Hearst exec: Our primary focus is discoverability
By Rimma Kats
April 6, 2012
Publishers such as Hearst are still working to understand how consumers will interact with iPad apps
SAN FRANCISCO – A Hearst executive at ad:tech said that digital newsstands are critical because they displays the publisher’s different magazines and let readers better find the applications.
During the “Tablet Wars: Is There an iPad Killer” session, executives discussed how Apple’s iPad has changed the way that consumers interact with content. The panel was moderated by Mark Donovan, senior vice president of mobile at comScore.
“We’re making sure that the content that we produce is available to the consumer wherever and however they want to consume it,” said Avi Zimak, advertising director at Hearst, New York.
According to Mr. Zimak, Hearst has a three-legged stool approach when it comes to mobile.
The publisher has its replica strategy, which takes print magazines and translates them into a digital format.
Cosmopolitan, Country Living, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Town and Country, Veranda and Woman’s Day are all featured in the replica strategy.
Then there is the redesigned and interactive approach, which includes Car and Driver, Elle, Esquire, O and Popular Mechanics.
The redesigned and interactive approach takes the magazine experience to another level and engages consumers in a way that the static print edition does not.
Right in between the redesigned and interactive approach and the replica strategy, there is the hybrid approach.
Hearst found that consumers do not necessarily want the bells and whistles with their magazine experience, but at the same time, they do not want a static experience either.
That is where hybrid comes in.
With the hybrid approach, readers can get the best of both worlds – additional content that is not too overwhelming.
App discoverability is continually a challenge for marketers.
Many companies have a mobile app whether in Apple’s App Store or in Google Play, however getting consumers to find that app is still a challenge.
Digital newsstands, such as Apple’s are important for Hearst.
The publisher’s primary focus is discoverability.
Before the mobile newsstands, Hearst’s magazine’s were grouped under the Lifestyle section in Apple’s App Store.
The apps were not featured and consumers had to search for them among the thousands of other applications.
Now, with Apple’s newsstand, Hearst is able to display its magazines, let readers see who is on each month’s cover and see what content is featured inside.
According to Mr. Zimak, Apple’s iPad gives Hearst and its advertisers a way to engage with new and existing readers.
Hearst is continually using the device’s accelerometer technology.
For example, a recent Knob Creek campaign within the CFG iPad app encouraged readers to shake their iPad.
When users shook their device, the page turned into a virtual snowglobe.
Additionally, Gucci ran an ad within Elle’s iPad app, however, instead of simply offering a static ad, the company took it to another level.
Hearst turned the ad into black and white and when consumers tapped on certain clothing items, they turned into color.
“It’s really about just getting evolved and using these features to create an interactive experience,” Mr. Zimak said.
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
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