The BioStrata Month in Marketing (May 2016)

14 June 2016| by BioStrata Team

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The mad month of May is well and truly over, and at last, we have your monthly marketing digest ready! It's safe to say a lot went down last month, but we've chosen the five marketing stories that we felt were the most interesting. Read on to find out what made the cut!

Could proposed changes to EU science publication rules affect life science marketers?

Should you have to pay to access scientific papers? This has been an open (excuse the pun) and fiercely debated topic for over a decade, but the European Union's Competitiveness Council weighed in heavily on the debate last month, publishing a report recommending that all scientific papers developed using public funds be made open access by 2020. If this does become mandatory, many of the world’s leading peer-reviewed journals may have to reconsider their business models, as subscription revenues could well take a hit. The knock-on effect of this could mean we see more ‘pay-for-play’ options being provided by these journals, as they look to monetize their subscriber bases in other ways. For example, while a number of journals and publishing houses do offer opportunities to target their subscriber databases (e.g. via third party email blasts and banner ads), many still don’t. What’s more, the paid options offered by many journals are somewhat underpowered when it comes to targeting specific subscriber demographics (e.g. based on research area, location, scientific interests etc.). It’s still a fair way off, but it’s worth watching this debate as it heats up – you may find that you have a wealth of new and improved options for targeting scientists and researchers (albeit most of them will probably be pay-for-play).

Content Marketing Institute bought by B2B event giant UBM

For those that are regular followers of our blog, you’ll know that we are big fans of the “This Old Marketing” podcast produced by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose over at Content Marketing Institute (CMI). Over the past twelve months or so, the guys have made a number of predictions about the growing number of big acquisitions they expect in the content marketing space, including big brands buying publishers, publishers buying content marketing agencies, software companies buying each other and a whole host of other partnerships, mergers and purchases.

While this has proven somewhat true (LinkedIn’s acquisitions of the training company and Slideshare are two well-known examples, as well as Adobe’s recent purchase of LiveFyre to help companies tap into the power of customer-generated content), I am not sure any of us realized that meant Content Marketing Institute itself!

But last week CMI announced that the company has been bought by UBM. What does this mean for CMI and its faithful followers? Who knows. But let’s hope the team continue to deliver value for the content marketing community.

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Image: Shutterstock

UK content marketing spend predicted to more than double by 2020

We talk a lot to our clients and on our blog about the importance of content marketing. It used to be the case that marketers could spend the bulk of their time creating and buying ads that would be pushed out to the masses, however the days of the all-powerful television and print ads and mass mail shots have gone. Now, many consumers are blocking out marketing messages in traditional media and turning to the internet to research and investigate products and services.  As a result, content marketing has become the next evolutionary step in marketing.  This article in Campaign talks about the huge anticipated growth in content marketing spend, which is set to rise 179.2 percent to £349 million in 2020, from £125 million in 2014, according to a report from Yahoo and Enders Analysis.

Are people downloading fewer apps?

Apps have dominated the B2C and entertainment world for the past 3 years and have been experimented with in the B2B space since tablets were refined around 5 years ago, but is the app bubble about to burst? Comscore have recently released their Q2 figures for mobile app usage and the report is shocking to say the least. According to Comscore the average mobile user doesn’t download any new apps. Although this may seem shocking, think about established software companies such as Google and Facebook. The business goal of these companies is to keep users inside their apps for as long as possible and to have brand loyalty, negating the need for users to experiment with multiple apps. What does this mean for the future of apps? While the data is certainly compelling, we certainly love a good app and people will always download quality software, perhaps we're just waiting on the next big thing?

Will people read long posts and articles on their phones? Yes.

In 2014, the number of people accessing digital media via smartphones outstripped the number of users using desktop devices for the first time and the pace of change continues unabated. But one key question that seems to come up again and again is how does user experience need to change to adapt to how people use their mobile devices? For example, there has been a tendency towards ‘snackable content’ that is short and easy to consume ‘on the go’ while using a smart phone. However, a new report from the Pew Research Center suggests that you shouldn’t let this assumption influence the length of your blog posts. According to their data, which was derived from analyzing nearly 75,000 articles published by 30 news websites in the US, people are happy to spend the extra time to read a long article on their phones and tablets and spend twice as much time on long articles (over 1000 words) when compared to short articles (i.e. they didn’t just lose interest in the long articles and go elsewhere). The data also suggest that “while shorter news content is far more prevalent than long-form and thus draws more total traffic, long-form articles are accessed at nearly the same rate,” suggesting that mobile readers might actually have a preference for long form content. In short, don’t be concerned that mobile users will be put off by long blogs posts and articles – it would appear that they are willing to engage with them (as long as it offers them value, of course).

Share your thoughts and get more great insights

That concludes our five favourite marketing stories of the month! What were your thoughts? As always, we love hearing from you so if you stumbled upon something interesting in marketing this month, do share it in the comments below. 

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