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Online data can help print brands

News, 10 March 2016

NEW YORK: Print media brands can draw on digital insights to enhance their strategy both offline and online, a theory shown in practice by 1843, a publication being launched by The Economist Group.

Nick Blunden, The Economist Group's Global Managing Director/Client Strategy, told Warc the decision to rebrand its existing Intelligent Life magazine as 1843 and extend its physical availability into North America and Asia primarily drew on online data.

"As I started to look at it, it became clear to me that although we were only publishing Intelligent Life in Europe, online the audience for it was extremely international," he said. (For more, including further details about the magazine's strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: 1843: How digital insights helped launch a print-media brand.)

"More people visiting the Intelligent Life website came from outside of Europe than inside of Europe. So that alerted us to the fact there was a big global audience for the culture and lifestyle and ideas content that The Economist Group was producing."

As indicated by this fact, the learnings gleaned from digital readers can actively inform print output if utilised in the correct way.

"The great thing about digital is it gives you an extraordinary amount of data. And that data isn't just applicable to digital; it's actually about reader behaviour," said Blunden.

And while publishers are often ambivalent regarding the impact of new media, The Economist Group's high-end audience still typically places a high value on print as part of the media mix.

"There are a large number of people saying, 'Sometimes print is the right medium for me. Sometimes it's online; sometimes it's an app,'" Blunden asserted.

"What we're committed to doing more broadly as The Economist Group, but also with 1843, is making our wonderful journalism available on as many platforms as we can where people actually want to consume it."

Data sourced from Warc