2013 saw a 246 per cent increase in magazines using mobile activation. The survey, conducted by Nellymoser, a mobile marketing and technology company based in Boston, reveals that 2013 has reiterated the trend for growth in mobile activation, but most
notably, the increasing confidence of magazines in mobile.
Some of the highlights are:
- Image recognition and Augmented Reality dominate this space with 60 per cent market share
- 246 per cent activation increase in magazine titles using mobile in editorial
- QR represents 60 per cent of all mobile triggers in advertising
- Third party and magazine-branded apps increase
The study found continual and steady growth in the mobile activated space, but 2013 also saw an explosion in the range of technologies used to deliver activations. Compared to a total of 8,448 activations in 2012, 2013 saw 13,088 activated pages in the magazines surveyed. The top activated magazines included Marie Claire, Esquire, Redbook, Cooking Light and InStyle, showing the range of readership target demographics that are participating in mobile programmes.
The primary activation type was Image Recognition (IR) with a 60.3 per cent share, followed by QR codes with 23.9 per cent share, and watermarking in third with 12 per cent of mobile activations. The most represented segments were fashion and style and lifestyle and leisure, followed by home and gardening, home and cooking, entertainment and TV, and fashion and beauty.
The study identified the following key trends:
- Explosion of editorial-driven mobile programmes
- QR code use dominates mobile triggers in advertising
- Growth in deployment of multi-issue activations
- Increase in both third party and magazine-branded apps
- Post-scan experiences focus on providing more value to consumers
2013 marked an increase in multi-issue activations
In 2012 mobile issues were generally deployed on a special issue basis, with publishers choosing a single large issue to activate and not repeating the programme in subsequent months. However, in 2013 magazines tended towards programmes that appeared month after month with the same function and app. While the special issue approach may gather more buzz, the steady approach increases the chances that a reader will be exposed to the app and its function and engage with the programme. Further, it reflects the overall trend toward mobile programmes as a utility for the reader.
Advertisers join the trend as well
The growth of these technologies affected advertiser use, especially in quarter four of 2013. Advertisers running campaigns activated with image recognition include Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Cadillac, and Covergirl — a rarely used approach in 2012. QR remains the trigger type of choice for advertisers, representing 60 per cent of mobile triggers in advertisements.
And once the trigger is pulled
The content triggered by mobile activations focuses on providing high-value experiences to readers. Delivering readers mobile-friendly versions of products, articles, and recipes that can be saved, expanded, shared, or purchased provides a compelling reason for a reader to engage using their mobile device, and has been the function of the majority of editorial programmes in 2013. These are behaviours that a reader may have already used their phone or tablet to accomplish, by searching manually for more information on something they found while reading the magazine, and enabling them to do so in a seamless format within the brand structure of the magazine is optimal for both reader and publisher. Activating all items in the magazine, rather than a small selection of articles or features even better facilitates this interaction.
For more on the Mobile Activation Study, visit nellymoser.com.
The magazine study, conducted by Nellymoser since 2010, examines the top circulating magazines in the United States market. The study records instances in which a printed page is capable of being activated by a mobile device, such as a smart phone or tablet. Mobile activation can take many different forms, such as a Quick Response (QR) code; image recognition (IR); invisible watermarks applied to photographs, brand logos and icons; or SMS text messages. The quality and content of the mobile experience – often referred to as the post-scan experience – varies greatly depending on how it was produced and executed by the magazine or advertiser.