In this age of mobility and digital communication, publishing challenges are rapidly changing. Communication and media usage are becoming increasingly transparent. Until recently, publishers had no relaiable way of gauging which traditional media (such as customer magazines and staff magazines) really generate interest. This is changing radically with digital, and especially mobile, content distribution. Publishers now have to be far more analytically, customer-oriented and technology-oriented than a decade ago.
Information is always only as valuable as its availability
In mobile terms, both classic publishers and corporate publishers are affected. Both have dragged their feet in completely entering the mobile medium. The battle for attention on the smartphone or tablet is one that’s been fought for a good while now. According to a comScore study, users spend a total of 71% of their time on mobile devices on native apps. For more and more readers, the desktop becomes a "Secondary Touchpoint", so they mainly read on a smartphone or tablet. The mobile/portable ‚habit‘ is no longer a trend, but is a way of life taken for granted by many, especially younger users.
Reading habits are swinging back to the era of the book, where reading was portable and possible at any time. Since digitisation has occurred in many areas and content is often only available digitally, the free-wheeling unattached playout of mobile content conveys the entire benefit to readers.
What’s more, the way society in the last decade communicates has fundamentally changed: It communicates at any time and everywhere. This is thanks mainly to the technical development of portability – not only mobile devices, but also ever more powerful mobile networks, which open up exciting new possibilities. The distribution of content, particularly photos and videos, is growing rapidly. The implication for corporate publishers is that it is the target group which decides when, where and with what intensity it chooses to interact with the company or brand. The challenge and opportunity for publishers is to attract attention with exciting, interesting and, above all, channel-specific content. The editorial offer must not only meet the requirements of the content but also the mobility and interactivity of the client-base.
Mobile customer and employee magazines
How, then, can the mobile issue be used in the corporate communication strategy? The first logical step for most corporate publishers is to offer their customer and employee magazines, as well as all other content, as a native app - or at least to make it available on mobile-optimised sites. However, there are other possible fields of applications that focus even more strongly on meaningfully integrating content into the mobile world of the customer. These usually concentrate on offering integrated services within the apps, which, for example, support purchasing decisions and, wherever possible, have a local relationship.
By analyzing and linking all data about the customer, his position and purchasing behavior, it is possible to create targeted, individual communication with real added value for the consumer. The proximity to the customer and the proximity at each step in the process, especially the point of sale, allows for the creation of targeted incentives to purchase.
Despite the consensus surrounding the importance of mobile channels, the Corporate Publishing sector in Germany still has some catching up to do: In total, only 14% of companies rely on corporate publishing apps.
In almost all areas of our lives we encounter the increasing prominence of smartphones. Strangely, in the professional and business life, this is still rarely the case, since the advantages are clearly obvious: Mobile communication with and among the employees not only promotes efficiency in processes, and has a positive impact on company culture and motivation, as well as painting a picture of an innovative, future-oriented employer brand. It is high time that more companies start exploiting the benefits of employee mobile accessibility, by using modern platforms.
An optimal approach for this is using employees apps. They are vastly preferable to the bulky and often cumbersome IT projects used by companies to communicate with staff: They can be introduced relatively quickly, are relatively easy to operate and are limited to essential functions. It is not surprising that employee apps are mooted in many companies as a tool for internal company communication. They are the perfect replacement for, or at least supplement to, printed employee magazines and intranets.
Especially for companies where employees do not have a permanent office and are mostly on the road, such apps may be the ideal solution for internal communication. And the free-range employee is no longer a rarity. This applies not only to remotely working start-ups and sales departments. Even employees in warehouses, production or stationary sales do not usually have their own permanent workstation with Internet access.
Since internal communication must reach all employees, without them feeling that it is being forced on them, the challenge is to make it as simple and comfortable as possible. Remember, your people will only read the bits that interest them, and offer them something of value, too. Ultimately, even your employees are consumers.
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