Picking up a great recipe from your trusted mobi mag en route home, stopping to get the maximum of five ingredients and rushing home to make it for dinner. That is what MiniKuier’s readers do regularly, says Kuier editor Kay Karriem
When people hear the name MiniKuier they wrongly assume it is a smaller version of Kuier magazine.
Yes, it is ‘smaller’ because it is delivered on a very different platform – on your mobile phone. It is Kuier in your pocket, but it is not meant to be the magazine or to replace it.
From the outset, the strategy was never to duplicate the magazine, but to transfer the brand and especially its values across platforms. We want our readers to have the same quality of engagement with the brand on their phones as they do with the actual magazine.
They should be able to access the same type of information, meet the same kind of people and always find a familiar environment in which they feel they belong.
Readers will find similarities across all our platforms: the magazine, Facebook page and MiniKuier, but each one is unique and we try not to duplicate material.
Also, we try not to use one platform too much to promote the other. For example you will not find constant reminders on our Facebook page to buy the print magazine, although we do inform readers when the new issue will hit the shelves as we are aware that this is a service they like.
It is also very important that each platform has unique properties that give it a unique selling point. It should be possible for a Kuier reader to engage with us on one or all of our platforms and feel just as much part of the family.
Although the digital revolution changed the game for all brands, mature and young alike, MiniKuier was not born out of the need to “adapt or die”, which has become the new mantra in so many newsrooms.
In saying that, Kuier is not immune to the pressure to compete in the digital space or bleed readers and advertisers to the point of becoming obsolete. But MiniKuier was driven by the needs of our readers and that’s why we knew from the outset it had a high chance of success if we catered to their needs successfully.
Our readers were telling us they were not happy with our frequency. They said two weeks was just too long to wait between issues. So, in essence this was a consumer problem for which we needed a solution: more Kuier, more frequently.
However, at the time a paper magazine on a weekly frequency was not viable, so we looked to technology for the answer. Then we studied the behaviour of our readers. By far their device of choice was the mobile phone. All research indicated that they were not only spending more time on it, but using it for more than personal communication.
It was literally changing people’s physical posture – the “heads-down elbows-up generation”. And when we started looking, we saw them everywhere: on trains and buses, in queues… with their heads down looking at their phones and elbows up, holding their phones up.
The concept and content for MiniKuier was developed by the same Kuier editorial team that does the magazine as they have the best knowledge of our readers and the brand.
Nobody in the team had any technical background and none of us knew how to write code. In hindsight, this is the one thing I wish had been different because when you are too reliant on outsiders, they tend to use their superior technical expertise to take control.
For instance, the developers told us that we needed to keep all the instalments short because people don’t like to read long pieces of text on their phones. This clashed with the editorial teams’ knowledge of the target market who they know love to read and often spend a long time on their daily commute with nothing to do.
The editorial team insisted testing a category called ‘Lees Saam’ (read together) where we publish about half a chapter a day of a book from start to finish. This is still the most popular category on MiniKuier, even if it is almost 10 times the word count recommended by the developers.
The consumer remains key to brand and product development. While big data and digital are the new buzz words, don’t ever underestimate that we are still in the business of humans and they will tell you what they like.
This story was first published in the June 2014 issue of The Media magazine.
IMAGE: Simone Thomas and Monique Mortlock update the MiniKuier mobsite.
Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to email@example.com.