Did you know? 74% of respondents feel that original content and media are most effective for generating marketing ROI.
A recent announcement from B2B publisher Ziff Davis should not come as a big surprise – they are discontinuing the print editions of four magazines.
The magazines that will no longer be printed include: eWeek, CIO Insight, Baseline and Channel Insider. Instead of printed copies, readers will now receive these publications digitally. The audiences for each of these magazines are IT professionals and some C-Level management, two B2B categories that are already the largest adopters of mobile devices and new digital technology.
Publisher Ziff Davis is aiming to have content available to their audience “anywhere, anytime, on any device they prefer to use.”
This seems like a tall task when you factor in the goal of providing news and relevant content that is also searchable and social – but it is the reality that all B2B publishers and marketers face today.
We still have clients ask us if print is dead, or if anyone is still reading magazines. Perhaps if you are targeting IT professionals, you now have an answer, but it is not always as simple as deciding to eliminate trade magazine print ads. What today’s digital landscape brings is a dizzying array of platforms, devices and technologies that must be considered. With traditional print advertising, the options for designing and delivering your ad were limited to ad size, and maybe a distinct tracking URL, landing page or the fairly recent QR code. Now as publishers begin to roll out their content on tablet-optimized web apps, native apps, digital magazines and websites – marketers will be forced to address the types of advertising content they are running. It is no longer about designing a print ad and resizing it. Digital editions offer so many more options for advertisers to incorporate interactivity, ranging from embedding audio and video to social network integration. Someone who is using an iPad or other tablet to read a digital edition will most likely not feel compelled to interact or click through on an ad if it is not engaging.
A study released by Adobe earlier this year concluded that interactive ads in digital magazines tend to generate stronger engagement, message involvement and attitude toward the advertiser than static ads in general. In addition to pumping up the creativity and interactivity level of the ads, consideration also has to be given to what happens if a reader clicks through to your website from a digital edition. Is your site optimized for mobile? Will the reader be able to find the information they are looking for if they are on a tablet or smart phone? Godfrey User Experience director Jennifer Brown has addressed this issue in several previous blogs.
The ramifications of trade magazines migrating from print to digital editions are wide-ranging and will have financial implications to marketers beyond just shifting budget. If this is the beginning of a movement in B2B publishing, marketers will need to commit resources toward developing digitally-rooted, customer-centric solutions.