New digital technology can never completely replace print copies. Magazines are in the best position to join the digital world because their content is valued by readers. When it comes to magazines, there are many reasons to invest in digital apps as well as reasons to continue subscribing or reading print versions. Do you know that you and your brand can learn a lot from consumers who have been exposed to both the digital and print versions? Although subjective in nature, this article will focus on some of the possible perceptions that consumers (readers) can have, and do have, and how your brand can leverage that by having the user perceptive mindset. Let me explain. These perceptions are not based on any one study, interview, or focus group. My main purpose here is to get you to think analytical and strategically about possible customer’s perceptions and opinions when you’re designing and developing your mobile apps. It’s meant to supplement your own research and study, market analysis, feasibility study, customer satisfaction surveys, and other customer-focus investigations.
For the purpose of our discussion, let’s focus on consumer’s perceptions to see how digital magazines are an extension of their print versions; thereby their brands, and how going mobile can be an extension of your brand.
1) Exclusive videos and interactive content. Like magazines such as GQ, New Yorker, Popular Science, Golf Digest, Wired, and other digital magazines, having exclusive videos and interactive content on your mobile website will be a great addition to your brand website. In general, consumers like to have access to additional information and topics only available digitally. By giving your target access to multimedia content, it encourages them to be involved in the interaction. It’s your opportunity to connect with your intended audience, to know what videos and contents that are frequently or infrequently accessed, to obtain their feedback, and to ascertain their likes and dislikes.
2) No additional charges for mobile. Print subscribers of Conde Nast’s magazines can opt without paying an additional fee to view their magazines on their mobile devices. Take a lesson from them by making your services available to your consumers without hidden charges or additional fees.
3) Portability. Think mobility. Magazine subscribers like not having to carry printed copies with them and being able to access content instantaneously. Like subscribers, consumers like being able to carry and use their devices anywhere and anytime. If they do not have access to you and your business with a touch of a button, then they’ll go look up your competitors who do have it.
4) Interactive advertisements. Some like to peruse the ads but don’t want to them to interfere with their viewing experience. When including ads on your mobile site, remember less is sometimes more. Don’t overwhelm or annoy them with too many ads.
5) Performance. Consumers are finding the downloading of the digital editions to take a significant amount of time; and thereby, impacting the user experience. Make sure your multimedia is optimized for mobile devices and the downloading time is at an acceptable level. Also keep in mind battery life of the device. It’s up to you to define your multimedia’s performance level and test it to ensure it meets your response time standards.
6) Convenience. Obviously, convenience is the key to a great mobile experience. Think about travelers, drivers who are on the road frequently, and commuters. . Mobile devices have become a means of convenience. Consumers are expecting apps that provide this in real-time. Make sure you’re creating an enhanced mobile experience for them by factoring this in when determining how your products and services will meet their needs.
Let’s also keep in mind what digital or mobile can’t simply replace when you’re developing a mobile app or website. Here are some possible consumer’s perceptions on printed editions that you can learn from and apply to your business:
7) Tactile experience. Consumers sometimes like being able to pick up and feel the printed version. Make sure you’re not eliminating this tactile experience when adding mobile services to your portfolio of products and services. Remember, you cannot completely replace the tactile experience, but you can always enhance it by extending that experience into the mobile world with additional senses such as visual and auditory.
8) Tear-out or dog-ear pages. With hard copies, consumers like to be able to tear out pages that they like or want to post on their refrigerator. Emulate this experience by providing a bookmark capability on your site, if applicable. For example, when they’re returning to your site or app, does the app takes them to where they left off?
9) Highlights or notes. Consumers like being able to make notes on the pages. E-books have this feature. Follow their leads by giving them this option, if it’s applicable.
So, what lessons can you ascertain from digital magazines and apply it to your business? Click here to check out this same topic but from the brand’s perspective.