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Bonnier News growing subscribers through cross-sell opportunities

Cross sell forced everybody to see the potential and power in collaborating

The challenge

Bonnier Group is a privately held Swedish media group of 175 companies operating across 15 countries. Google News Initiative partnered with Bonnier News and a selection of its daughter brands - Expressen Dagens industri, Dagens Nyheter, Lifestylegroup and Bonnier News Local to create a cross-sell initiative that has successfully proven to increase their digital revenue and subscriptions by 55,000 during the 10 month project duration. Bonnier News as a whole always assigned individual-based targets to its brands, and used its own platforms, and external marketing platforms when developing their subscription revenue.

This ultimately caused a disconnect between the internal sister brands, and limited the subscription growth which they had right on their doorstep. We now know from the project results that the brands within the Bonnier News have a significant audience overlap in interests, meaning a great opportunity to introduce readers to other subscriptions all under one roof. Google News Initiative partnered with Bonnier News and offered support via their Google Cloud Platform (GCP) infrastructure and in particular accessing their data lake via BigQuery. The data landscape at the beginning of the cross-sell project was diverse, but in order for Bonnier’s efforts with predictive models to scale and become truly portable among many of their brands, they needed a standardized way of programmatically accessing data for user behavior, campaign outcomes, and ad interactions.

Running queries programmatically against BigQuery was a key part in achieving automation and scaling across brands. Integrating towards Datastudio and connecting Datastudio with BigQuery also allowed Bonnier to follow up on campaigns and on how well their predictive models performed in near real time. This in turn enabled quick feedback loops and was a key success factor for the project. Google Ad Manager was already a key marketing tool implemented across all Bonnier News brands before the cross-sell project. It allowed upselling of existing subscribers using the BigQuery predictive models, while leading to an increased the amount of subscriptions per subscriber and Average revenue per user (ARPU). A cross-functional culture was also created between employees, and was developed by taking an direct agile war room approach whereby multiple teams held a meeting together in one space. After each meeting, information was gathered to form a

“At Bonnier News we have never before worked within a crosssell framework, we have always had individual brand-based KPI’s, and used external marketing platforms instead of working together. This cross sell project forced everybody within the teams to see the potential and power in collaborating.”
Dilem Guler
Head of Business Development, Bonnier News
  • 52% increase in customers who have 2 or more subscriptions within Bonnier News
  • 55,000 new subscriptions using 30 cross-sales initiatives across 16 sales channels
  • 76% increase in customer overlap between subscriber base

The results

As a result, Cross sell forced everybody to see the potential and power in collaborating. Bonnier News were able to increase the customer overlap between the brands by an average of 76%, which in turn increased the number of customers who have 2 or more subscriptions by 52%. This was done by creating a new industry culture of collaboration within the teams that fall under the Bonnier News umbrella, as well as technical tools to enable that e.g. an article written for Dagens Industri was repurposed and shared on Dagens Nyheter is a good example of when content was shared cross brands. The innovative approach enabled Bonnier News teams to effectively communicate and gain a holistic view on their subscription revenue and enable everyday tasks to be combined with effective cross-team collaboration e.g. initiating communication between brands and sharing content to drive new subscriptions.

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