OLD Media Moves

The Economist uses marketing to boost subscriptions

September 3, 2009

Jason Fell of Folio interviewed Alan Press, who is senior vice president of The Economist, about its recent subscription gains.

Here is an excerpt:

FOLIO: The Economist is having a record year, at least in terms of circulation growth and profit. What do you attribute all of this growth to?

The Economist’s success starts with the editorial product. The unique value of The Economist is its truly global perspective and the depth of its analysis, which readers can find nowhere else. Economist readers are intelligent, intellectually curious, and, in a rapidly changing world, they want information that is current across as broad an array of subjects as possible.

Another key reason for our success is that we continue to invest in marketing, even in the downturn.  Because we are a premium product — the average price for an annual subscription is more than $100 — we have a very different business model than most magazine publishers. Our circulation business is profitable and that allows us to invest in brand building and customer acquisition efforts even when the advertising market is challenging. For example, we began a series of integrated marketing campaigns targeting major metropolitan areas in 2006. We’ll target three more major cities this year — investing in outdoor, radio, online, print and other forms of marketing to build the brand and grow our readership.

Read more here.

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