How Data Is Accelerating the Publishing Industry
Yes, data has become a buzzword and anyone with a little extra hot air will be eager to tell you it's the cure to what ails your business. The collection of articles in this issue of Publishing Executive is an attempt to go beyond that buzz. To delve into specific cases that illustrate how publishers are using data to improve their businesses.
Of course, publishers are not making use of data for the first time. It's just that they have greater access to high-quality data than ever. They have better, more affordable tools for managing and manipulating data. And so, they have a more nuanced comprehension of their audience and the opportunity to use data to make better strategic decisions and drive revenue.
Data is the new starting point in publishing. Want to launch a new product or content vertical? You're not getting far without compelling data to back it up. Want to increase the impact of your content strategy or convert casual website visitors to opted-in audience members? Your best bet will be testing for what works with a close eye on analytics. Want to make the case to advertisers to increase their spend? Good luck without making the case with some empirical evidence for ROI.
In Publishing Executive's first Data Issue you'll find quite a few tales of data in action. Active Interest Media's Jonathan Dorn shares insight on how his company has used data about audience behavior and interests -- in this case, data indicating home preferences and building phase -- to produce lead gen tools unique to the consumer space. ALM's Jeff Litvack and Robert Schultz discuss their success utilizing behavioral data to make marketing campaigns more effective. U.S. News & World Report has turned its well-known "Best" rankings franchise into a portfolio of data-driven and revenue-earning products and services. In "The Data Evolution" we hear reports from Slate, Hanley Wood, and Active Interest Media on how they're using data to engender a more audience-centric approach to their businesses. And to offer a 360-degree view, Penton SVP of marketing Kate Spellman takes us through the B2B company's transformation from legacy publisher to information services company.
Denis Wilson is the content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzes and reports on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aims to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.