Case Studies
Immediate Media

The Client

Immediate Media, is one of the biggest consumer media businesses in the UK and amongst the largest magazine media publishers with a portfolio of magazines including BBC titles such as The Radio Times, Top Gear and Good Food.

World-class content and an innovative culture are Immediate Media’s primary objectives. Every month it reaches over 16 million highly engaged UK consumers across its 70+ multiplatform brands.

To create category-leading brands, Immediate Media employs 1,100 staff at its offices in London, Bristol, Camberley and Manchester. It sells 74 million magazines every year, with well over 1 million active subscribers, and reaches 33 million people online every month.

The Challenge

Publishing has changed dramatically in recent years and how users consume magazines is unrecognisable from even just 5 years ago. To compete in this modern environment Immediate Media needed to supply customers not only with print magazines but also digital versions enabling access to titles on PCs, phones, e-readers and tablets.

Immediate Media’s existing platform was not capable of moving their online retail ambitions forward and required a replacement. The new solution required the highest level of performance due to the heavy volumes of traffic accessing the site, especially during peak trading over Christmas. It needed to be flexible and scalable to match the growth ambitions of the company and required personalisation to increase the effectiveness of the site in up/cross-selling to customers. As many of these customers were overseas, multicurrency transactions were also a key requirement.

What We Did

PureNet had extensive experience of providing subscription platforms to publishers. These include Dennis Publishing, one of the leading independently-owned media companies in the UK and DC Thomson, famous for the Beano and Dandy comics. Immediate Media’s Magazine Subscription Platform requirements were altogether more complex and PureNet’s proposal had several important elements:

To meet the demands of tablet, e-reader and mobile consumers, PureNet designed the site templates responsively to intelligently adapt to the screen of the device being used to access it.

Personalisation was central to the required solution, especially with promotions, to increase the effectiveness of marketing activity and spend. Given the range of titles and the varied types of user accessing the site (those buying for themselves or as presents, looking specifically for print or digital, etc.) making sure when they visited the site the layout was correct was imperative. PureNet’s track record in algorithmic-based intelligent ecommerce came fully into play in the solution proposed.

With huge volumes of traffic and site usage (over 2 transactions per second) the system needed a robust hosting environment. As such, PureNet proposed a scalable cloud-based solution offering dedicated orchestration and automation meaning that tasks could be scheduled at any time, with guaranteed performance 24/7/365.

Finally, the solution provided ease-of-use both to the Immediate Media Team and site visitors. PureNet’s analysis team used collaborative wireframing tools, such as Axure, to map out different user journeys that were focused on conversion so the website visitor could find the title and media they wanted and buy without dropping out due to complex unintuitive navigation.

Immediate MediaImmediateMedia-PureNet

The Results

The Magazine Subscription Platform has been a resounding success. The solution has allowed customers to purchase or renew subscriptions for print or digital quickly and easily:

  • The responsively-designed nature of the websites means tablet-based sales have increased by 20% and mobile sales skyrocketed by 50% like-for-like. Given 57% of traffic comes from tablets and mobiles, this represents a significant revenue boost
  • Conversion rates for promotions increased by 60%, delighting the client and proving marketing spend can be scaled up with confidence it is being well-spent.
  • The Platform’s ability to tailor campaigns for specific target audiences has had an unexpected benefit. Immediate Media can broaden its marketing tactics to include increasingly diverse media, e.g. online content-based advertising, confident that ROI will justify the greater expenditure.
  • The Platform’s marketing impact has also been dramatic. Personalisation-based promotion functionality boosted return-on-investment (ROI) for promotional spend and activity.

The site has been highly resilient with 100% uptime over the peak Christmas period despite unprecedented levels of traffic visiting and purchasing from the site.

Immediate Media is now building on its success with a significant investment in online ‘e-cards’ and tokenisation to further enhance the user-experience enjoyed by its customers.

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