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3 Publishers Driving Adoption for 'People Like Us' With Digital Magazines

  |  June 22, 2012   |  Comments

How Reader's Digest, The Economist, and Robb Report are helping the digital magazine industry evolve through effective communications and creativity.

Outside of being an executive at a digital technology company, I am also a regular person. When it comes to doing laundry, grocery shopping, and even enjoying a nice bike ride or trip to the beach I am just like the average person. This means I am an open target for all of the marketing, advertising, and brand outreach programs, just like everyone else. And, I would guess that outside of the professional world, you are an average person as well.

Sometimes I like to take my professional hat off and look at how some of the challenges in my industry are being addressed, through the eyes of a regular, average person. I recently did that looking at digital magazine adoption.

Over the past 10 years, digital magazine adoption has grown and expanded from niche fans to bigger audiences. With the introduction of large-screen smartphones and tablets, digital magazines are quickly moving into the mainstream. It hasn't been an easy road. Not so long ago, in 2008, if you asked someone if they read a digital magazine it usually resulted in a confused look and a five to seven-step explanation of how the magazine becomes digital and why it's worth paying for before you could even gauge interest. Today's consumer challenge around magazines is different. In many cases, consumers understand what digital magazines are, but don't understand how to get the best experience with one.

In my "average person" analysis of the digital magazine industry I came across three publishers that are helping the industry evolve through effective communications and creativity. These are Reader's Digest, The Economist, and Robb Report.

Reader's Digest offers fans the ability to engage with the digital version of its magazine any way they prefer. See this link for its education page. This nicely laid-out page lets the average customer understand the benefits of buying for each option.

The Economist offers a similar viewpoint for fans, but enhances it by explaining the difference between print and digital.

And finally, Robb Report offers education on print, digital, and even more on its site. Robb Report gives you a complete offering of special titles and archives as well.

All three of these examples make it clear and easy for an average person like me to understand my options for reading. I can choose which fits my lifestyle in the best manner. I am looking forward to seeing how these brands evolve their messaging as their readership options continue to evolve.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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