Data-driven marketing is hardly new. For proof, think of how long you’ve been receiving credit card and insurance offers in the mail, and how often you receive them.
Marketers continue to employ this tactic because it works, but the most successful operations aren’t the result of a single mailing list and a huge postage bill. In fact, they’re the culmination of years of refinement and audience curation, paying attention to response rates and conversions over months, years, and decades.
This is important to remember in these data-centric times, especially for online marketing.
Online behaviour has opened up new ways of targeting consumers, but the wealth of data doesn’t necessarily mean that data-driven marketing is any easier. If anything, it requires just as much time, effort, and consideration than it did in the past.
News media organisations that want to seize the opportunity in online advertising should be putting considerable thought into their data operations, while at the same time exhibiting as much patience as they can as that data team gets off the ground.
The INMA’s Big Data for Media 2.0 report states “the most robust and successful media organisations agree that building a company-wide data strategy requires buy-in, investment, and hands-on involvement from the highest rungs of management.”
Nothing could be truer. Building a worthwhile operation requires lots of consideration about which partners to use, how the data will be used, and the amount the operation will rely on internal and external data.
The rubber meets the road when it comes to sales and client services. If your news media organisation has taken the time to build a solid data team and plan, it’s still a challenge to convince advertisers to leverage what you’ve put in place.
Your organisation may know that data is the future, but advertisers — especially the smaller ones — can sometimes lag well behind the industry trends.
To succeed and get advertisers to buy into pilot campaigns, you’ll need to sell them on the outcomes and what’s in it for them, rather than just the potential of a shiny new toy.
Data is scary, especially at the SMB level. No small business owners want to spend all of their time sorting through spreadsheets to figure out how advertising is doing. The thought alone probably makes them quiver with anxiety!
Instead, develop an approach that makes it easy for them. Build a team that can translate the data for your advertising partners so they’re comfortable. Honestly, you could invest all the money in the world in the best technology, and it means nothing if your advertising partners aren’t comfortable working with your data operation.
All of these pieces are vital to long-term success in the media industry, especially as it relates to digital. Building a successful data operation is far more complicated than signing a contract with a technology platform or storing all of your audience data on a server.
Carefully consider how you want the data to be used and how you’ll help your advertiser base use it. If you build around those questions, you’ll be well-positioned for the long term.
25 August 2016 · By Lynne Brennen
The people whom we call our customers reflects our evolving knowledge about them as a group and as individuals.
With an MBA listing still damp on my resume and a passion for the business of journalism, I found our terminology particularly vexing. In fact, when I started at the New York Times, I was reprimanded when I used terms like “customer” and “product,” and heaven forbid we consider ourselves “marketers.”
To be appropriate, we referred to our customers as an action: circulation. And, we were circulators.
That arcane nomenclature didn’t last for long.
Within a year or two ......[more]
09 August 2016 · By Darrell Kunken
My daily routine at the office includes a commitment to sifting, sorting, and reading through mountains of communications, and ultimately reading the most important messages.
As I read, I constantly run across articles of information that make me think “this is a good tidbit” or “this is a great article that our research and sales teams should read.” But, if I forwarded an e-mail each time I thought that, recipients would find their e-mail boxes full and their patience with me running short!
And, if a salesperson’s day was dedicated to reading everything I found of interest, she wouldn’t have time to sell!
Over the years, we have created electronic libraries where those with a need could go and search for information the research team has collected and stored for their use. But ......[more]
26 July 2016 · By Philippe Guay
In my previous two blog posts, I covered in detail the data that supports why focusing on video should be a top priority for any publisher and why maximising video usage is key to driving better audience engagement and resulting revenues.
The issue now for many legacy publishers is how to ensure buy-in within the newsroom for this new philosophy and opportunity. How is it possible to extract more from a team already overworked and that has likely already been impacted by resource reductions over the past 10 years?
According to The American Society of News Editors Annual Census, the total newsroom workforce shrunk from 55,000 in 2006 (pre-recession) to less than 35,000 in 2015. That’s a one-third reduction in newsroom staff while the digital workload increased over the same period.
Is there hope to cope with all the new requirements that video brings while operating with a reduced workforce?
We’ve learned that the answer is “yes.” There are many new tools and industry partners that can enable a newsroom to automate the integration of video into its online content.
Many solutions and best practices are out there to help reduce as much of the human element as possible, while enabling the newsroom to capitalise on new readership engagement and revenue streams.
Here are a few examples of what can be done:
1. Capitalise on automation. Partner with content syndicators that enable your newsroom to embed video in every single article automatically. For example, at SendtoNews we offer the ability to drop in a code that will instantly recognise your article content and populate one or more video clips from our inventory to match the article.
For example, instead of having to locate, secure, and embed video content to support an article for the latest Dodgers game on the Los Angeles Times Web site, it is possible to have an embed code automatically generated when the article is published.
After implementing automation, we experienced a 300% jump in monthly video views on the Los Angeles Times and corresponding uptick in revenue, and we believe this is just the beginning of what is possible.
More views equate to more revenue. With automation, resource limitations are eliminated, and there is no reason every publisher should not capitalise on this technology.
2. Timely publishing of videos. Automation is also a key enabler for timely publishing of any breaking news (political, gossip, sports highlights, etc.). People want to see that amazing buzzer beater as soon as the clip is available. Displaying it on your appropriate page, even initially only with a heading, will attract and retain your readers/viewers.
3. Mobile first. Let’s be candid, if your CMS does not allow you to publish an article with video (or a video-only post) simultaneously on both desktop and mobile, it’s time to find another CMS.
