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Stepping Backward Moves You Forward in Digital Publishing and Mobile Apps

  |  February 3, 2012   |  Comments

Create an innovative user experience that leverages content from archives of a strong brand or legacy.

There are very few times when going backward is ever a good decision. In digital publishing and mobile apps however, going backward can be one of the best decisions you have ever made. The concept of digital reading is still in the early days of building a strong market share with consumers. And, while app adoption is growing at record rates, it is still new.

Some of the most successful digital publications and apps kick-start their results by relying on a combination of creating an innovative user experience that leverages content from archives of a strong brand or legacy.

One of the most popular apps in today's market is Words With Friends (aka Scrabble). A new user experience and interactive feel gives this very old and well-known game a nice edge. Pinball and Pac-Man are other examples of new games built purely off of historical brands. In the digital publishing arena, collection books and back issues of magazines sell extremely well. The emotional tie to impactful moments in history and happy memories still works as a viable marketing tool for sales, even in the digital realm.

If you have an app or a digital publication, and are looking for a way to improve your success in merchandising your app, consider this:

  1. According to recent research by the University of Montreal, women remember less negative memories than men and are drawn to positive memories. This is a great opportunity for merchandising "collections" or "back issues" that remind us of better times for women, or powerful and earth-changing times for men.
  2. While early adopters are drawn toward risk, and the unknown, early majority usage occurs when there is a perceived low risk of failure, and a reminder of proven success with the opportunity in the past.

These two statements indicate that the path to future mass app and publishing success may very well lie in merchandising the past. This means your app and publication advertising should rely on "best of" offers, and even a showcase of past awards/testimonials received. But they should do so in a way that ties directly to why the digital experience provides a better, easier, and more convenient way of driving to the same results. At my company we see great successes in selling back issues and collections. A great example of this is with one publication; Hockey News. Hockey News fans enjoy the archive of issues that Hockey News makes available upon subscribing. Other titles like Outside magazine, Road & Track, and VIVmag have also enjoyed successes in back issues and "best of" sales.

Not sold on the concept yet? Take this simple test. Think about the last five apps or publications you have downloaded and ask yourself why you downloaded them. You will be surprised to see that your answers will either be: I remembered it from the past, I was looking for some research, or it's a new tech on something I have enjoyed in the past.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen, a recognized women-in-business and tech, is known for her entrepreneurial style and her ability to build, shape, and grow brands into well-known dominant, successful entities. Jeanniey is a pioneer in email, mobile, and digital marketing; publishing; and brand-building. She now leads her own agency, YellowBean LLC, focused on assisting companies of all sizes with driving innovation and growth. Most recently, Jeanniey was the Global EVP, CMO, and subsequently Chief Growth Officer for Zinio, where she worked to define and implement strategies creating explosive growth through strategic partnerships with publishers, technology companies, brands, and consumers during her five-year tenure. Jeanniey has authored and contributed to multiple books, blogs, and magazine articles. She is a regular columnist for ClickZ, a blogger for Huffington Post, and a frequent keynote speaker. A serial networker, in 2005 Jeanniey founded the Email Experience Council, which was sold to the Direct Marketing Association in 2008. She sits on the Advisory Board for IndieFlix, and on the International Executive Council of the Internet Marketing Association. Jeanniey is recognized as both a Top CMO and Top Author on Twitter, and was most recently featured as Mover and Shaker by the Professional Woman's Magazine, and a featured Woman in Technology by The Legacy Series Magazine.

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