When Brazilian newspaper Zero Hora (ZH) created Donna, its brand platform focused on a female audience, it successfully created new revenue sources that mirrored the tenets of Internet and new technologies evangelist Mary Meeker’s trifecta of content, community, and commerce.

In 2016, the brand developed new solutions and initiatives based on building and engaging a community of female readers and on generating new sources of advertising and transactional revenue. At the time, there were more than 53 issues of the magazine, 10 specials, 9 guides, 30 events, and more than 50 partnerships for new business-to-business formats, resulting in financial growth and consolidation of the brand.

The Donna brand was born in 1993 as a separate section in ZH, initially addressing light, behavioural, and family targeted issues. The section operated like other departments of the newspaper, where the writing and business areas were physically isolated. Over time, women’s readership began to identify strongly with the brand, and the supplement became a weekly magazine with a special cover and about 40 pages of content distributed with the weekend edition of ZH.

Donna grew from humble roots as a supplement covering lighter fare in the early 1990s to today boasting more than two million monthly pageviews and revenue of more than R$200,000 in digital advertising in 2016.
Donna grew from humble roots as a supplement covering lighter fare in the early 1990s to today boasting more than two million monthly pageviews and revenue of more than R$200,000 in digital advertising in 2016.

With the strengthening of the brand and identification of the readership in place, the next step was to explore the possibility of developing innovative business initiatives focused on the women of Rio Grande do Sul as a target audience, beyond the weekly magazine.

Despite the challenging context of the print media, especially in 2016, the launch of branded content formats with DonnaBrands — the publication of monthly thematic guides and a new specific commercial policy for advertising in the magazine — we saw our print media ads grow, closing 2016 with a profit of R$4.8 million.

The creation of the platform leveraged the results of print media and generated new revenue opportunities, which already accounted for approximately 20% of all the platform’s revenue in 2016 alone.

We had an average monthly audience of more than 2 million pageviews and 1 million unique users, with revenue of more than R$200,000 in digital advertising in 2016. The implementation of programmatic media on the platform gave the bottom line a healthy boost.

The Donna brand has taken reader engagement to the next level with special issues, live events, business partnerships, and more, growing its brand loyalty and bottom line.
The Donna brand has taken reader engagement to the next level with special issues, live events, business partnerships, and more, growing its brand loyalty and bottom line.

Additional highlights were the brand events that reached R$324,000 in revenue from sponsors in 2016. Business-to-consumer revenue from box office in paid-entrance events reached R$67,000.

Moreover, the launch of the new advertising formats, DonnaBrands, drew market attention, with revenue from branded content exceeding R$346,000 in 2016. Also noteworthy were the seven product lines launched with DonnaBrands that generated royalties of more than R$147,000.

Although 2016 was a challenging year, the results exceeded our expectations. In addition, the challenges arising from the launch of the platform created an environment similar to a start-up, leading to more agile and creative actions, more business, and more profit. 

In 2017, Donna continues to innovate and get even closer to this audience.