Formulate an Effective Mobile Strategy
Consider a freemium/tiered pricing model. The initial apps put out by Meredith were paid, and while successful on a "limited scale," the company has lately focused more on a "freemium" model, where apps are free and upgrades come with a fee. "We think there's a greater opportunity with products that you can continually think of new versions of," Wiener says. "You get a large installed base and then continually get them to purchase more."
As freemium apps draw more and more eyes, Meredith will eventually experiment with layering in advertising.
Apps should offer utility and entertainment. Wiener calls these the "two key values that are important for mobile." To this end, Meredith plans to get more into gaming apps. A good example of fun, useful apps are Better Homes' pumpkin-carving and holiday-party-planning apps, both of which were "very successful" last year, according to Wiener.
Be ready to adjust strategy based on what your audience tells you. Meredith did not originally plan any apps for Android-based devices this year, but shifted strategy based on internal data about how consumers were accessing sites and external figures on Android sales. "As the consumer changes," Wiener says, "we'll change with them."
Annette Ehrhardt, Senior Director; and
Frank Luby, Partner,
Simon-Kucher & Partners LLC
Simon-Kucher & Partners is a global consulting firm advising publishers, many of whom are in the business-to-business space, on a range of issues in online, mobile and other digital publishing.
Think in terms of convenience and practical relevance. Mobile phones first established themselves in the professional arena because efficiency gains made the technology's advantages obvious. Content providers thus far have "missed the boat a little" because they have not thought in these terms when strategizing for mobile, Luby believes. "The Wall Street Journal's professional services are woefully underpriced even today. So there's a huge market for the right kind of services in the business-to-business market. There is, in the professional market, a fundamental intrinsic value to be able to get people information on an as-needed basis, whether a weather report to the farmer or financial information."