Building Brands

Recently Storycode attended Adobe’s Digital Publishing Summit in New York City. The first day focused on publications, the second on brands. What really struck a cord with me, was how in the course of a year, a platform that had been designed to help publications create digital editions was almost overshadowed by companies seeking an edge against their competition.

Fortune 500 companies have embraced tablets in staggering numbers, with 94 percent having deployed or in the process of deploying a tablet strategy. And the majority of those companies have identified that they need to have separate strategies for mobile and web. While publications continue to have what every brand wants (content and an audience), brands are embracing digital publications (aka apps) for 5 basic reasons:Sales EngagementCustomer CommunityBrand EngagementCorporate Digital MagazinesCatalogs / Commerce


And while they are often saving a fortune on printing, very little was mentioned about that perk. Instead, the ability to get information out quickly, while controlling their brand message was attributed with far more value. And the fact that with an Enterprise license you can create a custom store front, push notification, and direct entitlement, pushing out different content to different users based on their status — the ways b2b is utilizing DPS made it clear that this platform is going to continue to increase as a tool exponentially over the next year.

Publications on the other hand have not utilized the potential as much as their corporate counterparts. Many are sticking to templates very similar to their print editions. And are choosing to repeat content and experience, while a select few are utilizing the power of the device, such as Top Gear, National Geographic and Esquire. The numbers are overwhelming: users are spending an average of four times longer with interactive publications than with PDF-like versions or replicas.

While the overall number of digital readers is still a fraction of print readers, those readers are spending far more time with the digital publications and when given the choice are clicking thru to online sales.

An interesting side note is how publications are divided as to how to deal with interactive ads. Some are embracing interactive ads, seeing them as added content — while the majority are treating them much like their print counterparts. Extra charges from live links or videos, as though off an ala cart menu. Almost deterring too much interactivity, for fear of larger, heavier apps. While some like Wired and Bullett see opportunity and more engagement for the reader by raising the tide of possibility for all aspects.

I was left appreciating that corporations are playing an active role in furthering the possibility for publications. Paving the way for users to absorb content more specific and relevant to them — in more engaging ways than we’ve ever seen. And just like hundreds of tv channels to watch live or in-demand on whatever screen you choose — publications are becoming more accessible on more devices based on individual users.