Most media brands have traditionally thought of “what they do” as selling content. Today, however, they are also responsible for analysing their audiences and creating profiles with real behavioural and transactional intent.
The ability to stream video and create exclusive on-demand content has supercharged the media industry in terms of data and analytics, and it has also changed the game with regards to advertiser expectations.
We at Nine Digital have been on a data and analytics journey to take control of our online data and better understand our audiences. For those media brands adopting the same mindset, we have found that establishing a first-party data ecosystem and creating a network that leverages data providers are the keys to understanding your audience.
Building An Ecosystem
From an offline perspective, a single customer view has been the industry’s holy grail for decades. Factoring in digital behaviours has proved more challenging due to the exponential growth of data from the variety of digital platforms now available.
Eighteen months ago, Nine Digital online traffic for its content across new emerging digital sites was growing, but we didn’t have the right systems in place to capture anything more than broad demographic data. Data silos for different business channels were an issue, as well as an unclear focus on “plugging the gaps” to accumulate first-party data.
What we needed to do was take back control of our data and create a first-party ecosystem.
So that’s what we did. For example, one of our newer digital properties—a broadcast video-on-demand platform called 9now—enables us to seamlessly track online viewing behaviour to a single user, across any device, to all of the person’s favourite shows. We can then take this data and build digital audience personas (called 9Tribes) that are constantly growing and refining. We couldn’t do this a year-and-a-half ago.
Now our understanding of audiences is clearer, which we can easily communicate to advertisers. As a media brand, who wouldn’t want that?
Partnering For Data
Partnering with data providers also has given us crucial insights into the behaviours of our audience profiles beyond demographics.
By blending our network data with other data providers that specialise in banking, tourism, and more, we have generated audience profiles that we simply couldn’t create alone from our first-party data. For example, our partnership with Red Planet—the data and analytics arm of Qantas Loyalty, Australia’s largest and most active loyalty program—helped to create an amazing level of granularity for our profile on travelers, which, in turn, has been beneficial for tourism advertisers.
Having the right partnerships and tools allows us to combine multiple audience touchpoints across our online network and gain a deeper understanding of customers.
The media industry is at a crossroads; we can continue with the status quo or take data capturing seriously. Every media outlet needs to understand their unique data source for commercialisation. People come to you for great content, and digital technology has empowered us to attract and define audiences like never before.
There is only one real choice for sustainable growth in a digital world, and it begins with taking control of the relationship between audiences and advertisers. But this is only the beginning. Offering advertisers a window into one-to-one targeting in the living room, across connected TV devices, is on our horizon. Is it on yours?