Newsletter No 8 29 November 2005
Advertising & Marketing:
Promotions Made Easy: The Case Study of El Mundo

El Mundo is the second largest newspaper in Spain and is the newspaper in the country that is growing. Pedro Iglesias, marketing director, El Mundo, Spain told conference participants some of the newspaper’s best marketing initiatives

Like many newspapers, El Mundo gives away promotional items, like stamp and coin collections, to win new readers. But El Mundo added a twist - it created a system where readers registered at sales points to participate in the promotions, thus eliminating needless waste.

"We were sick and tired of adding something in the paper every day that we didn't even know if people wanted," says Mr Iglesias.

The promotion worked like this: As a first stage, readers were introduced to the stamp collection with a sample of the collection in the newspaper. This gave a clear idea of what the offer was about. Those interested in the collection were then obliged to go to a point of sale and fill out a form to register in order to receive special editions of the newspaper containing the stamps. The obligation to register created a barrier to entry to ensure that those who ended up collecting the sets were actually really interested in the collection. Subscribers were also offered an album to showcase the collection. All readers who wanted the album were required to pay 1Euro. This created another barrier to entry high enough to eliminate those who were not serious about collecting, but not so high to be prohibitive.

The newspaper provided 30 per cent more of the stamps required to complete the collection to ensure that collectors would end up with the whole collection, even if they missed an issue or two of the newspaper. The time period for the collection was also relatively short – no more than 30 to 40 days.

This promotion increased overall sales of the point of sales by 20 to 30 percent. The cost of the initiative was also much less than if the newspaper had engaged in a ‘blind’ promotion. And with a higher barrier to entry the newspaper knew how many people were actually interested in participating from the very start.

El Mundo’s second promotion was more traditional, although it distinguished itself by offering high-end electronics, which was a departure from other promotions it had carried out. The newspaper offered a 30 to 50 percent discount on products like digital cameras and DVD players. The key to this promotional strategy was the perceived value of these products, which was very high. El Mundo realized it could work with leading brands directly as they offered guarantees and services such as help-lines for any technical difficulties. The promotional strategy was mutually beneficial for both El Mundo and its partners as it drove up both sales of the newspaper and the products, as many of the people who bought the products would not have gone to retailers to buy them directly.