rfi guide

5 questions that find you the right ePaper supplier - Part II

By Mathias Winther Kolind | Jan 12 2018 | Business | Insights | Blogs

It's time for the sequel in the blog series that will help you find the right ePaper supplier. In this post, we turn the attention to profit increasing areas like onboarding, advertisements and data.

After reading part I, you should already have been giving some thought to the overall strategy of your ePaper and your level of ambition . If you missed the first post, you can read it here.

These are the last three questions, you should ask yourself before deciding on a new ePaper supplier.


3. What is your ePaper’s target group?

It’s difficult – if not impossible – to design a solution that appeals to 60-year-olds, whose needs for news are primarily covered by the print paper, while also attracting the 16-year-olds, who get their news fix from Facebook, Snapchat etc.

So... you need to decide early on, who you want to target.

Our advice is to go easy and not act too drastically. You probably have a good idea of your newspaper/magazine’s primary readers and you should maintain focus on their needs when you’re choosing an ePaper solution. In the print edition, you already have a product that’s appreciated and your ePaper can benefit from this goodwill. 

You want to quickly obtain a strong subscriber base and the best way to do this is to ease the transition for your existing users. If you successfully transform them into digital users, you have a much better foundation for exploiting the advertisement opportunities in your ePaper solution – making it a valuable new source of revenue.

It’s important that your future supplier understands your target group. Ask them to show how readers in the same target group value the ePaper solution and ask what they do in order to develop the product with the reader in focus.


4. Will the ePaper act as an active advertising platform?

Obviously, there are costs associated with getting an ePaper. But it will quite possibly finance itself solely on revenues from advertisements. Ads don’t sell themselves, though. That’s why it’s important that you consider which types of advertisements that fit your organization before you settle on a supplier. 

Some media companies have great success making the existing advertisements from the print paper clickable in the ePaper. Others introduce online banner ads in their solution, while a third group makes money on adding interstitials or supplements from advertisers. Common to all our customers, who’ve established a successful advertisement business, is that they have succeeded in implementing the ePaper ad sales internally. If the ePaper's value as an ad platform isn't recognised internally, you wont succeed with ePaper ad sales. Everyone in your organization must focus on the ePaper as an advertisement platform equal to the print paper and website.

Ask the potential ePaper suppliers about cases and references to other customers that have enjoyed great success with advertisements in the ePaper. This way you can look into advertisement models yourself. Also, ask how you can benefit from the experience and knowledge of the supplier in order to achieve success with advertisements.

Note: This is the sequel in this blog post series. Click here to get to the first one.


5. What role does ePaper data and knowledge play?

A valuable tool for determining whether or not you reach your KPI’s is the gathering, interpretation and analysis of data.

No matter if there’s an analysis team in the media company or not, you’re dependent on a fruitful collaboration with your ePaper supplier. Make sure that your analysis team can get useful, professional input about e.g. data quality assurance and the analysis of this data. 

The advantage of choosing a supplier with expertise in the media business is that they can provide you with relevant customer insights, benchmark data and market analyses – making them a highly valuable partner for discussion. 

Ask your future supplier how they ensure valid and high-quality data and ask them to illustrate how they work with data – both on a day to day basis as well as long term.

What about all the other stuff?

When all the considerations have been formed into a clear strategy for your ePaper, you’re ready to make the RFI document. This will ensure qualified answers from the suppliers that allow you to focus on more practical issues that affect your collaboration with the supplier. That could be things like:

• Which integrations to subscription systems, advertisement systems, editorial systems and tracking systems do you expect that the supplier are able to make and what are the suppliers experiences with these systems?

• If there’s many titles in your organization, you need to decide if you want to publish them in separate stand-alone solutions or if they can be gathered in one solution. In extension of this, it’s also relevant to ask about the possibilities of adding or removing titles from the solution in an easy way.

• If you want your historic archive available to your readers in the ePaper solution, it’s essential that the supplier is capable of handling a relatively complex archive project. Ask them about their experience with archives – both the scanning, search and distribution proces. 

The different suppliers will probably be very similar on the technical front, so we suggest that you only ask about specific features or technical details in the “RFI-phase” if they have crucial importance for your strategy. 

If you relate to the five questions in this blog series, you should be able to make a decision on a well-informed basis. Assess who can deliver the best total package according to your ePaper strategy, choose a supplier and start making money.

Want to know more about Visiolink's solution?
Reach out to one of our Key Account Managers if you are interested in getting a Visiolink solution. They are happy to clarify your questions and tell you more about how you can make the ePaper a profitable business.

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Mathias Winther Kolind


Mathias Winther Kolind

Product Manager