Boston Globe
Discovering and optimizing a value proposition
Peter Doucette
Executive Director of Circulation
Sales & Marke...
Session Speaker
Peter Doucette
Executive Director of Circulation, Sales & Marketing
The Boston Globe
Peter Doucette is res...
Session Speaker
Pamela Markey
Director of Marketing & Brand Strategy
MECLABS
Pamela Markey builds strategic partnerships, ...
The Boston Globe is the leading daily news source for Greater
Boston, featuring premium content that is delivered where,
w...
The Market
• 7th largest DMA in the country with
more than 6 million people and 2.4
million households
• Media household i...
Boston is a top newspaper market
Boston DMA has the highest composition (73%) of newspaper media readership among the ten ...
The Boston Globe (abbreviated) Timeline
Two Brands
1872

The Boston Globe
Newspaper
founded

>>>>

1996

>>>>

Boston.com ...
BostonGlobe.com Audience Created an
Opportunity for Testing

51%

of BostonGlobe.com users
do not use Boston.com

591,000
...
Globe Subscriber Trends

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013E
Our Approach

1 Create a new digital subscription
business with a distinct value
proposition for our target audience

2 Te...
Radical Business
Model Redesign

1 Establish your ‘WHY’
2 Determine your market opportunity
3 Distill your Value Propositi...
Why an emphasis on testing?

OPTIMIZATION: an act, process or
methodology of making something (as a
design, system or deci...
Why an emphasis on testing?

OPTIMIZATION: an act, process or
methodology of making something (as a
design, system or deci...
Testing Comparison: Difference between audiences

vs.

DIGITAL ACCESS

CATEGORY

HOME DELIVERY

Product Life Stage

Mature...
Types of Testing and Benefits

Highest Impact

Types of Testing

Benefits

Drawbacks

Sequential

Doesn’t require addition...
Customer Lifecycle Stages
[POTENTIAL] PROSPECTS

Attract

PROSPECTS

Engage

NEW CUSTOMERS

Convert

HIGH VALUE CUSTOMERS
...
Testing Lifecycle
Measure

Repeat

TESTING
Analyze
Optimize

Test
Driving Customer Adoption and Retention
• Marketing/PR
• Market-wide campaigns

Awareness

• Free Trials
• Sampling progra...
Test all Aspects of the Customer Experience
What to Test
• Asset converting the most
subscriptions
• The checkout process
...
Quick Tips for Testing
Just start somewhere

The first test shouldn’t be the most complex test.
Rather, start small, see t...
We Test Across All Subscription Products
The Boston Globe / MEC Digital Test Plan (Digital Access)
Tests 2013

Timing
Timi...
1 Test Big

2 Test Small
3 Challenge Assumptions (it’s okay to fail)
4 Apply Your Learnings for Gains
1 Test Big

2 Test Small
3 Challenge Assumptions (it’s okay to fail)
4 Apply Your Learnings for Gains
Test 1: Digital Access Price Testing
Prices tested:
• $0.99/week
• $1.99/week
• $2.99/week
• $4.99/week
• Initial conversi...
Test 1: Digital Access Price Testing
Test 1: Digital Access Price Testing
Treatment 1

Treatment 2

Treatment 3

Treatment 4
Test 1: Results
36% increase in Digital Access Subscriptions
The $0.99 price point drove 36% more conversions than the con...
1 Test Big

2 Test Small
3 Challenge Assumptions (it’s okay to fail)
4 Apply Your Learnings for Gains
Test 2: Header Link Sequential Test
Test 2: Header Link Sequential Test
Test 2: Results
45% increase in conversions with header link
The addition of the link in the header led to 45% more subscr...
1 Test Big

2 Test Small
3 Challenge Assumptions (it’s okay to fail)
4 Apply Your Learnings for Gains
Test 3: Digital Access Accordion Checkout
Test 3: Digital Access Accordion Checkout

ASSUMPTION
An accordion checkout
was successful for
Test 3: Digital Access Accordion Checkout
Test 3: Results
35% decrease in conversions with accordion
The application of the accordion checkout process decreased con...
“

That everything we’ve done has been
successful is not reality. Some things
did not meet our expectations.

