The pace of change in consumer behavior has accelerated – both in terms of how they access and consume content, along with the devices they use. In response, media companies are tailoring content and ad formats to take advantage of the strengths of each device and channel, adding to the volume, complexity, and analysis of data.
The informed consumer
At the crux of it, audiences want a user experience that is convenient and completely aligned with their individual preferences and interests. Without content tailored to their needs and preferences, consumers are rarely willing to pay for it. A global survey by Nielsen found that 85% of audiences want online content to remain free, and 79% would move to other free sources if new companies started charging.
While some readers may be unwilling to pay for online news, blogs, podcasts and other types of content, others are ready to open their wallets if they perceive the paid content is relevant and adds value. Achieving this requires (1) a better understanding of audiences, and (2) a superior, end-user experience….and it will be the players that best understand their audiences’ needs that succeed.
Doing more with data
While many organizations operating in digital media may have access to an enormous amount of performance data across channels and devices, they still struggle to uncover meaningful insights that help them strategically leverage their data for better decision-making across the following key areas: targeting audiences; gauging campaign performance; planning their content agenda; optimizing creative; and continually innovating to align their digital products and services with their audiences’ needs.
Furthermore, the information gets dispersed across multiple stand-alone technologies – causing gaps in what organizations actually have access to, as many systems (and the data contained within them) are not connected.
The answer lies in ‘analytics’
In a recent survey conducted by Theorem, we found most publishing executives were generally satisfied with the level of data they were getting from existing data sources, but they were still looking for deeper level insights about their audiences. They needed more granular data on preferences, geography, platforms, social channels, and a host of other data points to analyze and discern patterns across their properties, campaigns, audiences, and channels.
Additional findings also revealed that publishers were hindered by a lack of data integration and the models that help them extract value. On top of that, they did not have the advanced analytic models that enabled them to bring together data sets, which perpetuated the reporting gaps caused by the tools they relied on to manage their campaigns.
This proves problematic, given the huge amount of complex data that media organizations generate. Analytics, with its ability to meet growing decision-making needs, will play a crucial role in helping organizations keep pace with the changes that are redefining how content is delivered to audiences.
Check out our recent blog post on data to get more tips on how to avoid drowning in data.
To get deeper level insights and fully exploit the potential of analytics, organizations need to design a comprehensive strategy for adopting and implementing analytics and driving toward a fact-based decision making culture. Media companies should explore strategies that help them gain valuable insights into their audiences’ preferences, and better understand how their content is distributed, consumed and monetized.