Finding Your Digital Center
Mina Lux knows a thing or two about creating a winning digital presence.
Lux, who recently ended a seven-year run as managing director and vice president of online for Scientific American to focus on consulting, once led USAToday.com to the top of the competitive field of general-interest news Web sites as its director of marketing. She also served as a marketing leader for the former Working Woman Network and Doubleday Interactive.
She will join a panel of experts for the “Web Usability Strategies for Profit” session at the Publishing Business Conference and Expo (www.PublishingBusiness.com) scheduled for March 10-12 at the Marriott Marquis in New York. Publishing Executive Inbox caught up with Lux this week for a glimpse of some of the insight she’ll be sharing with conference attendees.
Inbox: What are some of the trends you expect we’ll see develop on magazines’ Web sites in the coming year?
Mina Lux: I think the trend going further is publishers, or the smart publishers, will be looking at the Web, and they’ll start putting the customer at the center of the product. In the past, a lot of us were publishing with the brand in mind and the editors decided what the readers were going to read. We have to understand the strength of the medium we’re delivering with. We have to take our customers as the center to see what they’re trying to get out of our brand or content. … The competition is great. Your readers don’t have to go to your site to read your content unless publishers put their customers at the center. Customers can be delivered content in multiple ways. Flesh out to see who your major customer set is. The [publishers] who are going to succeed are going to focus on that customer experience.
Inbox: What are some of the mistakes you’ve seen publishers make in their online approaches in the last few years?
Lux: I have seen a lot of publishers try to be aggressive with their digital development, but they did not focus. They did not stay true to their brand. They branched out, and then projects shut down real quickly. It’s not their strength. … In all the business plans I’m [developing] for my clients, I ask them to focus on their strengths.