“

learn eve...
Testing, Not Best Practices
“Unfortunately most people who
arrive on that page will never
see it, because it’s well below
...
Testing, Not Best Practices
“Unfortunately most people who
arrive on that page will never
see it, because it’s well below
...
Testing, Not Best Practices
“Unfortunately most people who
arrive on that page will never
see it, because it’s well below
...
Testing, Not Best Practices
“Unfortunately most people who
arrive on that page will never
see it, because it’s well below
...
1 Test Big

2 Test Small
3 Challenge Assumptions (it’s okay to fail)
4 Apply Your Learnings for Gains
Test 4: Home Delivery Multi Step Checkout
Test 4: Home Delivery Multi Step Checkout
Test 4: Home Delivery Multi Step Checkout
Test 4: Results
17% increase in conversions with multi step
The expanded multi-step checkout resulted in 17% more subscrip...
So what?
Testing Results to-date: Digital Access
DIGITAL ACCESS

• Total Results: $572,026
• Incremental Subs: 3,914
• LTV: $140

T...
Testing Results to-date: Home Delivery
HOME DELIVERY
• Total Results: $3,067,588
• Incremental Subs: 4,541
• LTV: $675.53
...
Turn experimentation into
transformation
Shifting the Culture
• Customer Service Center: Knocking down walls
• Putting up visual queues to communicate and reinforc...
Shifting the Trajectory
• No longer managing the decline
• When you don’t have the answers, you can
experiment and find th...
Transforming the organization (and media)
Implement the right tools
• Empower the business owners to become experienced te...
Content Optimization
By having real-time and forecasted information about what content to place
where on the homepage, vis...
Headline Testing results – sample headline tests

+102%
+26%
+60%
+46%
+117%

A. President Obama a skeet shooter?
B. White...
Testing and optimization at the Boston Globe
2010
Testing and optimization at the Boston Globe
2010

TODAY
Results
Globe Subscriber Trends

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013E
Globe Subscriber Trends

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013E
Thank You
Peter Doucette
Executive Director of
Circulation, Sales & Marketing
peter.doucette@globe.com

Pamela Markey
Seni...
Boston Globe
Discovering and optimizing a value proposition
Peter Doucette
Executive Director of Circulation
Sales & Marke...
RGB color codes for reference
R2
G4
B6

R5
G 12
B 21

R9
G 22
B 37

R 16
G 37
B 63

R 23
G 55
B 94

R 28 R 31 R 38 R 46 R ...
Boston Globe Optimization Summit 2013
Boston Globe Optimization Summit 2013
Boston Globe Optimization Summit 2013
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Boston Globe Optimization Summit 2013

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Transcript of "Boston Globe Optimization Summit 2013"

