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How the Economist uses experiential marketing to boost subscriptions

The Economist has begun using experiential stunts, such as serving ice cream coated in insects, to bring its content to life for potential readers and create experiences that will aim to develop interest in the publication. 

Explaining its strategy, Marina Haydn, SVP circulation and retail marketing for the Economist recently discussed how it's content was used to inspire such activity to generate readers to sign up to receive the publication regularly. 

"The Economist is full of content and we have a whole range of stories that we can actually tell and usually with marketing subscriptions, which is a much more dry way of marketing. Through using our content and turning it into an activation we can speak to our readers in a much more interesting way, interest them in the product, surprise them and then hopefully convert them to subscription," she explained. 

Haydn went on to discuss some of the activities that had been carried out to generate interest through experience, including 'Discomfort Food' a campaign that offered people the chance to try ice cream covered in insects, and a branded Virtual Reality experience. 

"We're trying to position the Economist as a brand that is an advocate for change. We are looking for future orientated subjects," she explained.

"Experiential has been a fantastic way of not only changing brand perception but also converting to subscription. Success behind it is that it is a genuine experience, it's unforgettable and there's a conversation taking place. For all the merits of digital marketing, it is short lived, but with experiential you have people's time and you are speaking to them as another human being.

"A lot of success of the Economist itself is that it is made by a team of editors who are humans creating and curating quality content for you and our screen activations. Experiential activations are about people on the street and talking to them and bringing our content to life" 

Listen to the full interview with Haydn in the video above. 

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