Today’s publishers have the opportunity to celebrate the deepest and most enriching relationships they’ve ever had with their consumers. While it’s been known for years that newspaper publishers have rich pools of data on their users, the pot of gold has gotten even richer.

Publishers don’t report the size of their audience by using magical black boxes in a small sample of living rooms. They don’t use a survey to estimate how many users might be absorbing their product as they drive to work.

Most publishers have actual names and addresses for the majority of their users. In fact, publishers receive payments from their users each month and they drive by the homes of these users on a daily basis. While this is impressive, this is old news.

Many publishers are developing three-dimensional type relationships with consumers. The modern day “all-access subscriber” often has several connections to a publisher’s products throughout the course of a day.

This can start with the consumer receiving the daily print newspaper. A little later in the morning, the consumer may receive a morning sports update covering scores and highlights from across all time zones.

Later in the day, this same consumer might receive a digital evening edition or news update, giving the consumer key insights into both what has taken place during the day and what may be ahead in tomorrow’s print newspaper.

While this one example of a three-dimensional connection to a consumer is what fills the needs for some, this is a snapshot of how bright the future can be. Publishers can use rich content and product offerings to connect with the needs of consumers multiple times, on multiple platforms, throughout the course of a day, deepening their relationship with each consumer while learning about each consumer’s needs and habits.

In every market, there are groupings of consumers who truly want and need specific types of information. In many cases, publishers already have the needed content and can provide the needed services on the platforms the consumers are using.

Yes! The dots do connect here.

The key steps to making that deeper connection and growing your relationships with consumers are based on the needs in your market.

First, develop and offer targeted products on the platforms consumers use throughout the course of a 24-hour window.

Second, use what you know about their behaviour and demographics to create direct connections with the audience members on a personal level, not as a group. It’s amazing how quickly you will grow a second or third engagement with an individual in addition to connecting to consumers who’ve never had a formal relationship with you.

Looking for the deeper relationship? Try these five simple steps:

  1. Plug in and listen to customer service calls for 30 minutes a day. What are the five most important things that matter to your current users?

  2. Slow down and look at your Web traffic. What are the top 10 locations on your site (based on traffic)?

  3. How can you make the identified traffic hot spots more valuable?

  4. Develop a daily e-mail with content links that:

    a. Engage the consumer by linking to great content.

    b. Promote more usage by curating new and interesting content.

    c. Educate the consumers about new and existing products and services (newsletters, social channels, app downloads, etc.).

    d. Promote B2C relationships for your own clients based on targeted e-mail reach.

  5. Increase customer satisfaction by using consumer behaviour and customer service records to improve those channels with which each customer is engaged (e.g. don’t keep sending direct mail to mobile users that have complained about it).