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Media firms and publishers: How to utilize and monetize your data

There’s one key problem many media firms and publishers are facing that’s holding them back from monetizing data and improving efficiency.

The cause is using multiple, disjointed systems, which we covered in our recent ebook. With several teams focusing on different audiences from readers to buyers, you might find that your teams are working in silos. They often have different goals and software which results in disparate data.

Combine that with cookie depreciation which is making media buyers scrutinize publishers’ first party data offerings and question the associated costs – and it’s easy to see why publishers are finding it tough to unlock the true value of their data.

The good news is that most publishers and media firms have an abundance of quality data at their fingertips, especially with owned websites and apps. The challenge is bringing it all together in one place. Then learning how to segment, analyze and monetize it in the most effective way.

1: Choose the right platform to utilize your audience data

This starts with understanding which platform offers the most value to you as a publisher and knowing which kind of data you’ll get.

A CRM: One system for first-party data

You might think that a CRM isn’t the right place for audience data. But in its simplest form, a CRM is a database of people. A good CRM will give you reliable first-party data collected by interacting with your audience. This includes:

  • Demographics
  • Purchase history
  • Interests
  • Behaviors around your sales and marketing
  • Where to find them on social media
  • Website activity – like if they clicked through on a form and subscriptions

Switch disparate systems for one transparent data hub

A CRM is a great way to ditch the disparate systems your teams may be using and pull your valuable data into one repository where you can easily analyze it. By having all this data in one accessible place, you can start segmenting your audience into groups based on their preferences and interests. Use the results to better understand what your audience value the most, tailor your sales and marketing efforts based on those preferences and ensure that the data that you want to sell to media buyers is high quality and accessible.

Use quality data to improve your own marketing

As cookie usage continues to depreciate, the publishing industry that was once very sales- focused is now seeing a much bigger opportunity for effective marketing. Contextual advertising is becoming more popular. Both rely heavily on your first-party data which helps you understand your audience’s interest and intent. Use a CRM platform’s reporting and dashboard functionality to easily view what’s a priority for your audience.

Intent data platforms: Using an additional system for third-party data

Intent data platforms offer additional information about your audience. You’ll still need a CRM to manage your sales, marketing and operations but an intent data platform offers third-party data. Third-party data is brought from another company with no links to your own data. Intent data companies claim third-party data includes:

  • Behavioural data that includes the preferences and interests of audiences
  • across multiple publishers’ websites
  • Information on who’s reviewing competitors
  • Online searches

The confusion around third-party data

There’s a lot of debate about how helpful third-party data really is. Sellers of third-party content often make questionable claims about how you can interpret this data. But the main challenge with this kind of data is its reliability.

Often sellers will collect multiple sets of first-party data from companies, combine it, and sell it. This means it comes with a risk that the consumers didn’t consent to their data being collected. There’s no way to know if it’s compliant with privacy laws and regulations.

You also can’t tell how recent the data is. There’s no way to check when it was last updated. And that means a lot of the data could be redundant before you’ve even started to use it. With so much changing in business on a regular basis, it’s very difficult for intent data companies to keep up and ensure the data is accurate.

The other challenge is what third-party can’t tell you. You won’t be able to see who viewed your competitors online, or searched for a term using Google, or downloaded competitor content. And unlike a CRM, you can’t see which individual actions are associated with which people – often they’re linked to a company.

Step 2: Monetize your data effectively

Once you’ve got the right platform in place, you can create a new revenue stream for your company by starting to monetize your data.

With a CRM platform, all of your first-party data and additional data that you have (like forums, reviews, surveys, registration data) will be in one place. You can then make this data available to media buyers for targeted online adverts.

Media buyers

More conversations are focused on contextual advertising and first-party data than ever before. And it happens early on in the sales process too.

With a CRM, you can give clear information about audience, demographics and ultimately, give advertisers the data points they’re asking for straight away. This gives you a much better chance of being listed as a partner and mentioned by the advertiser too.

With a strong understanding of audience interest and preference, you’ll also have a much better sense of how likely your audience is to interact with an advert.

Given the unique challenges publishers are facing with disparate systems and unmanageable data – a CRM is a great approach to help you unlock the value of your data. And with reliable, clear data about your audience, it’s much easier to monetize it and secure business from advertisers who have confidence in your data.

Want to know how other publishers are using their CRM day-to-day? Read our new ebook