Growth strategy for the digital business of Japan’s leading business newspaper. Delivered record high monthly growth in paying customers in Nikkei’s history.



Nikkei Digital is a leading brand of news media in Japan that had been published online for approximately 10 years. As the digitalization of media progressed, further growth of Nikkei Digital became a business imperative. Despite a preference for traditional newspapers among some customers, it was desirable for Nikkei to acquire new customers on the Nikkei digital channel, due to the ongoing shift from print to online across the customer base. Moreover, the objective was to acquire new customers to the Nikkei brand, rather than simply converting existing print media customers to digital. In addition, due to fierce competition between many new digital media services, Nikkei needed to develop a sustainable long-term growth strategy by identifying and defining the differentiated value proposition of Nikkei Digital.


We began by exploring the unique value of Nikkei among existing paid subscribers of Nikkei Digital. Through a deep dive into the existing paying customer audience, we identified the compelling brand value of the "Nikkei brand" itself. In addition, we found several brand assets unique to Nikkei which had been under utilized in marketing communications. By combining these findings, we defined the brand and growth strategy for Nikkei digital. The brand campaign was to be created and delivered over the medium to long term. Based on the brand strategy, we conducted a pitch among 6 creative directors from multiple creative agencies for the full brand campaign implementation. We made sure all creative directors to digest all key strategies including customer understanding and brand strategies. We received a number of creative proposals for the brand campaign during the pitch process. From the available options, we selected and implemented a creative plan that best embodied the brand strategy with the best creative transformation delivered in a customer relevant way. We were involved in every process of pre-production meeting (PPM), offline editing, online editing, tuning details shot by shot to make it consistent with our customer understanding and brand strategy.


After the promotion of Nikkei Digital started, the number of paying members, the target KPI, accelerated day by day, exceeding the target threshold, exceeding the stretch target, and continuing to accelerate year over year growth. At present, the number of monthly paying members has increased to a record high in approximately 10 years since Nikkei Digital was first published. In addition, by utilizing the insights from M-Force's 9segs analysis (quantitative brand and usage study offered by Bloom’s affiliate) conducted at the same time, the team validated the hypothesis on how to further extend the effect of the current brand campaign, and there is already a plan for the future to further enhance the brand campaign over the medium to long term.





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