Data management platforms — software designed to help publishers tap into data created by users on their websites — beginning to gain traction as newspapers examine new ways to mine the value generated by their online traffic.
Among the latest to deploy DMP software is GateHouse Media Inc., which rolled out Krux Digital Inc.’s cloud-based Interchange and Data Sentry apps last fall.
“The heart of this initiative was to monetize the tons of unstructured data we have in our content systems,” said Michael Moreau, GateHouse’s vice president of digital. “We have data everywhere, but didn’t have any idea on how to put it together and make it actionable. We wanted to have a direct connection between user data and our (DoubleClick for Publishers) ad server, and that was the driver of this decision.”
In a nutshell, the Krux platform allows publishers to exploit the data that’s created every time a user reads or views something online, whether it’s an article, a video or an advertisement.
First-party data key
Such information —first-party data — is precious to publishers who are eager to more fully understand what makes their audience unique. It also enables them to provide additional information and insights to advertisers, who can then tailor their online marketing more efficiently.
“It’s a way to better monetize our content,” Moreau said. “Here’s a prime example. If we see a user who has shown a certain consumption pattern, or who exhibits a certain behavior online, we can then serve content” — both articles and advertisements — “that offer a better experience.”
Through that approach, Moreau said GateHouse hopes consumers will be inclined to remain on its papers’ websites longer and ultimately, purchase a digital subscription. (GateHouse has metered paywalls across all of its properties.)
“We’re clearly (excited) about Krux and thrilled with the technology and support,” Moreau said, adding that GateHouse is just now beginning to understand how it can fully implement the information Krux is beginning to yield.
“At the end of the day, the opportunity here is to take the data we have and improve the value of advertising,” he said. “We are still a ways away from fully extracting it.”
Digital media logistics company Centro LLC, meantime, is using Krux’s Data Sentry and Interchange as part of its Centro Brand Exchange online hub.
The company, which streamlines the steps ad agencies need to take to purchase space on publishers’ websites, added Krux’s apps last fall, said Shawn Riegsecker, Centro’s founder and CEO.
Data Sentry allows Centro to assure publishers that their online inventory will be protected and not made available to ad networks that might serve them ads that are either lower in price or free of charge.
Interchange, Riegsecker said, lets Centro pass along to publishers valuable audience data. “Publishers are sitting on top of a mountain of information but they’ve never figured out a way to get value from that data. We can do that and help them raise CPMs to increase the value of their inventory,” he said.
The goal, he said, is “to get premium ad dollars on premium brand sites” — sites such as those operated by newspapers, which generate professionally reported verified content.
Some 1,500 publishers currently participate in the Centro Brand Exchange. The hub has a waiting list of approximately 300.
New York City-based Krux also counts The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, The Financial Times and The New York Times as clients.
Gordon McLeod, a former president of WSJDN who joined Krux as president last year, said it’s critical for newspapers to understand their online audiences.
“The legacy of companies was knowing their customers. With digital, that knowledge is even more valuable now,” he said. “Don’t give it away, organize the information and exploit it.”