trial, drive significant social buzz, and grow opportunities for conversion.

Lots of HUGS

HUGS are new. HUGS stands for "Have Underlying Grassroots Sentiment"-related efforts. While big programs are great, they are often one-offs with definitive beginnings and endings. They require lots of CRM to keep them producing. But these programs don't capitalize on the true nature of digital desires: the social aspect of it. In order for your company to grow in double digits month over month, your large campaigns are going to need to be sprinkled with an abundance of grassroots, sentiment-related campaigns where your company fans and loyalists can stand up and share their enthusiasm to justify the strength of your offering.

Moving into 2012, if you create your publishing marketing and advertising strategy built on these two types of approaches, you will drive revenues and readers like you have never seen before. Good luck!



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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