Transforming De Tijd’s digital news ecosystem to grow their market share

Transforming De Tijd’s digital news ecosystem to grow their market share

Transforming De Tijd’s digital news ecosystem to grow their market share

Transforming De Tijd’s digital news ecosystem to grow their market share

about the client

De Tijd is Belgium’s leading financial newspaper, attracting a business-minded readership looking for information about the latest national and international financial and economic news. The newspaper publishes a print version Tuesday through Saturday, with available and updated 24/7.


Strengthen De Tijd’s relationship with its online readership

It's no secret that the print newspaper business has been in long-term decline; most newspapers are seeing annual drops of around 7%. With revenue moving away from both sales and print advertising, digital subscriptions have become more important than ever to the modern news outlet’s income. 

But in a digital age where personalisation is king, a ‘one size fits all’ online presence is not enough to attract and retain subscribers. Media outlets need to re-evaluate their content offering to deliver a tailored user experience that corresponds to users’ individual needs and preferences. 

Against this backdrop, De Tijd asked us to work with them to research and conceptualise an up-to-date profile of their customers, with the goal of understanding the factors that could help drive loyalty, and ultimately, increase subscription-based revenue.

Transforming De Tijd’s digital news ecosystem to grow their market shareTransforming De Tijd’s digital news ecosystem to grow their market share


A digital product strategy to redefine the reader experience

To discover what digital content and channels would create an attractive ecosystem for De Tijd’s readership, we needed to gain a thorough understanding of the behaviour and motivations of its users. 

By working closely with the team from De Tijd, and carrying out extensive audience research, we established not only the key audience profiles, but also identified different mindsets that influence how and when users consume news.

Equipped with this understanding, we developed a bespoke digital product strategy that laid the foundations for a whole new digital ecosystem. The result would be a much more personalised experience, leading to recaptured and increased market share.

  • Strategic foundation for an ecosystem of digital platforms
  • 3 business-focused reader profiles identified
  • 3 reader mindsets determined


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Determining the audience profiles

De Tijd is a financial newspaper, appealing to those interested in  topics such as the economy and business, financial markets and national and international politics. So its readership is already more easily categorised than a more general media outlet.

However, to identify the kind of digital content and channels its readers would be willing to pay for, i.e. by subscribing, we needed to understand more about who is behind the screen, and what their distinct needs are. 

Through workshops with De Tijd and extensive audience research, we discovered three key reader profiles: the business-minded reader, the investment-minded reader and the quality content seeker.

Research and workshop based reader profilesResearch and workshop based reader profiles


Mapping mindsets to moments

While segmenting the audience is essential, taking into account the underlying variations in mindset is equally important in order to satisfy different motivations and expectations. 

Through our research, we established three mindsets, and mapped them onto a typical day:

  • Readers with an exploratory mindset want a broad overview of what’s happening in the world, but appear to consume news differently depending on the time of day. They tend to favour more serious news items and information about financial markets earlier in the day, and lighter topics in the evenings. 

  • Readers with a strategic mindset want in-depth analysis of specific topics to be able to make better long-term decisions. Topical news was important to them throughout much of the day, with more interest in financial markets towards late afternoon.

  • Readers with a tactical mindset search for specific facts and figures to help them make short-term decision making. With a goal in mind, they may skip between websites, valuing the fastest way to get the news they need. Their reading habits showed a preference for financial news throughout the day.
Mapping mindsets to momentsMapping mindsets to moments


Refining the channel strategy for De Tijd’s digital ecosystem

With the important building blocks in place, it was time to translate mindsets into a powerful information architecture that would guide different kinds of readers on their journey.

For example, for readers with a strategic mindset, who are actively looking for specific information, the information architecture of the website should lead them from one relevant article to the next, creating a journey that brings more depth with each click. While for readers with a tactical mindset, who want the fastest path to answers, a performant search function would be crucial.

Our strategy went on to form the foundation for the solution definition, roadmap and interface design of a whole new digital ecosystem for De Tijd. Ultimately, thanks to an improved customer experience, De Tijd was able to attract and retain more readers and drive audience-generated revenue.

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