  1. 1. Boston Globe Discovering and optimizing a value proposition Peter Doucette Executive Director of Circulation Sales & Marketing The Boston Globe Pamela Markey Director of Marketing MECLABS
  2. 2. Session Speaker Peter Doucette Executive Director of Circulation, Sales & Marketing The Boston Globe Peter Doucette is responsible for all consumer-facing aspects of circulation and audience development for both print and digital subscribers, consumer strategy, CRM, customer service, and customer loyalty. Doucette joined The Boston Globe in 2007 and has served in a number of roles in the circulation department. Prior to his present role, he was director of circulation marketing, where he was an architect for the premium-focused circulation strategy, a critical component in the financial turnaround of The Boston Globe in 2009. Prior to that, Doucette was the director of home delivery and single copy circulation, where he was responsible for growing revenue for the Globe's home delivery business, maximizing newsstand sales and profitability, and increasing customer satisfaction and engagement. 2
  3. 3. Session Speaker Pamela Markey Director of Marketing & Brand Strategy MECLABS Pamela Markey builds strategic partnerships, plans promotional initiatives, and is responsible for both Primary and Applied Research communication- and marketing-related activities. If it impacts a MECLABS brand, it goes through her. Before joining the team in June 2009, Markey worked for seven years as a wireless marketing manager at Bell Canada, during which time she managed campaigns for the Solo Mobile and Bell Mobility brands. Her work has been recognized at Cannes, the CLIOs, and the Canadian Marketing Awards among others. Markey started her career in marketing at Microsoft while completing her Bachelor of Commerce degree at Dalhousie University. 3
  4. 4. The Boston Globe is the leading daily news source for Greater Boston, featuring premium content that is delivered where, when, and how you want it. With by far the largest newsroom in the region, we provide more news, analysis, and information about community events, sports and entertainment than any other source. We connect to readers by being insightful, thought-provoking, and relevant.
  5. 5. The Market • 7th largest DMA in the country with more than 6 million people and 2.4 million households • Media household income 34% higher than the national average • #1 online newspaper readership among US markets • #4 Sunday/Daily newspaper readership among top US markets • More than $5.6 billion advertising spending Source: 2012 Scarborough Research, Release 1, Multi-Market, Tactician Compass Marketing, Borrell Associates; includes national and local advertising spending in Greater Boston for 2012
  6. 6. Boston is a top newspaper market Boston DMA has the highest composition (73%) of newspaper media readership among the ten largest DMAs in the county. The Boston DMA ranks first for e-edition readership, fourth for print newspaper readership and first for newspaper website usage. Newspaper E-Edition % Composition: Newspaper Media readership Newspaper Print 80 Newspaper Website Newspaper Print + Digital 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 US Average Boston Philly New York D.C. E-Edition & Print: Dly/Sun Avg Issue Website: 30 day Source: 2012 Scarborough Research Rel 2, Multi Market Chicago San Fran LA Atlanta Dallas Houston
  7. 7. The Boston Globe (abbreviated) Timeline Two Brands 1872 The Boston Globe Newspaper founded >>>> 1996 >>>> Boston.com site launched 2011 BostonGlobe.com launched 2012
  8. 8. BostonGlobe.com Audience Created an Opportunity for Testing 51% of BostonGlobe.com users do not use Boston.com 591,000 5,701,000 BostonGlobe.com only Boston.com only 562,000 Shared
  9. 9. Globe Subscriber Trends 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013E
  10. 10. Our Approach 1 Create a new digital subscription business with a distinct value proposition for our target audience 2 Test and optimize all product and marketing efforts to scale this new business
  11. 11. Radical Business Model Redesign 1 Establish your ‘WHY’ 2 Determine your market opportunity 3 Distill your Value Proposition 4 Prep to test your Value Proposition
