Reader research in the print world was a bit of an art, interpreting partial information and focus group feedback to work out how to develop editorial content. The digital age and, more importantly, the data revolution, now make it more of a science, and it is now possible for publishers to find out exactly how their digital audience is behaving. The challenge now is how to analyse and act on that data.
Last month there were plenty of great insights into the power of reader data at the Media Briefing’s Audience Revenue conference.
10 tips for publishers: how to use audience data effectively
1. Shift your focus from big traffic numbers, and instead zoom in on the profile and behaviour of your highest value customers
2. Anonymous audiences have limited value: concentrate your attention on acquiring email addresses and tracking behaviour of registered users.
3. Profits are made from a small minority of loyal readers, not the flighty masses. Track the most engaged people; they are the most valuable. 80% of profits comes from your fans, not the fly-bys.
4. Don’t keep different platforms in silos. Put the customer at the centre, and use single IDs to track what they consume across different devices at different times of day: mobile dramatically extends the reach of your content in early morning and evening
5. Using an HTML5 web app makes it far easier to track users across multiple mobile devices than a selection of native apps – according to FT.
6. Audience data can be used to work out what content is most popular and fine-tune editorial – according to Incisive.
7. Measure your ARPU (average revenue per user) and ARPE (average revenue per email address) plus of course your LTV (lifetime value) to work out which audience segments – and which sources are most profitable.
8. Integrate your offline data – it is now possible to include print subs and events registration data from disparate sources into your customer database alongside digital analytics, using audience management tools like Advance.
9. Beware of data overload – be very careful selecting KPIs – as having too many measures can result in no action at all.
10. Top tip from Incisive is to set up regular F2F meetings with brand teams to review data and agree action plans.
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