Buyer's Guide: The Growing Importance of Audience Data Tracking
This article is from the Publishing Executive Buyer's Guide which is a publisher's reference on emerging technology in the media industry. You can find other Buyer's Guide Sections here:
As publishing moves from a product-centric to an audience-centric business model, understanding what data you have and how it can help you grow and monetize your audience becomes more important.
More sophisticated data intelligence means greater abilities for content optimization, product development, marketing, advertising, and lead generating activities. On the flipside, as one source put it, "If you can't segment, you're dead."
Data management also goes hand-in-hand with audience development efforts. Without proper data management you have no insight into the market you're serving or where you need to focus your audience-building tactics.
The quality and quantity of data that publishers are collecting is also changing quickly. Circulation lists are of course still very important. For this, subscription fulfillment vendors take on the task of maintaining a clean and updated list of subscribers. Yet the points of entry for publishers to receive data are expanding: webinar and event registrants, website visitors, newsletter subscribers, are all offering up data. The challenge for publishers is to understand how individuals are interacting with your business across different platforms.
Marketing automation tools play an important part in the data feedback loop with your audience. These tools can provide insight into, for example, how users interacted with an email campaign, and whether or not they clicked on a link and were "converted" by registering for an event or signing up for a newsletter.
For larger enterprises with more complex data and sophisticated goals, data warehousing is the next step. This is done either through in-house databases, use of data warehousing services, or a combination of both. Data warehousing allows publishers to gather, store, organize, and clean data. And database analytics allow you to track behavior and develop actionable intelligence.
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed 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.