IMC 2013: E-commerce, the way to meet digital challenge

20 Feb,2013

By A Correspondent


Presenting a case study on ‘What India Can Learn From The World’ on the second day of the Indian Magazine Congress, Stefan Gneuss, COO of Gruner + Jahr International, said e-commerce is one key way for brands to meet the digital challenge. Paid offerings and paid content is most important, he said, as a means to give readers value added content, services and products.


Media consumption is inevitably shifting to digital, Mr Gneuss said, and print is shrinking. He observed that the erosion of print had first happened in the 1980s, when print consumption dropped due to television. It has happened again from the late 1990s, with the advent of digital. The most important trend is social media, which brands cannot afford to take lightly. He said brands should be active on social networks, and should offer more to the user leveraging on the strengths of the medium. “Offer videos as an advertising format, for example,” he advised, citing figures to show that time spent on online video consumption is on the rise. Similarly, mobile content should be offered for mobile consumers. E-commerce should be utilized from lead generation to the full-value chain.


Moreover, as users become even more involved with the content they consume, brands must go with the trend and use social networks to create communities of interest and encourage user-generated content. “Own your segment,” he said, giving the example of brands in Europe which do this.



Mr Gneuss highlighted takeaways from the changing publishing scenario.

– Decreasing ad spends in the magazine business are a given.

– Cost discipline is necessary for sustainable profitable business.

– Brands must identify key assets for digital.

– Develop additional business models.

– Anticipate the consequences of mobile.


5 theses for India

– Your brands are king.

– Work on costs and overflows for a sustainable profitable business.

– Develop towards being a multi-channel content provider with technology as the basis.

– ‘Online first’ was yesterday’s priority. Today, it is ‘mobile first’.

– Attract talent. You can only survive if you have the best people on board.


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