Editor’s note: This is one of 17 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Making Big Data Smarter For Media Companies,” released in December.

HT Media Ltd., Hindustan Times’ parent company, has used data in strategies to build audience engagement with its print products for nearly five years, as well as to increase advertiser revenue from print for nearly a decade, says Pankaj Seith, vice president for insights at HT Media.

Its efforts on the digital side are newer. But the company has made “rapid strides” and now plans to use data to increase revenue from readers, especially users of its digital products. 

“Our focus has been on using basic and flexible tools along with specialist people to derive insights and drive results,” Seith says. “Our returns on these investments have been good, as we have taken a calibrated approach while putting these in place.”

HT Media has worked with data analysis vendors and uses analytics software and ad planning/ad serving software, Seith says. In print, it uses customised ad layout software to target ads to specific geographic segments, while, to serve targeted ads online, it uses Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers with custom features added. 

Seith says HT Media executives believe that while all leading media companies are adopting new data tools for their digital products, it has been up to “the pioneers among the traditional news media companies to adopt these tools for print products.”

Still, he says, there is much more it can do to maximise its revenue using the tools now available. 

“While most of our initiatives have done well, we believe we have only scratched the surface in this area,” Seith says. “There are specific areas like digital audience engagement, reader revenues, highly targeted advertising, and imagery analytics where we could possibly add greater value.”