Times Media is ramping up its direct marketing spend following a 40% boost in its total marketing budget.
Katie Vanneck, Times Media sales and marketing director, says in the past there has been under-investment in direct marketing and customer relationship management.
A raft of below-the-line marketing initiatives are expected in the new year, though Vanneck would not be drawn on details. She says that Times Media is “investing huge amounts in loyalty programmes”, which means marketing spend that had previously been put into promotional activity for free CD or DVD giveaways will be reduced and taken “below the line, targeting our higher value customers”.
As part of its new focus, this month it launched its first loyalty card for subscribers to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. The card allows readers to gain rewards with ten brand partners, including Avis, Waterstone’s and Champneys.
A similar scheme, called Culture , was launched last month, and is based around its Culture supplement where subscribers are eligible for offers, including a half-price subscription to Sky TV and discounted membership at Picturehouse Cinemas.
Vanneck, a staunch critic of the publishing industry’s reliance on cover-mounting, says it is breaking awayfrom newspaper publishers’ “short-term approach”.
“I’m not saying we won’t have acquisition and trial promotions, but … they are now more of an integrated customer journey,” she says.