Guardian’s data focus will be good for advertisers

/w/u/g/LucyHandley.jpg

The Guardian announced last week that the first step in its new ’digital first’ strategy is to get its database in order. It is putting information from various sources together, including from apps, its job and dating websites and from subscriptions.

The new strategy will also involve a management restructure and a ’new approach to managing our portfolio of investments,’ according to Amelia Fawcett, Guardian Media Group (GMG) chair.

There’s no indication of how much this will cost, but it hopefully means the Guardian Media Group (GMG) will be able to better its £9 million profit for the year to April, revealed earlier this month (already an improvement on the previous year’s £171m loss).

At that time, Fawcett said: “The challenge facing us, and news organisations across the world, is how to translate digital audience growth into commercial success.”

But rather than starting with the people side of the business, GMG has decided to look at the data part first.

Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com, took a similar approach when he started in his role three years ago. He invested in a data system that meant potential subscribers could be tightly targeted and rather than ’blasting’ out nearly 4 million emails a week to people who had registered interest, FT.com now sends out a few tens of thousands to those who show particular behaviour.

But he describes getting the right attitude to digital media as ’like turning a supertanker around’. He thought the hardest part of his job would be understanding the technology but actually he said the biggest challenge has been the cultural shift towards digital and getting it integrated into everything the business does.

“Rather than digital being something for 100 geeks in the corner, it is something for the entire organisation. It is the only way we can succeed – we need a broad font of ideas and creativity,” he told Marketing Week.

The Financial Times group profits were up 10% this year, in part due to its digital subscriptions business. It is also converting people from just being registered users to full subscribers and says advertisers can get a lot of information about them.

One thing that FT.com has just launched is a tool called Deep View, which allows brands to see data on where someone works, their socio-demographic background and the type of advertising creative they click on. Rather than marketers ’kicking and screaming’ when faced with the FT’s advertising rates, Grimshaw claims they are happy to pay because they can reach the audience they want to given the accuracy of the data the media owner has.

Clearly the Guardian and the FT have different readers – and arguably the FT’s very specific audience of international decision makers are both willing to pay for a subscription and very valuable to advertisers – but starting to clean up its databases is critical if GMG is going to make the most from its readers and give them the best content too.

See this week’s Marketing Week for the full interview with Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com

Recommended

/a/d/h/MarkChoueke.jpg

Google will stretch its marketers’ imagination

Mark Choueke

Google’s acquisition of Motorola’s Mobility division this week was an incredibly shrewd landgrab for the future. The move not only ensures Google has the heavyweight patent protection that can safeguard its expansion plans for its Android operating system, but also enables Google to compete in yet another new sector. For while Google has previously made […]

Co-creation can be so much more than this

Richard Madden

Brands that are pestering disengaged consumers for ideas should look to John Deere to see what co-creation can really do. Something strange has been happening this summer. And I don’t just mean with the weather. Or last week’s spontaneous street parties. A multitude of brands have somehow assumed that I want to be part of […]

/y/k/s/charitymail.jpg

Why trashing DM could boost its effectiveness

Russell Parsons

Charities are being urged to invest in marketing despite cuts to their budget in the face of less available public money. But is a piece of DM that points out the failings of the channel the right strategy for a charity to boost donations? According to a recent report from lobby group False Economy, the […]

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Discover even more as a subscriber

    This article is available for subscribers only.

    Sign up now for your access-all-areas pass.

    If you're an existing paid print subscriber find out how to get access here.

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now

    Got a question?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

    If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now