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News Corp Australia maximises “earned attention” with first-party advertising data

By Michelle Palmer Jones

INMA

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

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News Corp Australia has found a way to collect its own data without having to rely on third-party cookies — a formula that is having a significant impact on ad sales.

The media company is looking to maximise what it calls earned attention for its advertisers, Suzie Cardwell, general manager/data and ad product, told attendees of INMA’s debut Asia/Pacific News Media Summit last week.

Suzie Cardwell, general manager/data and ad product, explained News Corp Australia's "earned attention" strategy.
Suzie Cardwell, general manager/data and ad product, explained News Corp Australia's "earned attention" strategy.

“Which is really about how advertisers can leverage the high levels of attention that we get from our audiences to drive their marketing outcomes,” Cardwell said. News Corp Australia starts with its first-party audience data it gathers from across its network to find the right audience for its brands, “then we combine that with highly engaging ad formats and ad products to really deliver on verified and measured outcomes,” she said. 

What’s beneficial for News Corp Australia in particular is across its digital network, it engages with 14 million Australians every month, which is about 70% of the adult population.

“The result is we see a very broad cross section of the Australian community, but we also start to really understand quite deeply their interests,” Cardwell said. “That allows us to really understand their intent.”

News Corp Australia's Attention Suite features native, video, and display advertising.
News Corp Australia's Attention Suite features native, video, and display advertising.

News Corp has built its own data platform to capture, analyse, and utilise all the first-party data it collects. The team is then able to capture information about who they are, assign them an ID, and then start to assign attributes to them based on what it sees them doing across the network.

“We aren’t reliant on third-party cookies in this space. We aren’t going to be affected by changes Google is going to make to Chrome.”

News Corp Australia then partners with companies to bring in other data and match it up with their audience data. They look to companies that track location, credit card transactions, intent and consumption, Caldwell said: “It is this data that gets overlaid with our audience data, and we can again use first-party methods to understand it and target across the network.”

When it comes to engagement, News Corp Australia has some encouraging numbers. They attribute their first-party data strategy as one of the reasons they’re seeing 53% more time spent on their sites versus their nearest commercial publisher competitor. They also see 57% more repeat visits per month than their nearest competitor, which is about 11 more sessions on their sites per month. 

News Corp Australia's premium digital offer gives advertisers a more focused option.
News Corp Australia's premium digital offer gives advertisers a more focused option.

The results the company was looking for and is ultimately getting are apparent in a recent research project, Caldwell said.

“It was seeking to answer the question as to whether premium context environments are more effective in driving outcomes in particular in driving brand and recall outcomes,” she said. The answer they found is, yes, they are.

News Corp Australia built what they call its Attention Suite for its advertising products. “These are formats and products that allow us to maximise the amount of attention that we are delivering to a client’s target audience,” Cardwell said. The company is able to make guarantees to its advertisers like a one-minute engagement promise with native advertising, guaranteed completed video views and guaranteed audience attention with its displays. 

First-party data is spurring digital advertising revenue year-on-year.
First-party data is spurring digital advertising revenue year-on-year.

Cardwell finds the business outcomes are real proof the approach is working.

“We can show them, of the people who are exposed to a campaign on our network, also then went out to one of our major supermarkets to make a purchase,” Cardwell said. If seeing revenue growth year-to-year isn’t enough to prove why first-party data is at the core of News Corp’s digital advertising and sales narrative, Cardwell says advertisers also really like it.

About Michelle Palmer Jones

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