The Audience-First Movement in Publishing

screen-shot-2016-03-21-at-8-16-58-amForget “digital first” or “print first.” It’s not about you or your platform; it’s about your audience. 

For the better part of the last decade, it seemed like technology was in the driver’s seat in the publishing industry. Any technological advance does this to a certain extent, and it makes sense that this is how our culture advances.

This resulted in a lot of “digital first” talk in the magazine media industry, as publishers pursued the new technology and decided for the readers what platforms they ought to engage on.

At some point in all of this, as in every technical revolution, the focus shifts back where it belongs – on our customers. Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni gives an interesting breakdown on the current state of affairs in magazine publishing and suggest media brands deal with our changing world by focusing on the “Four Cs” in an audience-first approach.

“What’s most essential to remember about the Four C approach is the importance of creating more with less and of achieving a link with your audience – your customers – based on their preferences, choices and giving them the sense that they are the ones really in control. It really is all about ‘Audience First’,” Husni writes in his blog.

He advises that “we must never lose sight of what’s important: the audience, not the platform they consume their content on.”

It starts by knowing your customer and recognizing them for what they are: your primary source of revenue. Then give them a choice, keeping in mind that with content ubiquitous everywhere on every channel, it’s inherent on the publisher to create content that’s worth choosing.

The next step is recognizing that the audience is now in control in our on-demand world, and “getting information to the ones ultimately in control – the audience – in the way that they want it, is key to maintaining relevance,” Husni writes.

Finally, embrace change. Dive into it, wallow in it even, then accept it and move on. Create accordingly. Because, as Husni notes, “There’s nothing more important than the hands that choose your product from the newsstand or retrieve it from their mailboxes.”