Strategy

The strategy was purely data-driven to create relevant and timely messages. This included identifying key media opportunities that would target optimum times of day in which the typical FT reader would be engaged. A cross-channel messaging and media plan was crafted to ensure that these readers would be exposed to messages at key points of their day, such as their daily commute or lunch-time, on various tablet, mobile and desktop platforms they may be using.

We took a deep dive into various research data sources, including third-party insight from GWi and TGI as well as pixels on the FT site, and first-party FT data, to gain a full perspective of the audience profile. A detailed understanding of the different specifications of each market, each medium and each channel was necessary to truly tailor messages, encourage engagement, and drive conversions. And since our data showed that our target audience consumption habits focused on video, mobile and tablet during out-of-office hours, we delivered specific executions using these elements to help further tailor the campaign.

A two-sequence data strategy was delivered between two complementary FT initiatives to ensure both the upper and mid-sections of the sales funnel were being thoroughly fed with quality leads to maximise conversion results. Initiatives included:

  • Audience development (upper funnel, younger markets, product education)
  • Acquisition (mid-funnel, all markets, benefit-led)

Execution

The creative idea was to design the ideal avatar to represent the personification of a typical FT reader - one that the target audience would relate to. The goal was to create an entity that would invoke emotions in the target audience and help them to feel as though the FT is a reliable source that keeps them informed in the manner in which they’d like to be informed. Time, location, preferred reading habits; the FT delivers the latest international business, finance, economic, and political news and analysis in a format that suits the target audience.

A combination of over 10 different media channels were utilised. Bearing in mind that our audience favoured video as a media channel, rich media banners, pre-roll and interactive media were implemented. Mobile and tablet optimised banners and tablet rich media ads were also included in the roll-out as well as paid social and digital out of home (OOH) executions to reinforce the campaign on a wider scale.

 

All media elements were strategically aligned to create a holistic campaign experience across a number of markets globally. Integrated marketing communications were delivered across the UK, 11 US cities and three key APAC countries. All of this was accomplished by using 15 local partners and reaching hundreds more through programmatic.

OOH placements on the London Underground were strategically positioned to reach our demographic around London’s business and financial centres (Bank, Liverpool Street, Canary Wharf, Moorgate, and London Bridge).
 


A partnership was formed with key websites to obtain the best integration for home-page takeovers and implement the most innovative formats that had never been delivered by various publishers before.

To maintain a relevant and timely message delivery through the numerous executions, a sophisticated, sequential re-messaging strategy was implemented using tailored offers across all creative formats (standard banners, rich media banners, video, and mobile). Cross-device providers were also employed to re-message users from desktop to mobile.

Results

Results show that the original set objective to increase the FT’s product consideration and awareness to grow readership was achieved.

Engagement:

  • Search queries for "The Financial Times" and related brand terms increased 260% net response rate in the UK. The click to conversion rate increased 22% comparing pre- and post-launch
  • We reached 11.8M unique users globally (across 5 countries) at an average estimated frequency of 8+


Brand/Business:

  • Subscriptions in the UK increased by 20% over the campaign period, compared to the 5 previous weeks (from 18% growth in the 5 weeks preceding the campaign to 38% growth during the campaign)
  • Global subscription volumes spiked during the campaign period with a +18% YOY increase for the period

 

The “firsts”:

  • First global demand generation campaign for FT
  • First use of OOH “Domination” formats for FT
  • First use of interactive pre-roll for FT
  • First use of mobile rich media for FT
  • The most sophisticated full page ad that the Economist had ever run on their iPad app