Data Points: Harnessing Analytics and Measurement

December 3, 2018

Turning on the Data Spigot

“Saying your company has data is like saying your house has plumbing. The real questions is how are you going to use that data?” asked MPA President and CEO Linda Thomas Brooks. Thomas Brooks said companies must use analytics wisely to separate the “data-empowered” from the “data-captive.” She added that magazine brands are the experts in knowing their consumers—what they want to read, how they want to read it and when.


Converting Data to the “So What”

“Having data isn’t enough. What’s impactful is being able to drive the ‘so what,’” said Alysia Borsa, chief marketing and data officer, Meredith Corp. A combination of data sources allows Meredith to be the most effective: first-party data (interest and intent data), directly actionable research (proprietary research and real-time panels), and editorial expertise (identifying and setting trends.) Borsa also shared how her team builds persistent consumer profiles from their interests and life stages as well as dynamic profiles based on their current needs.

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How Data Fuels Content

In an interview with MPA’s Elizabeth Tighe, Stephanie Fried, EVP, Research, Analytics and Audience Development, Condé Nast said that custom research is all about uncovering the why—why consumers think, say and do something—that relates to the what—their actions. She added, “Advertisers are more successful if consumers are happy and engaged. So our team is focused on data and insights to provide a better consumer experience across platforms.”

Conquering Campaign Measurement

“Measurement continues to be a key focus for marketers, and to do it accurately involves many challenges across several aspects,” said Anthony Ferrara, director of Analytics, Acxiom. Using a series of case studies, Ferrara shared best practices for data-driven decision making. .

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Members, Patrons and Data Consolidation

Dan Heffernan of Advantage CS spoke with SES & Company’s Steve Strickman about how membership organizations can use data to treat members as patrons. Clubs and membership programs can offer an array of benefits—such as magazine subscriptions, event invitations, products and access to archives and databases – and make consumers feel like they’re part of a community. Strickman urged magazine brands to create different levels of membership at different prices.

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Discovery & Engagement in a Mobile-First World

“A user is now more likely to find your content directly through your mobile website or app than via Facebook,” said Chartbeat CEO John Saroff. Facebook mobile traffic steadily declined nearly 40% since January 2017. Google Search, however, has grown more than two times since January 2017. He added, “Now that Facebook is retreating from news, there is an opportunity for you to create engaging mobile experiences. If you don’t do it, then aggregators [such as Flipboard] will.”

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What it Means to Be Data-Driven

In a discussion with MPA’s Linda Thomas Brooks, Karthic Bala, Chief Data Officer, Condé Nast, said that companies must have a holistic approach to data as they continue to move away from advertising-based models to consumer-based. To do this, Bala launched Spire—a first-of-its-kind product that reveals insights between seemingly unrelated categories—which gives Condé Nast a deeper understanding of consumer behavior and attitudes. Thomas Brooks added, “When researching something, data analysts shouldn’t be looking for an answer, but for a problem to solve.”

Fusing Data to Make Better Decisions

Google’s Chris Jansen asked the room, “Do your frequent and non-frequent users get the same experience? Do they all get the same ads, same content and same subscription offer?” Jansen said publishers should view consumers as customers and visitors—not just users of your website—and to use Google’s audience analytics tools to customize experiences, optimizing revenue and sustainability.

Simply the Best

In a panel moderated by Richy Glassberg, co-founder and CEO, Safequard GDPR, top experts from The Taunton Press, Trusted Media Brands and New York Magazine shared the biggest challenges when executing data initiatives and data mining methods:

- Understanding initiatives vs. achieving results and making the data actionable
- Fully understanding consumers in their journey
- Having enough resources to meet goals

Panelists include: Paula Backer, Consumer Marketing, The Taunton Press; Scott Mulqueen, VP, Programmatic and Data Operations, Trusted Media Brands, Inc.; and Jason Sylva, General Manager, Consumer Revenue, New York Magazine.

High Times for the Cannabis Consumer

Michael Panebiancio, Vice President, MRI shared results from their first national cannabis study, recognizing consumers’ media usage, psychographics, leisure activities and virtually every category of product consumption. Consumers are categorized in three ways: hesitators, wellness pot practitioners and cannabis connoisseurs.

Data Privacy: Emerging Trends

New privacy regulations—such as GDPR and CCPA—are forcing organizations to rethink the way they do business. Though the average spending on GDPR implementation is $3 million, Ariana Davis, cyber risk privacy manager, Grant Thornton, said these regulations are good for business. Davis encouraged publishers to enhance strategies for gathering, using, sharing, maintaining and protecting consumer data.

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What Do You Really Need to Know About the Changes to Data Security and Privacy?

Barry LaSala, principal, Subject Matter, moderated a panel with top data and security experts working in the magazine media arena. Panelists discussed how privacy laws and regulations will continue to evolve and how data breaches—such as the recent hacking incident at Marriott—should be handled.

Panelists include: Monika Jedrzejowska, chief privacy officer, Hearst; Peter Lerner, VP, associate general counsel, Advance Publications; and Marc Roth, partner, Davis Wright Tremaine.