Alex Delamain of The Economist and World Media Group explains how partnering with respected journalistic brands can deliver engagement, not just reach
As SVP, global client partner at The Economist and president of the World Media Group, Alex Delamain’s role sits at the point of convergence between clients with marketing goals and a suite of respected media brands. As a result, she’s used to the balancing act required to create content-driven campaigns that audiences engage with meaningful ideas.
To dig into how she views best practice in this area, we caught up with Alex.
Q> What do your roles at The Economist and as President of the World Media Group entail?
Alex> As SVP, global client partner at The Economist, I look after key accounts ensuring they are able to leverage The Economist Group’s full capabilities in thought leadership, public policy, custom content, media and events to produce award-winning content and communications programmes.
As president of the World Media Group, my role is to lead our members in promoting the values of trusted and renowned journalism; to celebrate and promote excellence in international content-driven advertising; to share best practice with the marketing and media community; and to develop initiatives that improve the measurement and understating of influential international audiences.
Q> How do you define content-driven marketing?
Alex> The Economist has been creating content solutions for decades, be it under our own brands or with our clients. We develop rich written and visual content in long and short forms to engage audiences with meaningful ideas and ingenious perspectives.
Content-driven marketing for The Economist, and for all the World Media Group brands, means delivering a fully integrated and multi-vehicle approach to reach the desired audiences – it’s neither content nor marketing alone, but a marrying of the two expertise. We bring content teams alongside marketing and creative teams to our clients’ programmes and create exceptional integrated content-driven marketing campaigns.
One example is our work for Siemens, ‘Reimagine The Game'
. We recorded fan noise levels inside the Allianz Arena and our data visualisation agency Signal Noise, part of The Economist Group family, created a 3D soundscape that maps the noise of the Allianz Arena to create a Digital Twin – a digital representation of the noise. From this we created an interactive platform, allowing football fans to view FC Bayern games by listening to thousands of unique data points captured within key moments during the match.
We analysed the fan noise in combination with match data to identify interesting narratives and new perspectives on ‘fan energy’ and its interplay with on-pitch performance. This was supported with a PR and social media campaign.
Q> What is the value of a media brand like The Economist and the other World Media Group brands to marketers looking for a media partner?
Alex> All the media organisations within the World Media Group (The Atlantic, BBC Global News, Bloomberg Media Group, Business Insider, The Economist, The Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune, National Geographic, Reuters, The New York Times Company, Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post) are known for award-winning international journalism. As a media partner, any of the publishers within the group can connect marketers and their brands with highly engaged, influential audiences in the context of trusted and renowned journalism.
The Economist, for example, has an incredibly loyal base of readers and for them, it’s their source of global news, current affairs analysis and content. We have attracted audiences all around the globe – across a range of socio-demographic profiles. We define our audience as the core globally curious: people who are interested in the world (particularly about global business; economics; finance and politics). They want to stay informed and that’s the brand’s core value: The Economist is a smart guide to the forces shaping our future.
We offer multiple services, products and platforms, allowing clients to creatively communicate their message to our desirable global audience – and those platforms are far broader than just a print ad. From custom events to Economist Films, which has 1m+ subscribers, or products such as our hugely successful podcast The Intelligence, we’re able to offer integrated, impactful communications programmes.
Q> When it comes to editorial integrity, what are the key considerations on the part of media platforms? How do you protect that credibility?
Alex> Editorial independence lies at the heart of what all the World Media Group members do. The respect accorded to The Economist's journalists, because of this independence, means that they enjoy access to political and business leaders who make the news and whose views can illuminate what is happening, or is about to happen
Q> What are the standards that you hold branded content to on The Economist / WMG?
Alex> All the World Media Group members approach branded content with the same rigour and integrity that we do everything else and hold it to the same high standards our editorial is held to.
Q> What have been the biggest changes to this landscape in recent months and years?
Alex> The advertising industry has evolved – it is expected to deliver engagement, not just reach. The Economist Group has evolved with the industry to make sure engagement is central to our advertising and marketing campaigns.
Today, as brands look to work with publishers to meet their marketing objectives, The Economist, and many other World Media Group members including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, offer a fully-fledged agency style service – complete with strategists, creatives, analysts and editors, to ensure that we're producing innovative, integrated comms solutions that engage with our audiences.
Q> What project have you worked on recently that you're particularly proud of?
Alex> Well, in terms of content marketing, I mentioned the Siemens, Reimagine The Game campaign above, but I’ve been working on something very interesting with the World Media Group recently. We’ve just launched a podcast series ‘The Media Navigators’, which has given me the opportunity to interview some of the most influential voices from across the media, advertising and marketing community to hear about the latest developments impacting their sector. Industry leaders have opened up about all sorts of issues – AI, Sustainability, Events, Brand Safety, Audience Engagement, Diversity, Audio, 5G and Newsroom Development – to name a few. It’s been absolutely fascinating to be part of those conversations and we think the podcast series will be really valuable to anyone working in marketing or media.