The Dynamic Database
In what is perhaps a signpost for the future, Hachette Filipacchi Media in July promoted its vice president of integrated sales and marketing, John Weisgerber, to a newly created position of vice president, digital revenue development. According to a company press release, the position largely will focus on making the most of audience data, "combin[ing] data drawn from the company's established brands along with behavioral, social and psychographic/demographic information to create unique digital audience packages."
If, as HFMUS's Chief Operating Officer Philippe Guelton stated at the time, the publishing marketplace is increasingly focused on audience targeting, the industry should expect more of this sort of restructuring in marketing strategy. Publishers are discovering—and advertisers are demanding—new ways to capture and parse data from the variety of digital products available to consumers, and as these consumers become increasingly comfortable with sharing information on portals such as Facebook, the opportunities for utilizing digital content should only increase.
Success with such initiatives requires what Eric T. Peterson, chief executive officer and principal consultant with Web Analytics Demystified Inc., calls the "hub and spoke" model for digital analytical deployment. While fluency with Web analytics should be a part of the day-to-day workflow of marketers, content producers and editors, "You make the end users successful with these tools by having a dedicated team of people who make sure the software is properly installed, the data coming in is as accurate as it can be, and training is provided," Peterson says.
This level of expertise allows for setting up complex data analysis based on, for instance, the type of response generated by targeting certain income levels, or degrees of campaign investment, or sources indicating psychographic (behavioral or lifestyle) preferences.
"It takes a real commitment—not just out of the box—to figure out who your key segments are," Peterson notes. "Sometimes they're exactly what you expect, and sometimes not. So you figure out who … [they] are and how you are going to monitor [and optimize] their activity as different from your whole audience."