Responsive design is a buzzword that is being repeated around the boardroom tables of numerous digital publishing boardrooms. The digital industry is beginning to take note of the possibility of what can be achieved through HTML 5 and how this can be leveraged to give consumers an interactive and engaging experience that is tailored to the screen size and capabilities of the device they are using at the time.
What publisher wouldn’t want give their readers this new and entertaining engagement? What marketer wouldn’t want to create an immersive campaign that is consistent across all platforms? For many, while the enthusiasm is there, it is easier said than done. Responsive design requires a significant mind shift, not to mention an organizational shift, on the part of not only the digital publishers but also of the marketers and their agencies.
Tablets have recently surpassed smartphones as an alternative website engagement platform, with 8% and 7% of web traffic respectively. This rapid increase of consumers using these alternate platforms – mostly in their leisure time where the appetite for engagement is higher – is a key opportunity for publishers and marketers/agencies to ensure that their content and advertising is optimized to the environment their consumers engage in.
This can be a scary prospect as a piece of content or an advertisement would need to dynamically change or even be re-created for a given platform/environment. There are also numerous technical considerations around getting a consistent feel through this dynamic scaling of content and layout. This means that there needs to be a tight relationship between the editorial, creative and IT teams. This alone can be challenging in a historically siloed organisation.
Many publishers and agencies working within the digital landscape still have strong roots in the traditional print media space. It is therefore important to note that studies have shown that it’s not as simple as taking an offline campaign and re-creating it in digital. Rather, it requires a broader understanding in that a campaign needs to be completely re-envisioned for these digital platforms and that digital is a key driver in the overall success of marketing campaigns through the line.
The technology is there, even if it is a little unwieldy at the moment. In my opinion, organizational structures and business strategies still have to follow suit. Publishers and agencies that can embrace this shift and challenge their conventional viewpoints are the ones that are going to leapfrog those that don’t.
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