The results of this effort for HOY were the following:
An increase in its average single-copy circulation during the month of more than 70% year over year.
An increase of its subscription sales for the month of 15% (vs. the previous month) and a reduced “churn” rate to half of the average of the previous months.
An increase in the number of Facebook fans by 30% during the month (the average monthly increase is around 5%).
The mechanics of the five-week promotion included:
HOY created the communications campaign using its own media, as well as contracting spaces in other media.
WOO sourced the tablets from a factory in China and gave all the know-how and expertise of the promotion. WOO also managed the Web site and call centre for the reservations.
Almacenes Japón imported the tablets and sold them to the readers.
During the first week, a very strong multi-media marketing campaign reached over 350 gross rating points (GRPs) in newspaper, radio, TV, online, Facebook, Twitter, billboards, and below the line (BTL).
On Sunday and Monday of the second week, the newspaper distributed a coupon book with the newspaper, as well as with a special large free newspaper delivered directly to people in high transit areas (shopping malls, universities, schools, etc.).
With the coupon book, readers called to a call centre or registered online to reserve their tablet. The tablet was about 50% cheaper compared to similar products in the market. If a reader wanted to purchase the tablet at this special price, she/he had to call the call centre or enter online to make a reservation.
Every day during the last four weeks of the promotion, the newspaper printed a coupon that had to be collected by the readers. With the coupon book completed, readers bought their tablet at the retailer. The retailer reported an increase in traffic to their stores due to the promotion and the highest sell of electronic tablets in their history during a single month.
This type of promotion — coupon collection— has been widely used by newspapers in Europe, especially in Spain. Most Spanish newspapers have successfully sold everything from home theatres to silverware and fine china through this mechanism.
Last year, to my knowledge, was the first time this type of promotion was introduced to Latin America. Prior to our execution of the tablet promotion, Grupo República (Perú) and Periódicos Asociados (Colombia) also had very positive experiences with the WOO tablet.
The keys to a successful coupon type promotion are:
Major marketing campaign using all types of media.
A big retailer (many stores).
A supplier that has a direct interest in the success of the promotion.
A product that has a much higher perceived value than that at which it is offered.
Between, HOY, Almacenes Japón, and WOO we were able to get those four components right!
Álvaro Mantilla is president of Diario HOY, based in Quito, Ecuador. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.