Ealier this month, Ziff Davis Enterprise [ZDE] completed a significant step in its OmniDigital strategy, rolled out earlier this year. The publisher’s IBM-sponsored December 13 eSeminar, “Building a Smarter Enterprise Social Media Strategy”, was available for live viewing on tablets, smartphones and desktop browsers.
This soft launch precedes ZD’s all-digital conversion for its full product portfolio in 2012 (including webcasts, apps and magazines).
Attended by 215 viewers, ZDE chose one of its last events in 2011 for a beta trial of the technology. Ziff Davis Enterprise vice president of operations Andrea Mahoney says, “It went very well. We didn’t promote this to everyone to view on an iPad or a smartphone, as it was a test run. We internally tested here: we had 10 people viewing on various mobile devices, with 2 of our attendees viewing via iPad.”
ZDE partners with webcast provider ON24 for its eSeminars, utilizing its recently added mobility capabilities (dubbed P10). Testing before the 60-minute event included runs on a multitude of devices (including Droid, the iPad and Blackberry Playbook, among others). “All technical tests of the platform were held by ON24. Ziff Davis Enterprise’s test consisted of utilizing staff from various departments all with different mobile devices to view the live event and ensure the presentations was accessible from all the various devices,” says Mahoney.
Educating ZDE audiences in the next step in converting users to the all-digital portfolio. Josh Heitsenrether, SVP of marketing, says, “It will be a combination of event-by-event basis, on the invitation and in some editorial.”
During the eSeminar, audience members are now able to enter questions through a text chat feature; enabling a private exchange between user and vendor during the presentation. Previously, users were only able to access the event on-demand.
The publisher’s all-digital strategy was announced in October. Ziff Davis Enterprise CEO Steve Weitzner told FOLIO: at the time, “As an ex-editor, I haven’t enjoyed it much, but what we’ve been doing for the last few years is cut the frequency and cut the reach of print due to rising postal costs and rising paper costs while the ad base has done nothing but go down. It got to the point where we ran print issues mostly for getting net new names, but not as a business.”
Weitzner further broke down the decision, “Meanwhile you watch the rise of all-digital platforms and see the usage in the general populace but especially with our IT audience. In that world, the IT guy needs to be looking at every smartphone and every tablet, because that’s where the user is going.”