VP/Audience Development & Research — WATT Global Media
What do you see as the trends in Audience Development?
Converting unknown site visitors to known audience – Content will always be the most effective bait. Use of SEO, exposure in social channels (Facebook, LinkedIn) will bring ‘anonymous’ users to our sites & we need effective ways to deepen their engagement, get them to register and/or sign up for products to become known users.
Privacy –First CASL, then GDPR, now CA regs. Even more important that we deliver unique value with content and
users will give consent to receive our content and accept offers for additional information products because they trust us.
Personalization – Give them what they want based on behavior, apply predictive analytics to anticipate other interests (even if those predictions are based on what editors think the related topics are).
What have been your biggest successes in developing and maintaining your list to maximize revenue?
Consistently delivering valuable content that our readers engage with on a regular basis. Much of our content is gated – behind registration walls – on our websites. We gather information from registered users that allows us to target them via emarketing, remarketing and on-site messaging using BlueConic. Effective targeting within our niche audiences delivers results for our clients, who tend to be aware that their targets are not large numbers. We’ve required our readers to opt-in for third party messaging for 10 years. While it reduces the number we send to, it helps ensure that the clients’ messages are seen by receptive targets. And, it leads to more creative thinking for our sales team as they look for solutions other than emarketing campaigns.
What technologies have been most useful to you at WATT Global Media?
We could not function without our unified audience database and its capabilities for website domain tracking for behavioral data, and content tags to identify topics of interest. We’re learning how to get results with a CDP (BlueConic) by delivering targeted, personalized messages within the context of the website. We’re seeing good results with audience extension (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Adwords, Addaptive). Google and Facebook are becoming ultra targeting platforms.
What do you see as the future trends in Audience Development?
Privacy regulations will be a challenge and an opportunity. We can’t rely on “the list store”. We must attract and retain audience with quality content. I see the benefits of a closer relationship between audience development & content to collaborate. For example, at WATT, we have an ongoing effort focused on attracting audience from the leading companies in our industries. We track behavior of those already in our audience, so we share that insight and plan campaigns using content to attract more. When we know that content is publishing articles on the topics that appeal to those market leaders, we can promote that content to lure those readers into a funnel. I also see audience development playing a larger role in product development by applying insights from audience behavioral data to content and format of new products for