Berlingske Media focuses on 6 user needs

By Amalie Nash


Denver, Colorado, United States


Continuing our discussion about the user needs model, Lars K. Jensen, team lead audience at Berlingske Media, told me the original model didn’t quite fit their media organisation, so they revised it.

“User needs aren’t inherently good or bad, but they can be good for looking at a number of things,” he said.

Berlingske, based in Copenhagen, has six needs:

  • Connect me.

  • Give me an edge.

  • Help me understand.

  • Inspire me.

  • Update me.

  • Entertain me.

By using user needs, they have learned:

  • Some needs and topic combinations are better than others when it comes to selling subscriptions.

  • The same goes for retention — and it’s not necessarily the same combos.

  • They are publishing more stories on those high-converting needs while increasing conversion per article — and producing fewer stories overall.

  • An increasing number of stories are being commissioned based on user needs.

  • It gives them a shared language, which is more about the users and less about the media company.

“This is where all the things start to come together for me,” Jensen said. “You can actually publish fewer articles and have a better performance.”

Jensen offered great advice for other considering user needs:

  • Start small and analyse first. Don’t try too much at once.

  • Get management’s buy-in and understand your colleagues.

  • Find a narrative and stick to it.

  • An example says more than a thousand words.

  • Create a shared language.

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate.

  • Think in structure. Constantly.

  • Change takes time, but standing still changes nothing. Hold on.

“You need to have a lot of patience,” he said. “These things take time. You are asking people to do things that are different every day.”

After implementing user needs, Jensen said editors-in-chief began to understand how user needs can be a central part of how they do journalism at Berlingske. He now sends a weekly e-mail on Thursday with analysis on user needs and paywall behaviour.

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About Amalie Nash

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