  12. 12. Why an emphasis on testing? OPTIMIZATION: an act, process or methodology of making something (as a design, system or decision) as fully perfect, functional or effective as possible.
  13. 13. Why an emphasis on testing? OPTIMIZATION: an act, process or methodology of making something (as a design, system or decision) as fully perfect, functional or effective as possible. APPLICATION: There is always an opportunity to make your site even more effective at driving subscriptions and incremental revenue.
  14. 14. Testing Comparison: Difference between audiences vs. DIGITAL ACCESS CATEGORY HOME DELIVERY Product Life Stage Mature Nascent Audience Residence/Location In Market/ Print delivery footprint In and Out of Market (indifferent) Audience Digital Awareness Low Less digitally savvy High Digital-centric Emphasis (Print vs. Digital) Print 1ary, Digital 2ary Digital 1ary, Print 2ary Testing Focus Landing Page Checkout Marketing assets Landing Page Checkout BG IT Resources Required Low (MECLABS hosted) 17 High (Top of funnel, Bcom summary testing)
  15. 15. Types of Testing and Benefits Highest Impact Types of Testing Benefits Drawbacks Sequential Doesn’t require additional testing tools Not truly “scientific” Difficult to factor out external variables Eliminates external variables and isolates the changing elements Testing just 1 element at a time (definition of A/B testing) Radical Design Allows big impact change to happen quickly and avoid testing at the margins If test does not outperform control, may need to start back at the beginning Multivariate Tests multiple elements of a design at once Can be a “test at the margins” Can take longer for a test to validate with so many variables (Time series) A/B Testing Overall A/B Testing
  16. 16. Customer Lifecycle Stages [POTENTIAL] PROSPECTS Attract PROSPECTS Engage NEW CUSTOMERS Convert HIGH VALUE CUSTOMERS Grow (CLV) AT RISK CUSTOMERS Retain FORMER CUSTOMERS Win-back
  17. 17. Testing Lifecycle Measure Repeat TESTING Analyze Optimize Test
  18. 18. Driving Customer Adoption and Retention • Marketing/PR • Market-wide campaigns Awareness • Free Trials • Sampling programs Experience • Direct-to-consumer • Online ads Solicitation Conversion • Optimize ecommerce • Introductory offers Loyalty • Nurture • Engagement • Benefits program
  19. 19. Test all Aspects of the Customer Experience What to Test • Asset converting the most subscriptions • The checkout process • Price • Incentive pricing • Value Proposition • Email / Push communication • Offers through Social Channels • Nurture
  20. 20. Quick Tips for Testing Just start somewhere The first test shouldn’t be the most complex test. Rather, start small, see the potential impact Build momentum within the organization Try to get some “quick wins” to help people see the value of testing Show the monetary impact of the tests Speaks volumes about potential of future tests Seeing the revenue reveals all of the potential revenue left on the table by not testing Invest in a low cost tool with big impact Optimizely, Google Web Optimizer, Visual Website Optimizer
  21. 21. We Test Across All Subscription Products The Boston Globe / MEC Digital Test Plan (Digital Access) Tests 2013 Timing Timing Test Overview Test Overview Testing Type Test # Test Name Technical Details Q1 Q2 Q3 Which elements Where hosted? required? Thank You Simple Page Check Out Multi-Step Check out 1A Adjust Discount Percentage 1B Length of Term 2 Value Proposition - Display Value of product in different ways 3 Product tour 4 Digital Access Incentive 1 Landing Page Layout Long copy vs short copy for all keywords 2 Landing Page Layout Different pages depending on Keywords 1 Different phrases or buttons 2 Conversion Funnel 4 Checkout Process Follow up from test #3 Conversion Funnel MECLABS Checkout Process Follow up from test #4 Conversion Funnel Presentation of Pricing (Landing Page) Email Boston Globe 1B Presentation of Pricing (Email) Landing Page MECLABS 2 Price Testing TBD Landing Page Testing Landing Page Layout Different pages depending on Keywords MECLABS 1A TBD MECLABS 20+ tests planned for Digital Access conversion funnel 3A Incentive Testing (Article Stub) Email Boston Globe 3B Incentive Testing (Email) Article Stub page Boston Globe 2 Value Proposition Follow up from test #1 Landing Page MECLABS 3 Value Proposition Follow up from