How to design and build new digital products in publishing and media

Publishers now realise that all new products have to be digital, and that means learning a whole new set of skills around understanding customer needs, developing a business model, translating print content to web and mobile, and managing the digital development process, whether in-house or outsourced.

On  Thursday 19 March, IIN have put together a half-day mini-conference for publishers embarking on the digital NPD journey, with a series of practical case studies and useful tips, following each stage of the process.  Here’s a sneak preview of the themes to be covered during the day.

Understanding customers and emerging digital information needs

Digital products require far closer collaboration with the end customer: testing out their views on early-stage ideas, collecting new insights and keeping them involved throughout the new product journey.  Andrew Leighton, Director of Product Development & Licensing at digital niche publisher AROQ will share how they prioritise and validate ideas, and how they engage customers throughout the development process.

Identifying a lucrative business model

What makes a customer pay for a digital information and intelligence service?  And how can they be persuaded to subscribe to a premium package over the long term?  Jeremy Phillips, COO of Editor Eye, explores how digital services can be constructed to support critical business decisions, and justify a premium price tag.

Translating print content to digital platforms

Established print brands are an asset for publishers, as they already communicate authority and possess an abundance of archive content.  But how must content designed for print be reimagined for tablet and smartphone?  Marc Hartog, CEO and Mick Moore, Creative Director of independent niche publisher Apptitude Media, explain how they have adapted the British Journal of Photography to digital platforms and what they have learned about creating digital products on a shoestring.

Engaging digital specialist communities

Digital enables a two-way conversation with the audience, and nurturing this community is key to building loyalty, generating new content and ultimately growing revenues.  Ben Heald, CEO and co-founder of Sift will share what he has learnt about building digital professional communities.

Planning a digital product launch

Market move fast, and digital NPD has to be nimble and fleet of foot.  Vaughan Evans, co-founder of digital agency FEB, will explore different approaches to building and launching digital products and share case studies.

Making the in-house vs outsourcing decision

Publishers may struggle to attract developer talent into their organisations, and create an appealing career path for them, so outsourcing digital development can be a smart move.  However, this can create its own challenges around managing a third party developer.  Angus Philipson, founder and MD of developer Byte 9 – and independent publisher of the Pharma Letter – explores best practice in working with outsourced developers.

If you are contemplating developing a new digital media or information product, the IIN (Information Industry Network) mini-conference on Building Digital Products is a timely opportunity to pick up some best practice and develop connections that will assist you on your journey.  I’ll be there on 19 March at Thomson Reuters offices in London – and look forward to swapping experiences.

More about the event and how to book here

About the author

Carolyn Morgan has over twenty years experience launching, growing, buying and selling specialist media businesses across print, digital and live events.  Carolyn now advises publishers large and small on their digital strategy and writes and speaks on the topic of digital publishing strategy for media industry publishers and events. Follow Carolyn on twitter @carolynrmorgan

About the agile publisher project

The agile publisher is a research project dedicated to identifying examples of agile publishing and sharing best practice among specialist media businesses.  If you have an interesting story to share please get in touch – or follow @agilepublisheron twitter.