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.  

In the past 18 months, the Postmedia Network has invested heavily in developing its own data warehouse, customer relationship management (CRM) system, and business intelligence tools to gather and manage data from its own brands and third-party sources, says Siobhan Vinish, senior vice president of marketing and audience development.

Within the past year, Postmedia has begun using a data management platform that allows it to segment data based on content consumption and to target advertisements to increase advertising revenue, Vinish says.

It has worked with several data products, including Adobe’s SiteCatalyst and the Burt analytics platform, as well as Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers for ad serving, with only positive experiences to report. 

“All partners have worked very closely with us to find solutions to the unique challenges of multiple data sources and systems across our network,” Vinish says. 

While the company isn’t ready to publicly discuss its return on investment at this early stage, Vinish says executives are “comfortable with the returns to date and see significant upside opportunities in the months and years ahead.” 

She says Postmedia’s next Big Data venture will be in the area of wearable technology, one of the opportunity areas that new tools are creating. In addition, customer privacy concerns must remain a primary concern as the company explores those possibilities.

“We make sure our privacy policy is maintained and current, and make sure consumers understand how they can get in touch with any concerns they may have,” Vinish says. “We are at the tip of the iceberg for what we can do. As long as we keep people’s privacy first and foremost, then the potential is great.”