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Media Power 50: 'Financial Times' amasses global audience through print, online and mobile content

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Headquartered in London and with bureaus around the globe, the Financial Times is an international newspaper. The brand is even more global on the Web, with a site in simplified Chinese and an online subscription product called Brazil Confidential. That wide reach is especially appealing to media strategists in the U.S. “It tends to be a platform for a brand that wants to speak to an international audience,” said Nesh Malinovic, VP-media director at Bader Rutter & Associates. “It's a true global vehicle.” Ted Kohnen, VP-integrated marketing at Stein + Partners Brand Activation, said, “I'm a big fan of the FT. If I'm looking for brand-building and I'm looking to do so in the U.K. or anywhere in Europe, the FT is my first stop.” Andrew Sollinger, managing director-U.S. commercial operations at FT, is content with the brand's reputation, but he wants to emphasize that its content is increasingly being read by U.S. executives. Last year, FT.com's registered users in the U.S. increased 29% and subscribers jumped 31%. Sollinger noted that as Asia and Europe become more important to U.S. businesses, the information in the FT also increases in importance here. FT CEO John Ridding said that knowing its audience enables the newspaper to create content products its readers want and also helps marketers target their ads more precisely. In the end, the process creates a “virtuous circle,” he said. Financial Times stays close to its readers in a number of ways. It has developed a metric it calls the Average Daily Global Audience, which measures how many people interact with the brand in print, online and on mobile devices. Between June and November of last year, its ADGA was 2.2 million. The brand's approach to its mobile app, which famously bypassed Apple's App Store, is also about staying close to its audience. Not being available on the App Store, which controls reader data, apparently hasn't hurt: Its mobile app has had more than 2 million users and has attracted advertisers such as Accenture and FedEx Corp. To bring marketers even closer to the FT audience, the newspaper has introduced Deep View, which uses analytics to show advertisers how their ads are being viewed according to industry, job title, gender and a host of other categories. So far, the response to Deep View, which is being rolled out slowly, has been strong. “They've been blown away by it,” Sollinger said. —S.C.
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