5 compelling case studies: Consumer

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Publishers did plenty of experimenting in the digital space in 2011, in search of a winning cross-platform formula that encompasses websites, social media, tablets and smartphones. Big consumer brands and niche publishers alike share some of the same challenges, if not the same resources, in finding the right ways to engage their audiences across multiple channels. Here are five innovative approaches that caught our attention during the year.

1. Meredith takes an analytical approach to tablets and e-readers

At first glance, Meredith Corp.’s approach to tablets and e-readers seems all over the mobile map. In rapid succession, the women’s publisher has launched iPad versions of Better Homes and Gardens, Parents and Fitness; introduced Zinio editions of several titles including Successful Farming and Wood; and released Android editions of Fitness and Parents through Next Issue Media. The new offerings joined Nook editions of Meredith’s Family Circle and More titles. Far from a disjointed strategy, the moves are part of Meredith’s research-driven approach to testing new markets and platforms.

2. Premier Guitar strikes the right chord with print/digital/mobile mix

When you’re building a publication from the ground up, it’s easy to begin with a cross-channel vision. The hard part is successfully executing across print, Web and mobile platforms. Premier Media Holdings, publisher of Premier Guitar magazine, is off to a pretty good start. The independent publisher has turned a fairly traditional model – print subscriptions and ad-supported digital content – into a high-growth business.

  

3. Better Homes and Gardens: 4 tips for social media success

Better Homes and Gardens has developed an engaged and growing following on Facebook. Our recent social media analysis showed that BHG captured more than 60% of the comments, likes and clicks on Facebook for the House & Home Improvement category. There’s no secret sauce in the Meredith brand’s social media recipe – just a lot of common sense and passion among the editorial and marketing teams for engaging with their target audience.

  

4. How Martha Stewart cooks up apps

The recipe for a strong utility-based app is useful content, a strong brand and a reason to bring users back to the app. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has used those ingredients to whip up topic-focused apps for its fans.

  

5. Niche publisher goes in-house with mobile app development

Housing an internal mobile development team is not just a route large consumer brands are taking. Amos Publishing, publisher of Auto Enthusiast magazine, is using proprietary technology to jumpstart its mobile strategy.

  

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