As New Zealand’s leading news Web site, Stuff connects with an audience of more than 2.1 million unique browsers monthly. In the aftermath of strong news interest that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic, Stuff wanted to identify ways to deepen its relevance with its audience, improve cut-through for its commercial partners, and protect against the potential economic instability that could follow.
So a cross-functional team — built from Stuff’s data and insights, revenue, and product teams — was briefed to explore how the site could perform better.
Digging through data
The analysed more than two and a half years’ worth of data, including information on Stuff’s daily unique visitors, daily page views, site section performance, revenue, advertising impressions, and eCPMs by channel.
To enhance digital advertising revenue, the team set out to understand where Stuff’s audience was engaging, the main site sections being visited, and where the revenue was flowing.
The team identified which site sections were being undersold and where there were opportunities to optimise. They also looked to improve eCPM and revenue by identifying areas to increase rates or reduce discount levels.
Furthermore, they identified where Stuff could re-package underperforming inventory to improve the sell-through rate and increase revenue.
One ad position was also packaged differently to sell direct and raise the eCPM. By converting the position to a dynamic widget, a strategic direct sale was made with a leading New Zealand retailer, which nearly doubled the eCPM.
The outcome was that viewability improved from 6% to 65%, and CTRs from 0.02% to 0.16%. eCMPs also trended upwards. The significant improvement in viewability is also enabling greater direct sales.
Alongside Stuff.co.nz, Stuff owns a suite of magazines, newspapers and the online community platform Neighbourly. It leverages its trust and scale to deliver quality news, content and experiences that help make New Zealand a better place.