Gone are the days of glossy magazines. Today, one in four households has a tablet sitting on the coffee table, which a person can use to digitally engage with thousands of magazines, stores, and more.
In fact, around the world, consumers have downloaded more than 100 million digital publications. As digital readership continues to grow, along with readers’ willingness to pay for content, digital publications are creating new spaces and places for advertisers to generate revenue.
Tablets seem to be a win-win for everyone.
In today’s blog, I will look at how tablet devices’ functionality and creativity are creating a new home for some of the 21st century’s most interactive and creative magazines. Indeed, tablets are quickly becoming digital libraries. So, one of the questions before us today is this: How can your organization or brand take advantage of the publishing opportunities that tablets offer? Whether you’re marketer or a publisher, is your organization prepared for tablet consumers?
Tablets can be thought of as digital libraries or personal bookshelves. My tablet contains “Wired” magazine and Adobe sales enablement content. And in my multitasking frame of mind, I do pick up and read content on my second screen (tablet) while watching my first screen (television).
Today’s top publishers, including “National Geographic,” “Martha Stewart Living,” “Foreign Affairs,” and “Time,” are all publishing digital editions of their magazines. (Disclosure: They also are Adobe customers.) In an increasingly digital world, content creation has never been easier, and content has never been more accessible or convenient to the everyday consumer. With the help of technology, publishers can easily create and publish those magazines in an app store. Digital editions look and feel like an app that can be consumed on a smartphone or tablet. The content is fully interactive, by which I mean a beautiful flower can unfold in real time before a person’s eyes at the touch of the tablet screen.
Let’s turn now to “Martha Stewart Living,” one of pioneers in content for tablets and see what insights we can glean.
“When I saw that tablet, I wanted a digital issue of the magazine immediately,” Martha Stewart stated during an interview with Adobe in 2010.
In addition to ROI, the benefits of tablet publishing are many. Tablet publishing enables retailers, brands, and organizations to launch new products, experiment with digital space, and get as creative and interactive as possible. It allows them to get up close and personal with their consumers in new, imaginative ways.
“We can be with the reader in the garden or in the kitchen,” explained Gael Toewy, chief creative and editorial director at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, during the Adobe interview.
Organizations can figuratively “hang out” with consumers in a low- to no-pressure environment. This ideal environment automatically creates marketing material, enhancing brand loyalty and engagement without the pressure of direct sales. When you hang out with consumers, you talk and listen to them through content that they can see, swipe, touch, and manipulate.
For example, readers of “Martha Stewart Living” are often “foodies.” So what might they want to do with content they are browsing on their tablets? The publisher created features such as scrolling menus and “openable” foods. In its first tablet magazine,for example, it ran a story on phyllo, a Middle Eastern type of dough that was unknown to many readers. In doing so, it increased reader interaction with its tablet content by allowing readers to tap on a phyllo, opening it to reveal what was inside. Hanging out in the kitchen and starting conversations with your tablet-toting consumers is a great idea.
Exploring Your Brand With Consumers
While foodies can dive into foods, wanderlusters can travel the world on tablets. Never been to Alaska? Let your tablet take you there.
Tablet publishing is also able to leverage camera techniques, such as the “panorama,” which can pull readers into the story or experience. A panorama creates a feeling that you’re discovering something as it is happening—for example, seeing Martha Stewart’s farm of 770 peonies or riding on a fishing boat in Alaska amid glacial waters and snow-capped mountains.
Stewart had expounded on the benefits of tablet publishing for advertisers as well: “[They] will see real value in being able to put commercials in a magazine like this, you can’t do this the same way in print.”
Tablets create alternative experiences, sort of like Alice being pulled through the Looking Glass into Wonderland. Tablets should pull consumers into an experience—ultimately a creative world of imagination in which organizational and brand discovery is a natural by-product of the consumer’s tablet activity.
In my next blog, I will explore another way tablets are transporting the marketplace: video.