The Economist, the international affairs magazine, recently established a market for subscriptions in India through a unique SMS marketing campaign. The tiny share of The Economist in India’s news media marketplace drove the magazine’s utilization of a miniaturized mobile news update.
Every day at 11 a.m. the magazine would issue a free summary of headline news and accompanying links to a new mobile updates channel. The snippets of interesting stories brought mobile readers to the newsstand, bringing sales up by 15%. Over the course of the year, The Economist increased circulation in India by 39% and subscriptions by 26%. Campaign India reports,
Create awareness, find the needles in a huge haystack – and there is still another issue that needs to be dealt with. “When we started marketing in India ,” says Guha Thakurta, “we realized that one of the biggest problems we faced was our price. People who had not sampled our product found the price to be a barrier to trials. At the same time, we also found out that our single most effective source of subscriptions was through www.economist.com. What this told us was that people who had sampled our content online were most likely to subscribe to the newspaper. Hence, a lot of our subscription effort was driven to get people to sample and in generating trials.