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Finally! A Way for Print Magazines to Generate Digital Subscriptions, Engagement, and Sales

  |  March 28, 2014   |  Comments

Mobile-driven brand engagement solution smartsy has introduced its inaugural product, the Engagement Marketing Platform for mobile, which enables publishers to use their offline magazines to drive online ad engagement and digital subscriptions.

It's been a long time since publishers from all over have been praying; doing moon dances and even setting up shrines while they wait for digital and mobile opportunities to drive volumes of new subscribers.

That time has arrived.

Meet smartsy (#smartsy), a mobile-driven brand engagement solution. At ad:tech San Francisco 2014, they announced the release of their inaugural product, the Engagement Marketing Platform (EMP) for mobile, a solution that enables publishers to use their offline magazines to drive online ad (and edit) engagement and digital subscriptions.

smartsy works like this: It uses "Advanced Object Recognition" technology to power its platform. Using a free (white-labeled) smartsy app, consumers snap a photo of a product they love and smartsy's technology dynamically creates an immersive brand experience. It activates consumers' interest in the brand by kicking off interactive experiences including exposing exclusive content, making the product available for purchase, giving customers the ability to set up a trial or demo, and more. You can see some of the examples of how smartsy is working with brands first-hand here.

A friend of mine who runs a niche digital magazine dedicated to tequila introduced me to smartsy. And, I have to admit, I was a bit of a skeptic at first. But, after speaking with Arnaud Saint-Paul, the founder, I hung up the phone and found myself excited about the potential.

What smartsy is doing has the opportunity to actually make a difference for publishers. This is why: smartsy allows people to live in their element. And, for many publisher targets, this means the people who read a print magazine (at home, in public places, and more). smartsy also enables the same people to use technology they love (ex: their smartphone) and do things they love (ex: taking photos and posting them online). This is the trifecta of creating success for digital publishing. Magazines can now offer advertisers new forms of engagement while simultaneously offering brand fans a way to read the full issue digitally. As publishers, we have all launched pieces of this puzzle but never something that offers a closed-loop, comprehensive solution.

smartsy is in its early stages, but I will be watching them closely to see how they develop. I hope you do as well. What do you think?


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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