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Executive Summary

FT Strategies partnered with a leading European news brand, to achieve 500,000 digital subscribers by helping to halve their churn rate and double the size of their B2B business.

Situation

A leading european media group approached FT Strategies in early 2021 with a challenge - to build upon the solid foundations its main news title had developed in over 300k paying readers and reach 400k digital subscribers by the end of the year.

Through two intensive project engagements, in collaboration with FT Strategies, the client over-delivered on its goal - and now boasts over half a million digital subscribers.

Engagement

Initial discussions with the client revealed that the brand, like many news publishers, had experienced significant growth in digital subscriptions during the Coronavirus pandemic. As such, we agreed that the strategic imperative now was to build an engagement-first organisation that thrives at understanding, engaging and retaining its subscribers.

Based on this brief, FT Strategies delivered an intensive 8 week engagement with the following outputs:

  • A performance diagnostic and playbook with best practices around engagement and retention
  • A revamped customer engagement programme and experimentation roadmap
  • Design of critical data and analytic capabilities
  • North Star Strategy and keys to expand to overall subs strategy
  • Involuntary churn key opportunities for immediate retention improvements
  • Robust experimentation and implementation approach

To extend this work FT Strategies collaborated again with the news publisher on an even larger scale - at the beginning of 2022 with the objectives of:

  1. Implementing the Retention North Star - establishing the governance structure, refining the 12 month roadmap and actively supporting Corriere experimentation efforts.
  2. Accelerating B2B growth - performing a health check of B2B performance and providing the fundamentals required to scale your B2B operation at pace.
  3. Developing and deploying a propensity to churn model - leveraging our in-house data scientists and developers to setup, test and activate a propensity to churn model.

"What I'm seeing from the Missions teams is that people are forced to think and work better together and this is going to be powerful to help us work"

Head of Digital Subscriptions

Results

This year the client announced it had achieved a 200k net increase in paying reads since the collaboration with FT Strategies. This growth (over 30% YOY) was driven by the publisher halving their churn rate and doubling the size of their B2B business - both objectives of our original partnership.

A key success factor from the engagement was the efficacy of the Propensity to Churn data science model built in partnership with the FT Strategies data science team during the second phase of the project. The customer model - developed and deployed within a two month period has been proven to outperform comparable churn prevention models from market leading software vendors - and led to a significant improvement in the client’s churn rate.


Alongside growth in their subscriptions, the client also saw a record audience of ~30m average unique users per month on the site and a significant increase in their social following (Instagram alone recording a +34% rise).

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FT Strategies brand symbol
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