The world is becoming increasingly mobile. According to the Pew Research Center, 78 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 own a cellphone. One in four teens have a tablet computer, and 9 out of 10 have a computer at home for themselves, or access to one in the home.
This is our future.
Currently, the Baby Boomers have access to the highest amount of disposable income. The 78 million of them in the U.S. spend over 3 trillion dollars per year buying tools, technology and other items of interest. By comparison, Generation X consists of only 50 million people. This generation will spend less, simply because there are less of them.
Fast forward to the Millennials and the Swipes (teens) and the numbers pick back up to the size of the Boomers. Over 75 million strong, this group has a strong social voice and will be the owners of the discretionary funds in the not-so-far future.
As publishers of the media this group will consume in greater volume than ever before, we need to prepare for the future.
Shifting the way your company approaches and conducts business is not a simple initiative. It takes time and requires a long term strategy. Brands need a strategy now to embrace mobile content and service cross channel users in a way that will leave them able to continuously adopt and adapt to new technology innovations.
If you are responsible for, or at least have influence on, your future publishing strategy, here are a few items you should keep in mind:
- Do you have a strong mobile strategy? This is not about just selling your product on mobile, but really creating discovery, awareness and engagement long term (the average app gets less than 50K downloads ever and is not opened after the first 72 hours).
- Do you have a clear content distribution process? What if the successful publication of the future will not just produce content to be disseminated across platforms, but will be created with content for each platform, to drive conversation? In order to even be remotely prepared for this type of flexibility, you need to get a clear process in place for your content distribution now. Build a process that tracks what information is shared where, and which content drives the best success in which format.
- Can you deliver on any device, with any screen, with no need for production adjustment? The device space was simple when it consisted largely of an iPhone and iPad. Then came 7-inch screens, 4 and 5-inch smartphones, 10-inch tablets and more variations of screens that just become larger and larger. And then the pendulum shifted the other way to small; tiny little screens with Google Glass, iWatches and more. Gone are the days of retrofitting our content into screens of various sizes. We need a fluid model that enables us to match the speed of innovation.
Prepare for the future now. Mobile management has arrived and will only become more the way we live our daily lives. Publishers need to embrace change and prepare for innovation; they must be agile and quick to test, fail and adapt.
Those with the qualities that will enable them to reinvent much of what they have known for hundreds of years will thrive. Those who don’t face certain dire futures.
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