In 2018 The Economist embarked on the most ambitious marketing investment plan in its history, which resulted in greater brand awareness among its target audience, the acquisition of new subscribers and strong profitable growth.
Measures taken included an overhaul of existing digital products, such as the launch of an Economist app, to encourage readers to turn a weekly reading habit into a daily one. In addition to the weekly print edition, the app serves a daily selection of articles from the brand’s print and digital output, including news updates, blog posts and articles from lifestyle magazine 1843. The Economist also grew its video audience, in particular on YouTube, while also embracing Instagram Stories.
The editorial team also launched the ‘Open Future’ initiative in April 2018 to make the case for classical values of freedom, a distrust of powerful interests and a respect for individual rights. ‘Open Future’ covers five themes, including the future of capitalism, free speech, diversity, identity politics and political correctness, immigration and balancing technology and innovation with regulation. A multi-platform approach,’Open Future’ spans print, web, social-media, podcasts, films and live events, alongside essay/films and contests.
The brand also renewed successful partnerships with key global and integrated accounts including Standard Chartered, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Gilead, and also forged collaborations with Brightline, Google Android and Herbert Smith Freehills.
How Politico Conquered Europe
It is not news to anyone that the publishing industry has faced unprecedented disruption in recent years. The Economist has not reacted to this trend, but rather has proactively changed the way it does business to succeed in the new publishing market. In 2018 the newspaper reaped the rewards of this hard work. By relentlessly focusing on the reader, whilst producing creative solutions for clients, we have seen our highest paid circulation and overall revenue since our inception. If there was an ideal year to reach this milestone, it was 2018 when we marked our 175th anniversary.
Our editorial team marked our 175th year by launching a new initiative called Open Future, a six-month programme of online and offline conversation and debate to remake the case for liberal values and policies in the 21st century in the face of growing populism and authoritarianism. The initiative was the latest iteration of the mission of our founder, James Wilson, when he launched The Economist in 1843: “to take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.” We were overwhelmed by Open Future’s positive reaction from our audience. One follower said: “I would not expect any other news organisation to have the gumption to produce content like this.”
Through its bold, world-class editorial and successful reader-centric business strategy, The Economist is a top-contender for the British Media Awards’ 2018 International Media Brand of the Year.