We are into the final countdown for this year’s Idealliance Tech & Trends “Going Mobile” event and excited about the range of topics we’ll be hearing about. If you haven’t yet registered for the event, slated for Sept. 10 in New York, there’s still time. See Technology for Publishing’s blog for more details.

To help attendees hit the ground running in planning their strategies and shaping their questions, we asked some speakers to provide their thoughts on the challenges they see in “going mobile.” Here’s what they had to say:

One of the hot topics of discussion will be around the shifts that are really impacting the mobile publishing market. What are your perspectives?

Adam Schwem, CTO, The Magazine Channel: The trend has shifted from a ‘mobile second’ to a ‘mobile first’ perspective. We are seeing content producers recognize that readability and mobile assets have different needs for smaller screen sizes, and that users will spend time consuming content on the go more often than previously thought.

Roel-Jan Mouw, CEO, WoodWing Software: The increase on smart phone content consumption is a fact. This requires a new and different approach than for iPads. “Print” layout design is no longer “the best” option to manage content for mobile.

Technology for Publishing: One might argue that it never was the best option but was the best segue that publishers had to enter the market and learn about their audiences. Using print-based content has been the bridge and transition to truly understanding what mobile publishing is about. So we expect this event to focus on what we have learned from it and where we go from here.

Keith Barraclough, CTO, EVP Products, Next Issue Media: Making relevant content available where and when the consumer wants it is the new consumption model. Having flexible content, along with all the metadata, is needed to meet consumers’ expectations of media delivery today. This is the challenge the publisher workflows have to address.

In the next three to five years, what shifts related to mobile do you predict?

Mouw: We expect brand equity and community management (the readers) to be the most important factors to succeed on both print and digital. The newspaper industry is expected to be the first market where the shift to digital will be the definite, and perhaps digital will take over as the only channel.

Schwem: As mobile publishing continues to rise, additional methods of consuming content will also enter the distribution space. Online video consumption, wearable technologies like the Apple Watch, and augmented reality brought about through advances in products by Oculus and Microsoft as well as automated assistants like Amazon Echo will fragment content delivery systems further. Consumers will continue to desire authentic sources of content regardless of the medium, and we will need to adapt our distribution channels to accommodate these new ways of consumption.

Barraclough: Second- and third-screen mobile applications will become more prevalent. If I am in my living room with my mobile device(s), the content will not only play on the best device available, but it will be delivered in complementary forms across all the devices. When I leave to drive to work with my mobile device, the media or application will seamlessly adapt to my new environment using my mobile device, along with all the car’s systems, to engage me with my content.

What challenges do you think publishers face in addressing this shift?

Schwem: Publishers previously have refined the medium of physical publishing to an exact science. Now the mediums are changing regularly. As an industry, we need to adapt content to fit the consumption platforms instead of trying to drive old business models and formats into them that are not appropriate for the customer.

Mouw: Publishers are not always equipped to manage or follow their community. A simple address database is no longer enough to sustain revenues (both ad and subscriptions). Old workflows and lack of metadata management in current production environments slow down what the business requires right now.

Barraclough: Customer acquisition and retention on mobile platforms requires integrated platforms that can leverage the content as a part of the marketing and retargeting of the consumer. The systems to support this are different than those of the unidirectional consumer marketing channels of the traditional magazine business.

What key strategies or tactics do you think publishers need to consider in order to be successful?

Schwem: Focusing on taking advantage of new technologies and interactivity rather than relying on brand power alone is the only way I can see brand strength growing in an ever-changing environment. If publishers don’t take advantage of their ability to create better quality content and instead continue to rely on how they feel it should be consumed, they will eventually lose out to cheaper content creators who are more nimble on new mediums.

Mouw: Understanding the emerging balance between content and advertising opportunities is important. For example, providing feeds of free, live mobile content might be used to drive paid-for advertising in both monthly print and digital subscription-based publications and for free content as well because this model can ensure ongoing community engagement for both the publisher and the advertiser brands.

Barraclough: Publishers need to focus on how to build or leverage a user profile by understanding their content consumption. This is key in data-driven marketing for subscriber acquisition and retention. It is also needed for developing a valuable mobile advertising model.

Technology for Publishing: Overall, it seems like the scales are balanced between methods to really understand your audience and technologies and approaches to being able to deliver content with current technologies, at the appropriate time and place.

Expect to dig in deeper with these speakers and others as we learn about:

  • The Trend Toward ­Magazine Articlization
  • Enabling Subject-Based Article Distribution
  • Article-Based Authoring and Production
  • Engaging Readers by Incorporating News, Video, and Social Media
  • Integrating Content Repositories to Enrich the Mobile Content Experience
  • Successful Techniques for New Product Development

See you there!

Check out CEO Margot Knorr Mancini’s monthly blog on content strategy, offering valuable insights and observations from her experiences in the publishing industry. You can find her articles in our Content Strategy section.

Also sign up for TFP’s newsletter briefings, including Media Metrics and This Week in Publishing, which highlights our weekly industry news picks and tips to help you stay informed. Have a suggestion for a topic you’d like to know more about? Drop us a note!

Posted by: Margot Knorr Mancini

A thought leader in the publishing industry, Margot Knorr Mancini has helped numerous publishers redefine their missions to become nimble content generators with the ability to repurpose content easily and efficiently. As Founder & CEO of Technology for Publishing, her analytical mind allows her to remain a step ahead of the industry, recognizing early trends and developing pivotal best practices.