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Axel Springer e-commerce portfolio proves profitable

29 March 2015 · By Shelley Seale

As one of the largest publishing houses in Europe, Axel Springer does not run its e-commerce strategy with major commodity risk. 

“It is not our core business,” says Maximilian v. Richthofen, senior investment manager. “The soul and spirit of Axel Springer is journalism. We serve our readers with independent and critical information and advice as well as entertainment.

“Through our media offerings, we are making a contribution to the strengthening of freedom and democracy. The prerequisite for this is our economic success. We are working every day to improve our journalistic, technological, and commercial competence.” 

In the second quarter of 2014, Axel Springer’s operating results continued the dynamic growth trend of the first three months, thanks largely to consistently strong growth in its digital activities. Consolidated revenues were up 6.2% year on year, and EBITDA up 10.6%. The group’s digital activities accounted for more than ...

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3 key elements to Mediahuis’ profitable e-commerce strategy

24 March 2015 · By Shelley Seale

The folks at Mediahuis use a very narrow definition of e-commerce in order to focus their efforts concisely: The sales of all non-news, content-related products through Web shops. This includes multi-media, tickets, travel, books, and jewelry, among other things.

“A few years ago, we saw that both circulation and advertising revenues were stagnating,” says Griet Ducatteeuw, director of consumer markets. “On the other hand, we had this great opportunity of reaching a big and commercially interesting audience. 

So we created Web shops per news brand to create new revenues [that were] non news-content related. This was important for our news company since we had no possibilities of cross- or up-selling with our media products. It made us explore new domains of sales to our audience.”

While clear that e-commerce is not their core business – commercialising news content is – Mediahuis considers it an interesting opportunity to create new revenues from readers and Web site surfers. It also provides an opportunity to strengthen the connections with ...

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Citywide marketing campaign promotes Hindu’s trustworthiness

23 March 2015 · By Lata Ganapathy

Over the last few years, advertisers, the media fraternity, and, most importantly, newspaper readers have been plagued by a series of claims and counter-claims by various news publications vying for the top slot.

Some of these claims are a blatant subversion of the truth, putting the media fraternity in a spot: They are no longer sure whether they are placing their bets on perception or on reality. 

At this juncture, The Hinduone of India’s most trusted English dailies – felt it was time to ...

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Ringier encourages Big Data experimentation at local company level

22 March 2015 · By Jeremy C. Fox

Editor’s note: This is one of 17 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Making Big Data Smarter For Media Companies,” released in December.  

Zurich-based media conglomerate Ringier AG has so many businesses operating in such a variety of markets that it does not have a single, over-arching data strategy, according to Michael Voss, the company’s chief operations officer. 

Some units within Ringier are already far along in collecting and implementing highly detailed user data, while others have collected the data but haven’t yet sorted out how to use it.

At a company-wide conference on data in April 2014, executives determined ...

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Savannah Morning News makes friends with coffee, biscuit deliveries

19 March 2015 · By Stacy Jennings

Who doesn’t think of the natural combination of “a cup of coffee and a newspaper?”   

At the Savannah Morning News, we were pretty sure the two went together like peas and carrots! So we decided to pair coffee and a newspaper with biscuits at local fast food restaurants, and deliver to our customers and supporters.

Our first effort was directed to advertising customers. We wrapped the newspaper in custom ribbon, imprinted with “Thanks for reading the Savannah Morning News!” and attached a bag of coffee from a local coffee purveyor.

We included a card that had some impressive research about how the newspaper reached audiences and how the reach increases when you add other products in our portfolio — digital, other print, or other types of media promotion, such as events or social media. 

Our advertising customers were happy to get a pot of coffee and it opened the door to several businesses we hadn’t been able to get in front of before!

Next, we turned our attention to local companies.   

The strategy changed a little for these larger groups. We take coffee, biscuits, and newspapers to ...

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Chicago Tribune generates digital revenue with local merchandise

18 March 2015 · By Shelley Seale

Launched in February 2013, Chicago Trib Shops is an e-commerce platform created to generate digital revenue. The online store sells collectibles, gifts, and memorabilia produced by the media company, along with specialised products from 20 to 25 other retailers in the Chicago area.

Keeping the merchandise local was the priority for the Tribune. “We wanted to maintain a strong local brand and help our local economy,” said Karrie Sullivan, digital marketing director. “We’re not saying we won’t expand, but during this first generation ...

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Digital subscriptions are key to O Globo’s Big Data strategy

16 March 2015 · By Jeremy C. Fox

Editor’s note: This is one of 17 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Making Big Data Smarter For Media Companies,” released in December.  

Digital subscriptions to O Globo, parent company Infoglobo’s most important brand, are the cornerstone of its Big Data strategy, says Marcello Moraes, CEO of Infoglobo

A year into this model, Infoglobo recognises that digital subscriptions remain a niche market, so its first task is identifying prospects that are already aware of O Globo and are “power users of news,” Moraes says. 

To do that, Infoglobo relies heavily on consumers who access its free products, encouraging frequent users to register with O Globo, then offering elements of the subscription product to registered users before offering a full subscription. 

To reach potential subscribers who are not frequent users of Infoglobo’s free properties but are avid news readers, the company uses Google ...

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New York Times sees return on investment from descriptive analysis initiative

09 March 2015 · By Jeremy C. Fox

As one of the premier news media companies, The New York Times has a unique set of challenges and opportunities for engaging its audience. It has embraced and monetised the possibilities that emerging data sources and systems have provided.

“We’ve been using data to enhance [the user] experience, marketing effectiveness, ad sales, all of those things for a very long time,” in both print and digital products, says Sonia Yamada, vice president for consumer insights at The New York Times. “We wouldn’t be doing all that if we weren’t getting a substantial return on our investment.”

Shane Murray, executive director of analytics within the consumer insight group, says The New York Times is deeply involved in descriptive analysis to give its product managers ...

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Johnston Press research shows small advertisers digitally behind consumers

06 March 2015 · By Chris Brake


Research unveiled by Johnston Press and BuzzBoard highlights a vast gulf between the way consumers engage with products and services online and on mobile and the information small- and medium-sized business provide on these channels.

While 66% of consumers use the Internet to discover information about goods and services, and 75% shop online, research shows a huge proportion of small businesses are restricting revenue by failing to maximise their full online potential, let alone accommodate the massive transition from online to mobile. 

With 30% of online orders for Black Friday and 22% of online orders on Cyber Monday made on a mobile device, the study shows that a staggering 71% of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the United Kingdom remain incapable of ...

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Aftonbladet maximises lifetime value of audience with user database

03 March 2015 · By Jeremy C. Fox

Editor’s note: This is one of 17 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Making Big Data Smarter For Media Companies,” released in December.   

Sweden’s Aftonbladet, mostly owned by Schibsted Media Group, with a 9% stake belonging to the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, has an ambitious set of aspirations for the company’s use of consumer data. 

Andreas Aspegren, online manager for Aftonbladet, says that “the overarching goal is to provide our visitors with a great user experience, with high relevance and discoverability on every visit/touchpoint.”

That philosophy embraces all elements of consumers’ online experience including ...

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About this blog

The Ideas Blog captures the practical discussions and case studies of news media company to grow revenue, audience, and brand. These case studies are written by INMA members for INMA members. Begun in December 2012, this content previously resided in Ideas Magazine; for an archive of past case studies, click here.


Blog editor

Dawn McMullan is the editor of the Ideas Blog and senior editor for INMA. If you are an INMA member and would like to contribute a case study, please contact Dawn directly by clicking here.


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