test #2 Landing Page MECLABS 4 Value Proposition Follow up from test #3 Landing Page MECLABS 1 Landing Page Layout Test - DA1 Landing Page Landing Page Layout Test Landing Page Email Test (Motivation) - DA1 Email, Landing Page Boston Globe, MECLABS 2 Email Test (Lead Nurturing) lower priority Email Price Testing 12 tests planned for Home Delivery conversion funnel MECLABS 1 Checkout Process MECLABS 2 Value Proposition Image TEST 2 Checkout Process Follow up from test #2 5 Price Testing 2 Boston Globe 3 Checkout Process Landing Page TEST DA offer 1 Boston Globe Article Stub Layout Test - Follow up from Article Stub page test #4 Q3 Test Name 2 4 Q2 Boston Globe Article Stub Layout Test - Follow up from Article Stub page test #3 5 Article Stub Article Stub Layout Test - Follow up from Article Stub page test #2 Testing Type Test # 1 3 Q1 Q4 Boston Globe Landing Page Testing Email Testing Value Proposition PPC Landing Page Testing BostonGlobe.co m Header Link Total Incremental Subscriptions/Revenue Q4
  22. 22. 1 Test Big 2 Test Small 3 Challenge Assumptions (it’s okay to fail) 4 Apply Your Learnings for Gains
  23. 23. 1 Test Big 2 Test Small 3 Challenge Assumptions (it’s okay to fail) 4 Apply Your Learnings for Gains
  24. 24. Test 1: Digital Access Price Testing Prices tested: • $0.99/week • $1.99/week • $2.99/week • $4.99/week • Initial conversions were tracked for the first 3 weeks. • Unsubscribes will be tracked for 1 year.
  25. 25. Test 1: Digital Access Price Testing
  26. 26. Test 1: Digital Access Price Testing Treatment 1 Treatment 2 Treatment 3 Treatment 4
  27. 27. Test 1: Results 36% increase in Digital Access Subscriptions The $0.99 price point drove 36% more conversions than the control Treatment Samples Successes Failures Conversion Revenue Control $3.99 17,788 327 17,461 1.84 % $1305 Treatment 1 $0.99 18,061 453 17,608 2.51 % $448 Treatment 2 $1.99 17,946 400 17,546 2.23 % $796 Treatment 3 $2.99 17,988 367 17,621 2.04 % $1097 Treatment 4 $4.99 18,017 301 17,716 1.67 % $1502 ! However, what matters is the revenue over time, not the initial number of conversions. Treatment 1 is a 65% decrease in revenue over the control. 30
  28. 28. 1 Test Big 2 Test Small 3 Challenge Assumptions (it’s okay to fail) 4 Apply Your Learnings for Gains
  29. 29. Test 2: Header Link Sequential Test
  30. 30. Test 2: Header Link Sequential Test
  31. 31. Test 2: Results 45% increase in conversions with header link The addition of the link in the header led to 45% more subscribes Treatment Conversion Control – no subscribe link in header Treatment – subscribe link in header 1.42 % Relative Difference ! 0.98 % 44.9% Test everything – don’t just make a change without measuring the impact!
  32. 32. 1 Test Big 2 Test Small 3 Challenge Assumptions (it’s okay to fail) 4 Apply Your Learnings for Gains
  33. 33. Test 3: Digital Access Accordion Checkout
  34. 34. Test 3: Digital Access Accordion Checkout ASSUMPTION An accordion checkout was successful for
  35. 35. Test 3: Digital Access Accordion Checkout
  36. 36. Test 3: Results 35% decrease in conversions with accordion The application of the accordion checkout process decreased conversion Treatment Conversion Control – long form checkout process Treatment – responsive accordion checkout process 7.47 % Relative Difference ! 11.51 % 35.10% Do not assume a success will always be successful. Test every time!
  37. 37. “ That everything we’ve done has been successful is not reality. Some things did not meet our expectations. “ learn every time But we and we apply to the next test.
  38. 38. Testing, Not Best Practices “Unfortunately most people who arrive on that page will never see it, because it’s well below the fold,” “If respondents have to scroll way down to get to the response button, you’ve lost a good portion of your potential orders.”
  39. 39. Testing, Not Best Practices “Unfortunately most people who arrive on that page will never see it, because it’s well below the fold,” “If respondents have to scroll way down to get to the response button, you’ve lost a good portion of your potential orders.”
  40. 40. Testing, Not Best Practices “Unfortunately most people who arrive on that page will never see it, because it’s well below the fold,” “If respondents have to scroll way down to get to the response button, you’ve lost a good portion of your potential orders.” No Significant Difference
