Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bonnier's series of buyers guide apps a roadmap to what B2B media companies should be doing on mobile, tablets

They are not pretty, not very complex, fairly easy to produce, and are much appreciated by their advertisers -- they are buyers guide apps produced by Bonnier's divisions that exploit industry data already in-house. They are, in short, what so many B2B media companies could produce if they rethought their traditional print buyers guides products.
The app seen here, Transworld Wakeboarding 2011 Boat Buyers Guide, is but one of several buyers guide apps now in the iTunes App Store. These apps are free, universal apps -- very appropriate, in the case, for the iPhone (seen here on an iPad).

These apps are fairly minimal in design, with only a portrait mode (which makes sense since these apps designed to also work on the iPhone).

In fact, with the exception of some design work that is built into the product finder mechanism, these apps could almost be built with some of the built-it-yourself services now appearing online.
What makes these apps perfect for B2B companies, though, is that if you search inside the App App Store you will find more apps just like the one seen here. This app contains information on a number of company's products, including Tigé, Malibu, Axis and MasterCraft -- and if you look in the App Store you will find that there are apps for Tigé, Malibu, Axis and MasterCraft, all built by Bonnier.

Whether these branded apps were sold to the manufacturers as separate buys, bundled with the annual commitments, or even given away as added-value, this represents a service that differentiates Bonnier-the-publisher from the competition. For these brands, these apps represent the first time they have appeared on a smartphone or tablet with their own app. It is smart business on the part of Bonnier, and something that I assume a B2B like Penton Media is considering for themselves.