Simon Kucher & Partners with The Economist

The news media industry is facing unprecedented change and disruption. Despite these headwinds, we helped The Economist define a commercial strategy that delivers long- term sustainable revenue (and profit) growth. How? It all starts with the consumer…

Simon-Kucher & Partners were the trusted experts chosen by The Economist in 2018 thanks to successful cooperation four years earlier. The news media industry had since undergone significant changes and our team was on hand to navigate the increasingly challenging news media landscape and develop a strategy for sustainable profit growth.

What do readers value in a world where news is increasingly commoditised? What are they willing to pay? These difficult questions regarding The Economist’s relevance and value proposition deserved clear, evidence-based answers beyond speculation and theory. What was required was an actionable five-year commercial plan with detailed recommendations on product and pricing at a local market, consumer segment, and product level. The Economist needed a winning strategy that would convince their entire business.

Our approach started with the most important angle: the consumer perspective. We combined our in-depth consumer research expertise with sophisticated consumer analytics, building a powerful predictive engine to simulate how readers would react over time to changes in The Economist offering. This consumer-centric approach enabled us to derive accurate assumptions on how consumers would react to potential propositional changes, and even more crucially, gain a concrete view as to what influences their behaviour.

We quantified and prioritised alternative commercial routes, providing hard numbers and forecasts to facilitate decision-making amongst senior management. Importantly, we helped the senior decision-makers to quantify and navigate the inherent trade-offs between circulation and revenue from alternative commercial strategies. This in turn formed the core of the five year commercial plan.

Fundamentally, we were able to convince The Economist team of our recommendations by responding to complicated commercial questions with hard data. We framed trade-offs in numbers and boiled complex decisions down to quantifiable alternatives. We were able to successfully align the whole organisation around a common plan by breaking down myths and replacing long held industry anecdotes about consumers with real and tangible facts.

The outcome? The Economist now have a clear path to incremental revenue growth, already underway and supported by a fully aligned and bought-in management team.

View the Simon-Kucher & Partners company profile in the MCA Members Directory.