Mobile Publishing: Mygazines

In an increasingly mobile world, the need for content on Smart Phones and tablet devices can’t be ignored.  But how much should companies be investing to stay on the cutting edge?   With mobile applications still in their infancy and the cost of app development seemingly unmanageable for most small companies, the search for reasonable alternatives begins.   

Mygazines offers a great option for anyone from a freelance writer to a large publishing company looking to make their content mobile-ready, at a reasonable cost.  The service has some impressive marketing functionality as well, with options for content sharing, social media integration, built in RSS feeds and video integration.  The only catch is that the services requires a browser to launch; which takes most e-readers off the market.

Today, the need for app development may be dependent on a number of factors including; industry specific requirements, the types of content being displayed and the price customers are willing to pay to get what they want.   For everyone else, there’s solutions like Mygazines to meet customer needs without breaking the bank.

Patience is a Virtue

They say patience is a virtue, but as technological advancements spark new product development quicker than ever before, patience becomes an even more important characteristic, particularly for those that truly support an idea from the beginning.

In many cases, technology is moving faster than the level of consumer comfort required for the mass adoption of new product or service models that people simply aren’t used to. Innovators and entrepreneurs must be careful not to mistaken slow adoption for product failure.

Four Square, for example, has been slow to catch on – but it’s potential is huge and supporters continue to believe that with time usages levels will improve. Some believe that GPS enabled products have been slower to popularize because the average consumer is not yet comfortable revealing their location. Just as the masses have grown comfortable with the privacy concerns that were raised regarding access to personal information on Facebook, I expect similar consumer tolerance of location based services over time.

According to this source, Four Square and Gowalla both had an impact at the SXSW this year, to me, a strong indication of things to come.

Foursquare: Will it Catch On?

It’s no secret that geosocial networking application, Foursquare, has been slow to gain popularity with the masses.  In a results-driven society, people are quick to dismiss ideas that do not produce immediate results, and sometimes miss the bigger (long term) picture.

Remember when Twitter was known mainly for its capacity to track the activities of superstar athletes and Hollywood celebrities?  For quite some time people questioned Twitter’s application to businesses, some of whom probably still do.   The fact of the matter is, social media strategies are being made higher priority as the corporate sector begins to realize their potential return on investment.  Companies are finding ways to engage customers and provide better service than ever before using Twitter as the basis for their efforts, and many have benefitted largely from having the foresight to recognize Twitter’s long term application.  

So before criticizing Foursquare’s current usage levels, let’s consider what ‘could be’.  Five years from now when everyone has a GPS enabled Smartphone, how will they decide where to eat dinner on Saturday night?  It’s possible that they’ll already have a place in mind, but let’s imagine for a moment that they’re downtown and looking for something different.  Maybe they’ll check their phones to see where their friends are having dinner.  Maybe they’ll check to see what other people are saying about restaurants in the area.  Maybe they’ll even see that a restaurant just around the corner is having a half price chicken wing special and that Foursquare users have rated it two thumbs up.  It’s hard to conceptualize something that hasn’t yet materialized, but all three of the above ‘scenarios’ involve capabilities enabled by Foursquare. 

Let’s not forget that Smartphones are still a relatively new development.  As more people purchase Smartphones we may see the use of Foursquare increase rapidly.  And while no one can really predict whether or not it will catch on, the potential benefits are certainly worth a wait and see approach.  Content is required to populate the application, but time is required for that content to be created and added by users (who aren’t likely to adopt the service all at once).  Rome wasn’t built in a day and even though it’s 2010, no one should have expected Foursquare to be.

My E-Marketing Mix

Everyone had heard of the marketing mix.   A 4-P classification used to describe the elements that make up a complete marketing program; product, price, place and promotion.

A newer and less used term, the e-marketing mix, is often interpreted as the transfer of the 4-P marketing mix to an online landscape.

In reality; however, the fast pace at which technology has progressed and the evolution of business online has made any former interpretation of the e-marketing mix outdated.  Today companies must adapt to new technologies and new forms of marketing communication to keep pace with competition and keep in touch with their target markets.  While ten years ago ‘having an online presence’ may not have been high priority for many organizations, the view of the online world has clearly changed.  Online media has undoubtedly altered the way we do and think about business, and will continue to push us to stay up to date on the latest trends that affect our industry.

My interpretation of the e-marketing mix is not of something that is fixed, but rather a concept that will continually evolve and require constant attention by any company hoping to secure a market-leading position. Take mobile marketing for example.  Smartphones have completely changed the way we think about how to reach our customers.  People can access content on demand from virtually anywhere in the world.  Mobile marketing is clearly a significant element of the industry’s future and something everyone should be aware of.

This blog takes a closer look at important factors and developments that affect e-marketing today, and those that are sure to have an impact on the way we do business going forward.