Monday, August 2, 2010

Multi-channel publishing requires multi-channel measurement

About a month ago, just before my summer vacation I was in the eZ Conference in Berlin. Although this time I was speaking about search engine optimization, the main topic in the conference was multi-channel publishing. The highlighted key issues being mobile publishing and applications. Usage of mobile web and applications is growing fast, there's no doubt about it. Tony White summarizes the development very well:
"In the last couple of years first newspapers disappeared from hotel lobbies, airports etc. Now smart phones and other mobile devices have replaced laptops."
You yourself can easily see this trend for yourself anywhere when you are traveling and I guess there's plenty of research data of the topic as well. TV and web are merging with these new LED-Internet kind of TVs or should I say displays. If you are interested about this topic, maybe you should read my TV advertising and web analytics research. eZ Systems puts this multi-channel publishing into its slogan: any content - from any source - delivered to any channel.

Overall, what does this mean for publishers and companies? First, very easy thing you can do is to find out how many visitors are actually browsing your website with mobile device at the moment. In Google Analytics you check out how many visits you got from each mobile operating system by country. Below you can see that 4,21 % of my blog visitors in June came to the site using a mobile device, quite naturally most of them were from Finland and little bit surprisingly iPhone was the most used device. You can also see iPad visitors coming in already in June.

I hope your company stats has much more volume than my blog but this is very good place to start. You can always conduct a little poll or survey for your current customers. Ask how many of them would use mobile devices if there would be mobile optimized website or a native mobile application? If you're using Google Analytics, maybe you should read more about how to tune it for mobile tracking or how to measure native mobile applications.

So, for some good reason you decided that you should have a mobile service for your visitors. Next important questions are: how do you recognize these mobile users? Do you automatically serve them with mobile service from which they can easily jump to full website if they want? How do you create, update, publish and measure mobile content? Basically is your content management system ready for mobile publishing or would you like to integrate your CMS with a native mobile application?

Unfortunately these are not the only questions you may have. Do you still need printed material or are you using outdoor print promotions or TV advertising? How do you plan your visitor journey and user experience across different channels? How do you measure these crossing points? Or would you like to drive visitors to physical point of sales / services instead of digital channels? Multi-channel strategy is not easy but it's doable!

I like this new concept of Berlin TV tower because you don't have to queue anymore (which improves my customer experience). You can buy your ticket from an ATM downstairs and use either SMS or quick response code to receive an information SMS back to your phone with your personal time of access up to TV tower. How convenient. I have written about using Quick Response code and I'm still wondering why companies are not using it? QR code is easy to create, program and measure. All you have to do is plan a nice cross-channel concept... : )

In order to measure print channel you need to use either QR codes or you can use vanity URLs. But do you use same or similar content in print and web? How can you help production of print and how do you automate QR codes or vanity URLs? Back to CMS: does your content management system have features that ease up production of printed material? You can integrate eZ Publish with third party desktop publishing systems like Adobe Indesign. Actually you can integrate eZ Publish with other important enterprise applications as well. It is not wrong to state that:
"We will move more and more from content management to business application integration and publishing!"
Perhaps in the future you have to set a different kind of criteria for your content management system as well as your conceptual / technical / analytical partner who will get the big picture.

As usual, I welcome any comments you may have and of course, if you want to have a private chat, feel free to email me. Or you can just relax and check out these photos from eZ Conference 2010 in Berlin. : )