Melissa Chowning

Melissa Chowning

Melissa Chowning is the CEO of Twenty-First Digital, where she guides her clients’ digital strategies and audience development efforts to drive traffic, engagement, and retention. Formerly the Audience Development Director of D Magazine, Portland Monthly and Seattle Met, Melissa understands that the key to audience growth is also monetization. When she’s not immersed in the digital world, you’ll likely find her reading, listening to podcasts, and keeping busy with her two children, both under the age of 6.

Using Automation to Make Audience Development More Personal

You would never invite a friend over to your home, open your door, and walk away once they walked in, would you? They’re your friend, after all. You’d say hello, thank them for coming, and ask them about their day. We live in a time where some of the most successful brands are aching to…

4 Customer Experience Tactics Publishers Should Steal from Ecommerce

Everything is convenient these days. I noticed the other day that my kiddo had a hole in his shoe, so while I was sitting in line at the dry cleaners, I opened the Zappos app and ordered my son a new pair of the same shoes (one size up, of course). It took 3 minutes,…

What AD Lessons Can Publishers Learn from a Lightning-Hot Political Campaign?

Audience developers, especially in publishing, often look to each other to for inspiration and opportunities for imitation. We look to The New York Times and their success in growing digital subscribers or admire Netflix’s tremendous audience growth. But I’ve recently become enamored with an entirely different audience development opportunity -- politics. Yes, that pool has…

Facebook Data Changes Create Sales Opportunities for Publishers

Facebook has been under serious scrutiny lately as more is revealed about Cambridge Analytica’s use of the social networks’ user information.  Cambridge Analytica, a third party data brokerage firm, and Facebook are now the subjects of multiple investigations for the improper use of user data to target political advertising on Facebook. Since the revelation, Facebook…

To Thrive At Audience Development, Publishers Need to Master Content Marketing

Despite an entire career spent in publishing, I took a brief detour into the agency world, specifically a content marketing agency. That time proved to be valuable as it confirmed what I had already been practicing and preaching in the audience development side of the business. Audience development professionals and publishers are constantly on the…