As the media landscape fragments, the Telegraph Media Group shows that making the effort to understand and segment customers across different platforms can pay dividends.
This is an incredible time to be working in customer insight. There are more ways than ever to gather data on customers and audiences, and more ways to give those people content, products and experiences that are designed with their needs and wishes in mind.
For the Telegraph Media Group, the digital world has opened up new challenges – but also new opportunities for the diversified media brand to really understand its different audiences, and start tailoring offers to those different segments.
At a recent CACI Customer Analytics seminar in London, the Telegraph Media Group’s head of customer insights, Paul Hatley, shared the company’s segmentation strategy and journey. This blog is a summary of Paul’s talk.
A diversified media brand
As the first quality newspaper to take its content online, in 1994, the Telegraph Media Group had a head start on other media organisations entering the digital world. But today, that world is dizzyingly complex, creating significant challenges for the Telegraph brand.
Paul Hatley, the Telegraph Media Group’s head of customer insights, described how the Telegraph has moved from being a traditional newspaper with a fairly simple business model, to a diversified group that in addition to producing quality journalism, also runs travel businesses, holds live events, and offers financial services.
A fragmenting audience
Gaining a clear view of its customers across all of those businesses is a challenge; particularly with the increasing fragmentation in the way Telegraph content is consumed. Some people buy the printed paper, some subscribe to the Telegraph online, others visit the site without subscribing, and some use a Telegraph app.
Compounding the issue is the rise of third-party content platforms like Google Newsstand, Facebook Instant Articles, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest. The Telegraph publishes content to all of these platforms, but at a cost: it loses sight of the customers that engage with its content there.
Creating meaningful segments
The Telegraph Media Group’s mission has been to get a handle on all of this disparate customer (or reader) data, and develop an intelligent segmentation that will allow it to understand its audience as individuals, and to promote its content and offers in a personalised way – both to known customers and unknown readers.
That’s involved a huge effort to pool data into a data lake, and use it to identify core segments, based on how they engage with Telegraph content.