Why The Financial Times has increased marketing spending by nearly a third

By Aarthi Rayapura April 17, 2017

Excerpts from an article by Max Willens in DigiDay

The Financial Times is spending money to make money. In the past month, the Nikkei-owned financial news publisher has launched two separate marketing campaigns, one for a new weekend product that offers digital access plus a print copy of the FT’s Saturday edition, as well as a separate campaign, “Black and White,” it produced with the help of Essence Digital.

Those join “Facts, Truths,” and a fourth reader-focused campaign that it launched with several broadcast partners in the UK, as part of a global push across broadcast and digital. Overall, the FT’s marketing expenditures are up 28 percent on consumer-facing campaigns and 30 percent on B2B campaigns year over year, making this the highest amount spent on marketing in years (it declined to share a hard dollar figure).

The FT is spending big because the iron of opportunity is hot. But the FT’s also motivated by a realization that its journalism is what drives subscriptions, and so it should be out front helping to sell it, thanks to programmatic targeting of prospective subscribers. “Our marketing now looks to keep up with our journalism,” FT chief media officer Darcy Keller said. “Part of what’s driving the increased investment, is what we see as an opportunity around the news agenda.”

Keller knows pivotal news moments can compel readers to sign up for subscriptions. Over the weekend that Britain’s citizens voted to leave the EU, digital subscriptions grew 600 percent year over year. To date, subscriptions across print and digital now total over 850,000; digital subscriptions, year over year, are up 14 percent. Those subscriptions is absolutely vital to the FT, which earns 60 percent of its revenues from them.

Read the full article on DigiDay.

Learn how Zuora’s subscription management platform helps the FT with subscriber acquisition and retention! And read our post – The Financial Times and Paywall 2.0