3 Smart Ways Publishers Can Better Capitalize on Data
Most publishers are putting a greater emphasis on gathering and analyzing audience data so they can serve well-qualified leads to advertisers. For example, Conde Nast is enabling advertisers to market against audience content engagement analytics, incorporate their own first-party data, and build lookalike audiences through Conde Nast’s Spire data management platform. Conde Nast can tell a tech hardware advertiser that its core fans are actually music fans more than tech geeks and hence Pitchfork is a better advertising environment than Wired. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation uses its data to create a more personalized content and ad experience for key audiences.
But these examples are actually more rare in the industry than many my might expect. As eMarketer points out, few publishers are creating new data-driven revenue lines. Meanwhile, programmatic buyers are pushing to gain access to such data for free.
So how can publishers maximize the value of their data? There are many paths available -- but there are three in particular that stand out and that almost any publisher can immediately employ.
1. Segment your first-party data by interest
During a time in which ad targeting is often wildly inaccurate, first-party data from publishers is valuable. A recent report from Pinsight Media found that 60% of age data on mobile exchanges was inaccurate and off by an average of 10 years. Nielsen has also reported that campaigns targeting women ages 25-54 are only 40% accurate.
Publishers can double down on first-party data's value by segmenting analytics by the type of content viewed. For instance, publishers can not only isolate male readers ages 25-54, but can also highlight how many of them are DIY home improvement types. Such data would of course be of interest to any advertiser in that category.
That's particularly true if the correlation isn't obvious. For instance, there may be a large previously unknown overlap between such users and articles about rap music. For advertisers, such correlations reveal blue-sky territory that their competitors may not be aware of.
2. Use second-party data to gain scale
For publishers, a marketer's first-party data is their second-party data. The benefits for fusing the two are a much deeper level of targeting and the opportunity to find lookalike audiences.
Recognizing readers who are in their first-party databases, marketers can run ads aimed at lower-funnel activity. For instance, marketers can run ads to known users to remind them of abandoned shopping carts or seasonal purchases. They can use ad messaging to encourage loyalty or make relevant product recommendations.
Publishers can also pool resources with other organizations to fill gaps in their data. For instance, they can work with other publishers to share mutually beneficial data assets (like vertical content data). So far, much of publishers’ use of second-party data is in the discussion stage. Digiday reported recently that Business Insider, News UK and The Guardian have seen more requests from advertisers for a commingling of their first-party data with their own customized audience data sets. Of course, if you consider Facebook a publisher, it has been allowing advertisers to do the same for some time.
3. Use third-party data for content personalization
Publishers are also marketers to the extent that they are constantly trying to grow their audiences. Third-party data aggregated from various sources can help them do so more effectively.
For instance, just as marketers use third-party data to segment users, publishers can use it for content personalization. Using such personalization, a publisher chooses the content and messaging it shows users to boost the likelihood it will appeal to that user or segment of users. Some 88% of marketers report that personalization boosts their business results.
Publishers can pull profile data from a content management system (CMS) and data analysis tools and use it to choose relevant content for a given user. Such content will reach target audiences and keep them reading longer. This increases ROI with advertisers.
Maximizing data assets
There's a solid reason why publishers haven't made the most of their data: until recently, they didn't have to. But now that data awareness is high among marketers, publishers need to overhaul their business models. A publisher's marketing, editorial, and advertising units need to work together to maximize data opportunities without compromising their brands.
As Chief Strategy Officer, Jason Downie leads Lotame's efforts across business lines to evaluate market opportunities, refine product positioning and drive growth. He leads product, marketing, sales development, and strategy, while continuing to oversee the Lotame Data Exchange (LDX). In his first 7 years at Lotame, Jason built and grew the LDX into one of the world’s largest and highest-quality data exchanges. After graduating from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Jason spent 10 years at Bain and Company, consulting for a range of companies in the Fortune 500. Prior to joining Lotame, Jason spent more than 10 years as an entrepreneur in various fields.