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Business And Maritime West AfricaDisseminating West Africa Maritime News For The Widest Reach Online

Business And Maritime West Africa is a bi-monthly maritime news magazine publication by Kotzmatz Media Konsults Limited, based in Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria.

With referral and recommendation from one of Icelark's very satisfied client, within the same online publications industry, BMWA approached Icelark with the full confidence that it would replicate, if not surpass, their previous successes in creating an online news publications platforms for other outfits.

BMWA directive to Icelark was straightforward: replicate the online news publication experiences it created for a few other clients for their traditional monthly paper-based magazine publication.

Establishing The Project Objectives To Address The Critical Challenge

Icelark then set up a series of meetings to establish and articulate the definitive projects objectives:

To build an online news publication website that would expand the reach of their readership to well beyond the usual distribution reach of the print publication.

The solution will also need to be easy to manage, secure, performance-enhanced and that their target audience would love.

With an increasing readers preference for digital means of getting news for free, instead of the traditional print media for fee, BMWA recognized the critical need to adapt to the changing tide as the waves of digital disruption sweeps into the news publication industry's shores (pun intended).

As is usual when the digital revolution comes calling to an industry, it's do or die for the industry's players. BMWA and the news industry were in that dire position.

Identifying The Main Target Audiences

With an already clearly defined primary target audience, gaining customer insights for the proposed digital experience for BMWA was straightforward: BMWA knew their primary target audience up close. So Icelark leveraged this knowledge, in addition to the result of their own research activity, to make key decisions concerning this audience for the intended digital experience.

Essentially, BMWA had two primary target audience: readers with maritime news and information interests, and advertisers with interest in reaching this readers class. The new digital platform would cater for this two diverse groups.

In addition, it will also need to cater for the experiences of the internal users of the system: authors, editors and webnasters.

Creating Experiences For The Primary Target Users

After gaining insights from primary and secondary customer, competitor and industry research activities, Icelark created a customer journey map suited to the readership audience. Being a news outfit with many reporters and strict editorial practices and workflow, authoring and editorial experiences were also critically addressed.

So Icelark identified four user classes that would need to be catered for by the platform: the primary readers audience, advertisers content author and editors. Three of these would have active roles within the platform: readers, authors and editors. While the fourth would be passive: advertisers.

The defined roles entailed two types of UI and UX: one for the public readership and another for the back-end author and editor experiences.


Project Requirements Informed The Digital Strategy

Identifying and documenting the needs, expectations and preferences of these user groups informed the creation of the definite digital experience strategy for the project. Combining these with BMWA's already established traditional content formats, branding, authoring and editorial processes guided the creation of the content strategy, content management requirements, information architecture, content models, functionalities, messaging and design considerations.

With a formalized digital strategy plan now in place, the project was implemented and launched hitch free, on time and on budget.

The Result

With the massive decline in offline paper readership and the need to expand beyond the limited reach of traditional print media now an established trend within the news industry, the BMWA's digital platform has grown to become central to their corporate operations and existence.

The paper-based editions of the now bi-monthly magazine has become more or less complementary to the digital experience platform.

What Next?

In recognition of the next digital trends threatening industry after industry, including the news publications industry, BMWA's next agenda is to go native mobile. With Icelark as a partner that future is assured.

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