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Home Blog Lessons for Newsmedia Companies from Around the Mobile Industry

Lessons for Newsmedia Companies from Around the Mobile Industry

Published on March 6, 2012

Mark Challinor, The Director of Mobile for the Telegraph Media Group in the UK wrote a simple and poignant post on the INMA Mobile and Tablets blog last month that inspired me. I had the pleasure of meeting Mark in New York last year at the INMA World Congress and can honestly say that he truly understands the mobile news space. One must only look as far as the Telegraph to see a company that believes in the true potential of mobile.

Probably one of the most important quotes in this article states that, “As an industry, we are generally poor at this (knowing your user and where they are digesting your content), offering basically the same content regardless of platform, age, time of day, and who the viewer is.” Mark is spot on here. Mobile is an extremely unique medium in that it is truly personal. It has the potential to know who we are and where we are, it’s connected and is on us at almost all times of the day. As an industry we need to take advantage of these unique qualities and not simply offer a one size fits all strategy when it comes to the mobile space in general and specifically mobile content.

Mark then goes on to lay out 4 strategies that we should all focus on. I will list them out here, but the full article (linked below) is definitely worth a read. They are:

  1. Know your readership and how they use mobile with you (think deep analytics and actually using the data in a meaningful way)
  2. Make your mobile ads as relevant as possible
  3. Create premium, multichannel experiences, befitting your perception.
  4. Make mobile a social affair
Points 3 and 4 are pretty simple strategies to work on and don’t really need new technology other than perhaps a paywall or in app purchase integration. The first two however require you to work with a vendor like Spreed who looks at apps, analytics and advertising all under the same umbrella.
For example your reporting platform may pinpoint a certain segment of users who care about sports, but then how are you going to target those users with specific sports content unless you are directly integrating your analytics package into your content delivery platform? Spreed has this capability as our analytics packages (MobileInsight) is directly integrated into ContentSync (our middleware content server). The same goes for advertising. You can understand all you want about a user, but unless your analytics package is directly integrated into your ad platform, you will not be able to target that user with ads based on their specific user profile.
I think Mark is onto something here and would love to see more newspapers working on these strategies. I have definitely heard of a few who are beginning to get wise to the concept of automated personalized news, based on location, context and behaviour, but would like to see this trend put into action. Read more from Mark below:
Readers on mobile devices are generally more time-poor, specific-reason focused, and armed with a different viewing method (a small screen) — and many are ready to go away if not instantly engaged or informed.
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© Dave Coleman 2012