CASE STUDIES

Evolving from a Traditional Media Company to a Data Business

Sue Boehlke, President, Infrastructure Intelligence,  Informa

October 2019

 

 

MediaGrowth:
The promise of turning audience demographic and behavioral data into significant profit is motivating B2B media leaders to embrace new technologies and morphing traditional media companies into data businesses. But choosing the right information to collect and the right technology to parse it is a challenge that few claim to have mastered.

Sue Boehike will bring her experiences and up-to-the-moment thinking on this subject to MediaGrowth Summit 20/20, in Chicago, April 21st – 23rd. MediaGrowth asked Sue for a preview and her response will take these next two emails to cover.

Sue:
I think it takes a whole new mindset for traditional B2B media companies to win in the data business environment. Creating new opportunities to monetize data often starts with the technology. But I think that is a little bit backwards. There is a tendency toward picking a technology and then focusing on implementing it without thinking enough about what the problem to be solved is, whether the right people are in place to solve it, and how it will be supported internally. So, I would suggest a few steps and make a few recommendations to get the best results.

  1. Start with people – preferably in your organization — who understand your market and your customers as well as being insightful and metrics-oriented. People who can drive audience acquisition and content so that technology doesn’t drive the process. People who can decide what should be known about readers and how to tie that to trends that are happening. Then add needed technical talent who will fit into the industry.


  2. Ruthlessly define the highest priorities on which to focus — before trying to deal with a huge problem or wish list. I’ve seen people who say, “We’re going to collect these 200 fields.” That’s not going to happen. Capture only the data that you know will be useful to your customers.


  3. Develop a plan – focusing on your highest priorities – telling how you will collect the data and what you are going to do with it. A plan that you can build on incrementally and adjust based on what you discover. Do you, in fact, have the right talent, the right technology? I would not focus on building data speculatively. By this time next year your business could be completely different.


  4. Start small – possibly (for some companies) with just one brand; the one that has the most tech-savvy customers who can actually help you test out the implementation on a smaller scale.


  5. Go with the basics – for example, if demographic information is sketchy, enrich that first before trying to collect a lot of additional behavioral information.


  6. Do all you can with the technology you have – rather than choosing a new technology and then trying to figure out what to do with it. This will educate and enable your team to approach the new technology that you finally pick.


  7. Technology is an enabler – one part of the solution for monetizing data – it shouldn’t drive what you do.

Thanks, Sue!

Sue will speak to the current transformation trends in B2B media at MediaGrowth Summit 20/20.