Last week, Grupo VI-DA attended Readmagine, an international event organized by the International Publishing Distribution Association (IPDA) and the Germán Sánchez Ruíperez Foundation. As one of the biggest international digital publishers meetings, new ideas and best practices were the core of the event.
At Readmagine we had the opportunity of telling the audience about our experience as a growing Argentine company. Our presentation revolved around how the company plans to grow before a demanding and ever changing society.
The main ideas presented were to think Glo-Cal; to be near audiences; to be responsive to cultural and behavioral changes. Those are the three pillars of our daily endeavor. What do these three ideas mean for the digital content industry and how do we put them in practice?
Too often, within the cultural, educational and entertainment digital content industries, the focus on a global market makes us forget the importance of the homegrown picture, the details that makes us different, what is local. Today everything seems to be about reaching a global audience and creating global products, but we are convinced that our cultural, educational and entertainment digital products need of the local factor in charge of making our costumers feel “at home” and find that particular value with us. At Grupo VI-DA, having one of the main online Spanish e-Book companies, we discovered that even thought the global market is necessary for business in order to increase R&D budgets so to improve products and services, we need to be very much aware of the local and regional markets to nourish them and to create a more specific, tailored product that meets the needs of our users in the best way possible.
A global world sometimes is equivalent to the loss of individuality, of personality. Most online companies, tend to occupy -regarding the cultural industry- the role of “big supermarkets”, were their only goal is to sell products, many times paying no attention to what it is being sold or presented to their consumers. We have to differentiate ourselves from that we have to think in “Glo-Cal” terms.
Every user likes to be up to speed with the international trends, but also, and essentially, each user enjoys reading global as local and regional content. Because of that, we realized that it’s important to create specific products aimed for those specific needs, and designed a curated catalogs of content taking into consideration our users particularities.
To guarantee our products excellence, behind everything we create there are experts that know how to communicate and prioritize the audience, innovators, literary specialists and academics that make sure that each product fulfills the needs of those who use our platforms. We reach audiences in as many ways as possible: by organizing events; developing apps, creating a media buzz, etc., without leaving behind traditional tools as Meta data, digital marketing and publicity.
By doing this, we find ourselves one step ahead in the market. The constant challenge in our industry is to keep on expanding our knowledge on our users and to keep evolving around it. There are differences in those who read for pleasure, those who need books for learning or training, and those who look for personal or professional development. All of those readers have particular needs, not only regarding content, but also price, model, payment method. What we aim for is to offer a place among our platforms and products to every reader.
For example, the Leamos.com readers have a clear budget on their mind but are not necessarily looking for a particular book, so they love surfing within our catalog without going out of their budget. These readers know how much they want to invest in culture. On the other hand, the Bajalibros.com readers have a different relationship with reading; they know what they want to read, they are searching for a specific author, book or theme, and when they find it, they buy it.
On that base, another of our products, one of the most demanding and challenging, is the digital library BIDI, a digital platform of books intended for institutions and corporations, where we find two completely different clients to satisfy. First we have the institution or corporation that demands a high quality and a high value return experience in what they are buying. Second, there is the final user where its fundamental that he perceives the value of the platform and has a satisfactory experience in order to allow the first client (institution/corporation) to see the benefit of purchasing the product, and keep on doing so.
So to listen and dialogue with our readers is our top priority. We could not just sell books, we wanted to be able to understand our reader, know what they want, what they are eager for. That was the reason to create the largest Spanish e-book ecosystem in Latin America: with various products such as Bajalibros (online store), Leamos (subscription model), BIDI (Digital Libraries),Intercultural Division (educational purposes), Indielibros (self publishing), and Grandeslibros (readers community) with which we aim to satisfy the needs and wants of current generations.
To be near our audience is key, we listen to generate a strategy and then create products in order to keep them on track.
On top of all, in the last couple of years, the technological and cultural worlds changed vastly and at similar rhythms. A clear consequence of these changes for the digital industry is that demand has taken a supreme position. People under the age of 30 compose half of our audience, they are known as Millennials’. A youth that was born in a global and growingly digital world and whose lives revolve around usefulness, nearness and adaptability. So it has become fundamental to focus on creating products that are “alive”, products that change and adapt to our consumer’s needs as well as to the new technology tendencies. We aim to anticipate our users’ wants, even before they realize they want it. To be responsive to those changes have kept the company on its feet, steadily growing and constantly creating and innovating towards readers.