Qantas is the largest airline in Australia, so it’s not surprising that its in-flight magazine is highly regarded. Qantas Airways targets first- and business-class customers with compelling articles and imagery in its Qantas Magazine publication. In March 2015 the airline started working with Medium Rare, a content agency in Australia, to revamp its print publication, Travel Insider website, and digital magazine app, in addition to enhancing the company’s social strategy. Dan Fischer, Manager of Qantas’ Direct Digital Customer Experience, and Karla Courtney, Digital Strategy Director of Medium Rare, view the app as a way to maintain a dialog with customers, even when they aren’t traveling.
Adobe: Tell us about your new app and the reason you created it.
Fischer: Customers tell us they love the Qantas Magazine and they look forward to flying with us just so they can read it. With our previous format, whereby the iPad edition would launch with the print edition on the first of every month, customers rarely engaged with the content more than once – they had no reason to.
Our new Qantas Magazine app provides a great, cost-effective way to get the magazine in front of readers even when they’re not flying. In addition to broadening our distribution and improving ongoing engagement, it lets us leverage all of our great content – better for us, our advertisers, and most importantly our customers.
Courtney: DPS 2015 offered the ability to share content with customers outside of the magazine paradigm and share that content whenever it is relevant, not just on the monthly magazine cycle. The ability for customers to save individual articles is key for people who are interested in using the content as part of their travel planning experiences. This allows them to save individual guides on the destinations they want to their device rather than having to save the entire magazine file for the sake of one piece of content.
Adobe: What impact are you expecting the app to make? Do you have any specific goals around ROI?
Fischer: We are excited about the ability to keep the conversation alive with fresh content throughout the month and will be keeping a close eye on frequency of engagement. We’ve improved the iPad extras to point to feeders of our sales funnel so we will be finessing our attribution modelling to give us some indications as to what role content marketing plays in purchasing behavior.
Adobe: Describe the client/agency working relationship as you created the DPS app?
Fischer: It worked very much as a partnership, in the same way our print edition comes to life. We provided some initial direction, then relied upon Medium Rare’s expertise in content and publishing to appeal to the hearts and minds of our customers. We provided feedback at several points along the way – mainly feeding from our thorough understanding of our customers, and how the app needed to evolve to feel like part of our Qantas app family.
Adobe: Tell us about your move to HTML and the expected benefits, plus your vision for what integration with Woodwing Inception will bring to the experience?
Courtney: We know people want highly relevant content delivered to them frequently, across as many devices as possible, and we don’t want to compromise on the aesthetic in the process. Qantas Magazine is a premium brand and to maintain the status as a leading source of travel information and inspiration for our audience, we must offer very strong design and user experience. There are many places for people to access content nowadays so it’s important our content wows people from the get-go.
Redesigning high-quality content for all screens at such a high standard makes meeting these demands almost prohibitive. Moving to the new DPS format is helping us address how people want to consume content in a much more efficient way by allowing us to use beautifully designed HTML templates.
Going forward, we hope that Woodwing Inception will help us bring a practical element to the app. We have many city guides, made up of almost 1,000 content pieces, which we have exclusively commissioned through the magazine. We would like to make these available to customers via the app while they are in other countries and may not always have access to the mobile web on their devices.
Adobe: Why is it important to have the app available on mobile phones?
Fischer: More than one million customers have installed the Qantas travel management app on their smartphones, which makes it makes a perfect launch pad into our new digital magazine app. In a world where Unknownsmartphones are the primary source of news for some customers, we can no longer ignore this channel.
But what’s really important is putting the choice in our customers’ hands – our ambition is to have a personalized and contextualized experience that feels the same across all devices our customers choose to use.
Adobe: What are you looking forward to when you eventually integrate your app with Adobe Experience Manager?
Fischer: We’re using components of Adobe Marketing Cloud, including Adobe Audience Manager, and will be moving to Adobe Experience Manager as well. We’re excited by how the dots might connect to not only improve publishing efficiency, but also get articles in front of right people – the customers that we know will be interested in them.
Download the Qantas app for iOS devices.
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This article was written for FIPP.com as part of a DPS sponsored content series.
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