Black Friday Strategies for Subscription Media Companies

MPP Global Posted by MPP Global on Thursday, 10 October 2019

In the world of retail, Black Friday has been a hugely important date in the calendar since the 1950s, with the first day after Thanksgiving signifying the start of the Christmas shopping season and a chance for retailers to offer discounts that will draw in crowds of customers. As the Black Friday phenomenon went into overdrive in the 21st century, as well as incorporating the new Cyber Monday digital sales, it began to spread around the world.

Initially, this took hold in Canada, where local retailers started their own sales to tempt Canadians away from crossing the border to take advantage of Black Friday deals in the United States. Meanwhile, US-owned retailers in the UK began trying to emulate its success as a way to kickstart the Christmas spending frenzy. It has also started to spread more across Europe, though with the focus generally on digital offers rather than retailers holding sales in-store.

Elsewhere in the world, the APAC region sees the opposite happen with Black Friday sales most likely in a physical retail space, while online deals are dominated by Singles Day on 11th November. This is particularly true in China. It isn’t just retailers taking advantage of the hype, of course, with some publishers and OTT companies seeing the opportunity to launch special deals to draw in new subscribers.

So, what strategies can media businesses try out on Black Friday?

Black Friday Offers

The messaging of a Black Friday offer has to be carefully considered to stand out from the noise. The campaigns with the most chance of succeeding are those that are relevant and consistent. Reference the value that people will get from taking advantage of the offer and the broad benefit rather than the simple price or percentage discount.

Another tactic that can work well on Black Friday or Cyber Monday is making the most of the limited time frame. Instead of having a ‘Black Friday’ deal that lasts all week, make time-limited deals that start at certain points in the day on a ‘once they’re gone, they’re gone’ basis. This leads to the requirement of needing a platform to manage these offers as flexibly and responsively as possible to make the most of the opportunity.

Don’t forget that Black Friday deals shouldn’t exclude your existing subscribers. Using the hype around the sales offers a real opportunity to upsell to customers who are already consuming your content. This can be very beneficial for you and them if you get your offers right. One major advantage when it comes to selling to people you already know is that you can more effectively use personalisation to tailor your offers to their likes and needs.

If you know what kind of content they like you can identify opportunities to offer them a premium service that is more suited to their tastes. If it means spending a little more per month to get even better value from their subscription, they’ll feel like they’ve got a Black Friday bargain and the business will have not only gained more recurring revenue, but also customers that are less likely to churn any time soon. None of this would be possible without the right data gathered from your subscribers as they engage with your service or website and throughout the registration and payment journeys.

Other Monetisation Options

Black Friday offers plenty of opportunities for publishers to gain new subscribers, but there’s other ways of making the most of the hype around the big retail deals. One of these is through advertising bundles.

Multimedia packages or bundles are one great way to take advantage of audience-based selling, especially if your inventory spans many titles and channels. Instead of selling a specific placement, you can sell inventory most likely to reach an advertiser’s intended audience – and charge a premium for doing so.

Higher consumer spending during the holiday season means ad spend rises dramatically and the value of publisher inventory can skyrocket. This makes it the perfect time to create broad, large package options for consumer brands. The same audience-based approach applies, but if you get ahead of the game by offering seasonal packages well ahead of time, you can book your inventory far in advance.

Michael Mendoza, CEO, Lineup Systems explains: “We’ve found that sales reps prefer to use guided selling tools around seasonal events like Black Friday. For example, in Adpoint, Multimedia Packages are the perfect way for sales managers to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ for their sales teams, giving them a consistent and proven approach for each sale. This is popular year-round but is a game-changer during the busy holiday season.”

Next Steps

Of course, there’s also something to be said for running an anti-Black Friday campaign and using the hype and noise to demonstrate that your subscription prices are low all year round, while some audiences will appreciate being left alone by you at a time when every other company they interact with is bombarding them with offers. What works best for you will depend on your brand and your audience.

If you are considering how your media company can maximise its chances of using Black Friday and activate some of the strategies featured in this whitepaper, MPP Global can help you. Check out our new whitepaper: How Media Companies Can Make the Most of Black Friday for more strategies and insight.

Download the Black Friday whitepaper