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Innovations in Digital Publishing

  |  September 14, 2012   |  Comments

Whether it’s dynamic redirects for specific platforms, purchasing in Twitter, projectable purchases, or stickers and QR codes, innovation for the digital publishing industry is still on the rise.

To say it’s been an interesting time for anyone in the magazine publishing industry is like explaining a tsunami as some choppy waves. The magazine publishing teams on the front lines are battling challenges from every turn:

  • Newsstand sales are going down.
  • Technical distribution platforms are becoming more stringent in their rules, regulations and “participation fees.”
  • Renewals are a key challenge.
  • Advertisers are asking for more data, more accountability and bigger results.

Yet, through all of this, innovations for the digital publishing industry are still on the rise. I’ve been speaking to many new and up-and-coming companies about recent innovations that have a material impact for publishers and marketers in general and here is what I have uncovered to date.

Some of these are not crazy, or even super new, but they are innovative. I’m both encouraged and excited by this short list, and continue to be bullish on the magazine market. In print or in digital success is within our reach and an evolution is under way.

Dynamic Redirects for Specific Platforms

While the iPad is king, the truth is that 40 percent of people who read digitally still do so on a PC. Innovative publishers have started to set up offers on their site to dynamically direct people to the offer that matches the technical platform they are visiting.

Purchasing in Twitter

One new company is making it possible for people who see something on a tweet in reply and buy it. This opens up endless potential for selling single issues with hot covers, or even subscriptions – not to mention featured products inside issues. I’m curious to see how this unfolds.

Purchasing Inside the Issue

My company partnered with ShopAdvisor to allow people reading a magazine to buy almost anything they come across (advertising or editorial). This new way to offer access to “impulse buys” in context could spark changes to the way advertisers bring products to market in the digital world.

Stickers & QR Codes

Might sound silly but is also innovative. Most magazine publishers now have the ability to connect with readers instantaneously when they order and issue or buy a digital subscription. Magazine publishers are also beginning to see that retail partnerships and consumer events enable them to introduce a digital edition by placing stickers on current print titles, or other marketing materials to bridge the offline to online world.

Projectable Purchases

Today, some of the most innovative companies have found ways to project a newsstand or a sale onto a wall and allow customers to touch the wall, or take a photo, and make a purchase. This brings the concepts of mobile shopping to an entirely new level.

This list of innovations is just the start. I’d love to hear what innovations you are working on, or with.


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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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