Do you know who and where are your customers? Here are three trends to watch for…

Anyone who has read various articles on academic publishing is aware how the industry is often associated with being ‘out of touch’.  With technological developments and social networking on the rise, it is crucial that academic publishing should adapt with the latest trends in order to stay on top of customer needs. From the rise of e-books and mobile device usage to publishers taking a more interactive approach in terms of data provision, academic publishers need to deal with various areas in order to be updated with their customers’ needs.  With educational institutions being quick in adapting to latest trends and techniques, academic publishing would benefit by doing the same.

Rise of mobile devices

Shifting services onto mobile would be one excellent area for many academic publishers to adapt and grow their business.  For example, analyst firm IDC has reported that by 2017, 87% of all connected devices would be smartphones or tablets.  In addition, web designers have been developing an approach called Responsive Design, which allows publishers maintain one site for all devices as well as screen sizes. Responsive Design has been described as, “A beneficial way for publishers to reach the broadest possible audience with a fully optimized site.”  By keeping such developments in mind, academic publishers should optimize content in order to facilitate user experience.

Building communities  

It is vital to consider how social networking has become a must for businesses to succeed in today’s interactive environment.  Social networking serves many purposes such as encouraging customer engagement, helping to increase revenue, building brand loyalty, and emerging as a thought leader.  However, there are specific benefits from social networking specifically for academic publishers.  First of all, social networking helps build community around specific content.  With social networking bringing focus from different perspectives onto content, active discussion increases the reach of the content and constant debate adds valuable insights which advance research.  Currently, applications such as Sidenotes and Hi are utilized by academic publishers to encourage discussion and allow specific content to be shared.  However, with many academic publishers still needing to utilize social tools as well as build social media presence, this is another area which has potential for progress and advancement.

Growing demand of Online courses

The rise of online courses is another trend which is pivotal for academic publishers to keep in mind.  Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOC’s, have been on the rise and their popularity serves as a valuable business opportunity.  Coursera, a provider for online courses, has recently partnered with five major publishers.  Another provider, edX, has also been partnering with various academic publishers as well.  Keeping the rise of online courses in mind, more academic publishers perceive this trend as an opportunity.

In essence, a changing business environment where social networking, shift to  mobile services, and growing demand of online classes are emerging trends that bring forth new opportunities for academic publishers to pursue. At the heart of this changing environment is one key factor – knowing your customer.

At RedLink, we are committed to help publishers to stay on top of your customer needs and build content to drive customer satisfaction while delivering business growth.

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