The Economist Addresses the Economy
Sent to national magazine lists, for all types of publications from Scientific American to Mother Jones, Press says it's hard to nail down his readership via typical demographics. "One of the challenges as a direct marketer is that you can't just buy a list and find The Economist customer, because the customer who's going to read us and the customer who's never going to pick us up may have the identical demographic profile. What makes a reader a reader is this need to be intellectually stimulated because they're curious about the world, and some people just aren't like that," he says. To better understand its audience, Press says The Economist invests in a lot of modeling.
Press is not certain he will send this package out again next year. "If the results don't pan out then we'll probably do something different than this package," he states. One thing is certain, Press has no plans to pull back on his direct mail efforts during the downturn. "Perhaps this gives us an opportunity, because if everyone else is cutting their marketing spend and we're not, we'll have a bigger footprint in the marketplace," he notes.
Focus Efforts on a Specific Market
"Direct mail is a very, very important part of what we do, but we're constantly trying to find new segments and channels and ... we use absolutely every channel you can imagine," shares Alan Press, SVP of marketing for the Americas for The Economist. With direct marketing, circulation, branding and advertising strategies all in play, Press says his organization tends to integrate those efforts through city-specific campaigns. "We often will have brand campaigns in several cities ... and what we try and do is join up our circulation efforts with our brand efforts and our ad marketing team, so we can all swoop in and focus on a specific market and leverage the opportunity that's there," he describes.