For example, The Washington Post’s new platform is 100% mobile first and is attracting big potential partners like Tronc in the United States and The Globe & Mail in Canada. Mobile should not be an afterthought.
4. Maximise video on each section’s home page or vertical pages. This is another great way to remove labour and generate good views with resulting revenue.
For example, add a video player on your entertainment home page that automatically feeds the latest entertainment news. Add a player on your NHL page that automatically feeds the latest NHL news (or better yet, customise it to your local team).
While section home pages and vertical pages no longer drive the lion’s share of the traffic (usually less than 15%), they are still important for creating viewership at little to no cost from an editorial standpoint.
5. Leverage viral content. Are you tracking trending stories? Are you ensuring they are supported by the most engaging video clips? While this function may still require human intervention, the potential return makes it worth the effort.
On any given day, five or six stories are driving the majority of the news. Who’s ensuring that these stories have at least one relevant video clip attached?
Notice here that many stories have multiple videos, and viewers appreciate the ability to look at the story from various points of view. Nothing beats watching a walk-off home run from the perspective of the player — but then having the ability to review it from the perspective of the player’s teammates, the manager, or even the fans!
6. Focus on SEO and social media. Do you have SEO and social media expertise? If you are able to implement automated video content, then these are two additional activities where investing time and resources will pay big dividends in terms of SEO.
Entities like BuzzFeed and Mashable are likely beating you at this game. They have put the processes in place to leverage SEO/social media like no other, and tend to win big when hot stories break. What are you doing to compete online in your market? What’s your social media strategy to ensure you are the relevant source of news for your audience?
In summary, removing the “daily grind” from your editors’ workflow with video content automation allows your publication to:
- Be more comprehensive and engaging with video enhanced articles.
- Be more timely and responsive when clips come available.
- Post more video content without taxing your limited resources.
Properly implemented, video content automation will grow your video viewership exponentially and also allow your editors to focus on where their efforts can be more effective, such as supporting viral/trending content, maximising SEO, and engaging social media.
18 July 2016 · By Brooke Christofferson
The automobile business continues to offer a lot of opportunity for local media organisations.
Gannett has made auto a key priority for its local sales and client strategy organisations. The strategy is rooted in providing deep insights to local dealers using various data sources, new sophisticated tools, and go-to-market storytelling for individual dealers.
Lift, a new insights tool, was built as the cornerstone of the go-to-market strategy for auto. The tool combines dealer sales and inventory data, enabling sales reps to work with dealers to better tailor their marketing plans.
Lift is the Web platform that integrates ......[more]
06 July 2016 · By Darrell Kunken
Sure, we can market to people looking to buy new homes. It is part of what we do.
But what if you (a new home development sales and marketing office) could learn more about your buyer’s goals and motivations for buying a new home?
Katie Murphy, customer specialist analyst, did just that.
By recording the addresses of where the new home buyers are moving from, the new home development gains a greater understanding of:
- Geographically, where buyers are coming from and how far they are moving.
- What kind of home they are moving from.
- What the most influential motivators are for the home they are ...
23 June 2016 · By Philippe Guay
The INMA World Congress in London last month was an outstanding forum for publishers to discuss the key challenges of properly scaling their video business. Even for major publishers such as The New York Times or The Washington Post, the challenge to create great videos on a large scale is daunting.
The chairman of Tribune Publishing (now tronc, Inc.) was quoted last week saying he wants to produce 2,000 videos a day using artificial intelligence. It’s a compelling notion and may be one of the few ways to cost effectively scale video production.
But unless or until AI is smart enough to create relevant, compelling video content on an ongoing basis, what do we do?
One of the options for publishers is to recognise and leverage the significant depth of content available through third-party syndicators, as this content is ......[more]
09 June 2016 · By Adam Burnham
Small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are expected to increase their digital ad spending in 2016, with growth forecast for both managed “do-it-for-me” (DIFM) and “do-it-with-me” (DIWM) models, as well as do-it-yourself advertising.
This is good news for the market overall, but it also comes amid rampant churn in the SMB space.
According to data from Thrive Analytics, the main reason SMBs spend less with partners is because of poor ROI and/or a general disappointment with their marketing outcomes. The trouble is that almost 75% don’t use any kind of tool to actually measure their performance, as Greg Sterling recently pointed out for the Local Search Association.
Everyone wants to confront churn, and the obvious solution would seemingly be for the advertising sellers to offer better attribution and ROI measurement tools. But ......[more]
31 May 2016 · By Darrell Kunken
We hear it every day. Decision-makers are finally in tune with the concept of “mapping the customer journey” or the “customer path-to-purchase.”
These are hot topics and good concepts, and it is important to clarify with the business decision-maker what, exactly, they mean and how they can best be used.
I’ve also heard business owners say many times, “Marketing is so different today. Marketing has really changed.”
But has marketing changed? Or have these people been hearing from someone who is trying to convince them that marketing has changed so they can be sold on the latest ......[more]
30 May 2016 · By Wayne Morgan
I am sure you will agree with me that when it comes to digital advertising, reporting back success and failure to your customer is of paramount importance.
But are you really doing that? Are you genuinely and in a structured way communicating with your customer about what is happening with his campaign and his investment in you?
Not at the end of the campaign, but throughout. Are you optimising, and, hopefully, if you are doing it well, probably up-selling too?
Media companies are high-volume environments in an ever-changing world. By that, I mean we sell and execute a lot — and I mean a lot — of advertising campaigns.
The report you provide to your customer is the product.
Can we all agree that if you create an advertisement and place it in front of enough people, some of them will ......[more]