Big data is changing the way media companies work. That’s a fact. In the same way that traditional media (i.e. newspapers and magazines) was disrupted by the dot com boom, the way current newsrooms work, whether it be for print, digital or both, is going to be disrupted by big data.
But the disruption is the change that media companies have been desperately needing.
Big data puts audience understanding into the hands of journalists, whose sole mission has always been to provide content and news relatable to their reader. And though online advertising has become more and more targeted since the dot com boom thanks to cookies and trackers that deliver audience insight to advertisers, journalists themselves have long had to guess as to who their audience really is. Advertisers simply don’t share audience data back with media companies — not without a high price, at least.
But big data changes all of that, especially when big data is supported on platforms that really care about the media industry.
Media, Meet Audience Intelligence
What that means is simplicity — journalists and media companies need a platform that doesn’t force them to dig for insights, but one that shows them the composition insights they couldn’t have found on their own (even if they had dug through it all). That means a smart platform that doesn’t bucket users, or their social data, or their site behavior, but that instead combines all of those touch points to help journalists identify a core audience that really loves Jack Daniels, for instance, and helps the sales team sell higher priced RFPs to Jack Daniels, making the customer experience for readers much more in line with their personal interests — and making an advertiser come back again and again thanks to high conversions.
A data management platform (DMP) is what we’re talking about, and there are certainly many of them out there. Krux stands out in the pack as one DMP that caters to the media industry, seeking to increase CTRs and provide media brands with targeted ads and advertisers that seriously increase the brand’s bottom line.
Any DMP seeking to make more money for media companies without losing the loyalty of the reader sits high and mighty in the minds of media professionals — especially after years of struggle in the industry. But even with a DMP that caters to the industry, platforms like Krux are missing an element that will be integral to the future of journalism and big data: unity.
Media companies of the future are not segregated by roles (think sales, ad ops and journalists). Instead, these teams will be united by big data that showers those teams with insights on composition and reach previously available only to advertisers, and only manageable if you were to hire a data scientist.
Here’s How It Works
Imagine a branded content team producing evergreen articles that share better than any other content on the site (this is a reality for many companies, check out Mashable and Fast Company if you don’t believe it). Because the branded content team works hard to never cross the editorial line, and thus never mentions the brand who sponsors the content in the actual content, it’s really important to make sure that whoever sponsors the content is a brand that the readers like. Otherwise, the content might share, but no click-thru will occur.
With a smart data platform, finding that information is easy — for the journalists writing the stories, the ad ops team integrating the brand into the ad space around the content and for the sales team looking for more sponsors with a bigger budget. Once a reader uses social login on the site, a smart data platform immediately begins connecting the dots for you, showing you which users like Jack Daniels and convert on site (combining social identity data from Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn with on-site behavioral data — then easily showing you how two separate actions combine to create a conversion).
In all, an audience stack is not only comprised of a DMP, or any singular component for that matter. It is also a customer relationship management platform, an ad server, a survey (without actually having to be a survey), multiple analytics tools, social channels, an email service provider and a reach extension option that allows you to build an audience that is engaged, loyal and socially active. Turning your audience stack into a smart data platform is exactly what Umbel can do for you.
You don’t need both a DMP and a smart data stack, but they can work together to give you an increasingly detailed data understanding of your audience. Individual platforms like DMPs often help specific organizational departments, like the ad-ops team within a media company to target with more precision. Umbel sits on-top of your data stack to make it smart, even with DMPs like BlueKai, Krux & Adobe Audience Manager, or any other individual component of a platform, to make sure the editors, writers, ad ops and sales guys get the same benefit as any other team: the ability to grow an audience, find amazing sponsors and tell the story of a media company through tangible numbers and a loyal reader base.