How the use of digital data can bring important benefits to the media

The collection and analysis of data from the online audience is already a reality in well-known brands of newspapers and magazines, who have assigned specific teams to then make decisions that directly affect the business. It is possible to find cases with favorable results related to the creation of attractive content, the increase in subscriptions and the optimization of advertising.

Almost a year ago, media company Hearst, owner of brands such as Elle, Esquire or Cosmopolitan, announced Adam Harris as the new vice president of data products. The expert would be responsible for creating and implementing new products based on the data captured and analyzed from the behavior of more than 140 million consumers of all brands, but also develop methods to provide new metrics to advertisers, so that they could develop most optimal campaigns.

This is how publishing groups have begun to make data part of their business strategies. This is what is known as Big Data management or “the process of collecting and analyzing large amounts of information. The complexity and large volume of data prevent them from being analyzed by traditional media. to another type of mechanisms used for management and analysis are the 5Vs: volume, speed, variety, veracity and value “.

In this way, that data processing of your digital readers is a tool that the media can use on several fronts. One of them is to generate a closer relationship with their audiences. “They’ve never had this kind of information before about how their audience was consuming their content, and they’re using this information to develop new products, and it’s helping them personalize communications with customers,” explains Valida Matt Lindsay , president of the consultant Mather Economics.

And through this personalization is that Hearst developed a content strategy oriented to electronic commerce. “For example, if an article is about spring jackets, and we know from our data collection that the reader buys fast fashion brands, we are going to show products that will most likely lead them to take the next action,” explains Adam Harris, who raises, like Lindsay, that this type of action favors the narrowness of ties with its readers. “With our commercial content strategy, we see that consumers engage at a deeper level, which ultimately results in sales,” he says.

On the other hand, the analysis of data that reflect the behavior of readers, through tools such as Google Analytics or Omniture, has allowed the media to increase its subscriber base by providing an attractive offer of content that can only be read. if a subscription has been previously paid.

That is the case of Aftenposten, the largest newspaper in Norway, which with more than 150 years of history in printed format and just over 20 on the web, set out to increase sales of its digital format in 2016 and reach 100,000 subscriptions in one year. Thanks to the analysis of behavior patterns, from the development of an algorithm that considered 50 variables, they exceeded that goal and reached 150,000.

Along with this, they also determined that those users who were more likely to buy a subscription also had them to see an ad in the newspaper application and click on that notice.

That is precisely what also stands out the author of the book “How to Succeed in the Relationship Economy: Make Data Work for You, Empathy with Customers, Grow Valuable Relationships”, who affirms that Big Data is an excellent ally for managing campaigns advertising in the media. “The key to this generating more income is to reach a scale: to have enough data in a large number of readers so that advertisers can reach their target audience,” says Lindsay.

What is the minimum that a medium should consider to have a Big Data team in your organization? For the expert, there are certain areas where the organization should focus the investment if they want to implement this system: data storage, data analysis and the performance report, are some of them.

Finally, and considering the recent entry into force of the General Regulation of Data Protection of the European Union, Matt Lindsay ensures that such regulation will mean an improvement in the transparency of data collection. “My hope is that regulators focus on instances in which companies monetize data through targeted advertising and not so much in the use of data collected by an editor, from their own audience, by media companies for their own operations. commercial “, concludes the expert.

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