L’AGEFI diversifies its market by targeting women working in finance

The French media company decided to target women working in the finance sector after identifying a critical gap in the demographics of their subscribers and event attendees. The aim is to help women build careers in finance by producing content that helps them create aspirational professional paths and by providing useful networking opportunities.

L’AGEFI, originally founded in 1911, is a French B2B media company dedicated to people working in the financial sector, covering areas such as finance, banking, insurance and capital markets. It also organises events for financial professionals. The company has 110 employees, including 50 journalists.

L’AGEFI was an early adopter of online publishing: it closed its print edition and went digital-only in 2005. Today, 55 percent of its turnover comes from digital activities.

Younger women embarking on a career in the financial sector in France were the ideal recruiting ground for L’AGEFI to boost its reach and value.

During the Table Stakes Europe programme, the French media group enhanced its digital strategy to do more to reach this under-represented audience of students, recent graduates and young professionals.

L’AGEFI, which is dedicated to covering content for about 250,000 financial professionals, already had a strong online strategy that accounted for 55 percent of revenue. But the media group wanted to go further.

They discovered that not only was there a gap in terms of the demographics of their subscribers and those attending events but also that the issue of diversity and inclusivity at work would only increase and benefit their B2B customers.

In France women make up more than half of those studying finance, but they are under-represented in positions of responsibility once they enter the workplace.

L’AGEFI wanted to help women secure a career in finance by producing content that could help these users pursue and gain promotion as well as network at the group’s events.

To make this audience strategy successful, L’AGEFI took the opportunity to break down silos within the company itself – setting up a TSE team that was cross-functional with expertise from marketing, sales, editorial and tech.

This team, led by Francois Robin, Chief Executive, included Stéphanie Elorin, Marketing Director, Johann Corric, Web Editor, and Laurent Luiset, Commercial Director. They used data to identify their primary audience, which was made of students, recent graduates and young professionals, under the age of 30.

They also spotted a secondary market that consisted of women who were already in positions of responsibility, who could provide role models, inspirational stories, testimonials, and interviews, all of which had potential to lead to new subscriptions and help build brand loyalty.

Journalism that solves audience needs

In terms of solving users’ needs, L’AGEFI wanted to investigate content ideas that covered how women could advance their careers in the financial sector, from asset management and retail banks to fintech and private equity.

This project included influencing the newsroom to become more audience-centric and focus on what is useful to its users as well as continuing to provide specific
high quality content for its targeted audiences. This also meant using data strategically to track consumption patterns and set goals.

But there were challenges to overcome such as concerns that this new project was adding to journalists’ workloads and to move towards responding to users’ needs rather than just mass-producing content to the news cycle.

They established a mini-publisher team, with seven journalists including one chief editor and an events editor, to design a new product – a weekly newsletter aimed at focusing on content that appealed to women in finance along with a broader aim to replicate the experiment with other key audiences for L’AGEFI by mid-2024.

By targeting women in finance, L’AGEFI aimed to:

  • Increase its audiences
  • Increase subscriptions
  • Strengthen its users’ loyalty to the brand
  • Create dedicated commercial products aimed at the audience.

A partnership with Dogfinance, a jobs board dedicated to roles in the financial sector, was also established. This led to the jobs board being integrated into L’AGEFI website and the media group is continuing to develop partnerships with companies that are recruiting.

“Targeting this audience will reinforce our image as a benchmark among our regular readers,” Stéphanie Elorin said. “The ‘human resources’ focus will also enable us to achieve synergies with our partnership with Dogfinance.”

“Finally, our new products, such as our newsletter and events, could be of interest to companies in the sector that are finding it hard to recruit, particularly women, which could lead to more adverts and partnerships,” Elorin said.

And they had specific goals:

  • Average number of pageviews per article: 2,000
  • The number of newsletter subscriptions by mid-2024: 5,000
  • A newsletter open rate target of 40 percent
  • Podcast consumption goal: 1,000 listens
  • To find a sponsor for the newsletter by June 2024
  • To create a dedicated event in January 2024 and integrate the theme of women in finance into a May event for professionals in the financial sector.

Path to ‘Ambitions,’ new audiences

By mid-2024 they plan to establish a dedicated section page on the topic, called “Ambitions,” that will highlight all the articles written on the subject, and include the jobs portal, appointments and events.

They will also refocus their podcast dedicated to inspiring careers in finance on the careers of women and promote the weekly newsletter with sign-up boxes throughout the website as well as promotion on social media, including LinkedIn, and reaching out to schools and universities.

Another newsletter is also planned to enable L’AGEFI to establish direct contact with their readers.

L’AGEFI organises about 30 top-of-the-range events every year, hosted by its journalists and where senior professionals can network. One of these events will now be dedicated to about 1,000 students, recent graduates and young people in banking, insurance and finance, where Gen Z professionals can learn about market trends, attend workshops and network to advance their careers.

In this way, L’AGEFI continues to build its brand loyalty and develop its communities of the future.