  41. 41. Testing, Not Best Practices “Unfortunately most people who arrive on that page will never see it, because it’s well below the fold,” Avoid Assumption-Based Decision Making “If respondents have to scroll way down to get to the response button, you’ve lost a good portion of your potential orders.”
  42. 42. 1 Test Big 2 Test Small 3 Challenge Assumptions (it’s okay to fail) 4 Apply Your Learnings for Gains
  43. 43. Test 4: Home Delivery Multi Step Checkout
  44. 44. Test 4: Home Delivery Multi Step Checkout
  45. 45. Test 4: Home Delivery Multi Step Checkout
  46. 46. Test 4: Results 17% increase in conversions with multi step The expanded multi-step checkout resulted in 17% more subscriptions Treatment Conversion Control – single long form checkout process Treatment – multi-step checkout process 11.54 % Relative Difference ! 9.89 % 16.79% Capitalize on your ‘failed’ tests to get a learning and build a win for the next test.
  47. 47. So what?
  48. 48. Testing Results to-date: Digital Access DIGITAL ACCESS • Total Results: $572,026 • Incremental Subs: 3,914 • LTV: $140 Testing Areas: • Article Stub • Value Proposition (landing page) • Checkout Process • Total Tests: 2 wins, 20 tests run • Success Rate: 10% • Growler (planned) • Article Summary (planned) WINS 51
  49. 49. Testing Results to-date: Home Delivery HOME DELIVERY • Total Results: $3,067,588 • Incremental Subs: 4,541 • LTV: $675.53 $676 Testing Areas: • Landing page (value/design) • Checkout Process • Total Tests Run: 6 6 tests run Tests: 5 wins, • Success Rate: 83% WINS 52
  50. 50. Turn experimentation into transformation
  51. 51. Shifting the Culture • Customer Service Center: Knocking down walls • Putting up visual queues to communicate and reinforce test successes • Integrating customer data points – tapping into phone calls, looking at online behavioral data • Set up collaboration and experimentation
  52. 52. Shifting the Trajectory • No longer managing the decline • When you don’t have the answers, you can experiment and find the best way • Driving the business model, building morale and employee engagement
  53. 53. Transforming the organization (and media) Implement the right tools • Empower the business owners to become experienced testers • Move to real-time decision-making • Optimizely • Test and Target • Visual Revenue • Omniture • CrazyEgg
  54. 54. Content Optimization By having real-time and forecasted information about what content to place where on the homepage, visitors are seeing the most interesting content. Note: Industry standard CTR is~35%, so still room for improvement
  55. 55. Headline Testing results – sample headline tests +102% +26% +60% +46% +117% A. President Obama a skeet shooter? B. White House offers proof that Obama shoots a gun A. Mo. Powerball winner turns in ticket B. Winning Mo. Powerball ticket turned in A. SJC adds protection for youth defendants’ cases B. Dismissal of Lynn teen’s murder conviction upheld A. Mayor Menino declares flu health emergency in Boston B. Health emergency declared in Boston after hundreds fall ill A. Red Sox gear up for spring B. Oh yeah: Time for the Sox = Winner 351 tests conducted since September 2012
  56. 56. Testing and optimization at the Boston Globe 2010
  57. 57. Testing and optimization at the Boston Globe 2010 TODAY
  58. 58. Results
  59. 59. Globe Subscriber Trends 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013E
  60. 60. Globe Subscriber Trends 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013E
  61. 61. Thank You Peter Doucette Executive Director of Circulation, Sales & Marketing peter.doucette@globe.com Pamela Markey Senior Director Marketing MECLABS pamela.markey@meclabs.com
  62. 62. Boston Globe Discovering and optimizing a value proposition Peter Doucette Executive Director of Circulation Sales & Marketing The Boston Globe Pamela Markey Director of Marketing MECLABS
  63. 63. RGB color codes for reference R2 G4 B6 R5 G 12 B 21 R9 G 22 B 37 R 16 G 37 B 63 R 23 G 55 B 94 R 28 R 31 R 38 R 46 R 85 R 142 R 198 G 67 G 73 G 90 G 108 G 142 G 180 G 217 B 114 B 125 B 154 B 184 B 213 B 227 B 241 R 116 G0 B 58 R 51 G 39 B 65 R 64 G 64 B 64

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