With digital news acting as the growth engine for Australian news brands, publishers are now sitting on vast troves of data about their readers.
This data is being used in innovative ways by journalists and editors opening a window of opportunity for advertisers to do the same.
Speaking at the Meet the Editors event in Melbourne, Editor of the Herald Sun, Sam Weir, said: “You walk into our newsroom, and it feels like you’re in The Matrix. There are walls full of data. The journalists have it on their phones. They can see who’s reading their story, what they were reading before, what they’ll potentially read next.”
In the West, De Ceglie refers to this data regularly. He said: “I wake up and have several moments throughout the day when I will check how we’re travelling. If it’s 9am and we’ve only sold a certain percentage of where I want our subs to be, we can pull levers on and off.”
But De Ceglie is keen to differentiate between good and bad data. As is Executive Editor for The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, WAtoday and Brisbane Times Tory Maguire. She said: “I say this to the newsroom all the time, the data is incredibly powerful and useful. And it gives you insights and strategies. It is not where the ideas come from.
“You cannot be too data-driven. Because if all you did was go ‘Well, that’s the thing that worked last week so we’re going to do that again,’ then you’re going to end up with a website that just runs the same stories over and over again.”
Likewise, the data shouldn’t stop news brands from telling important stories, stories that can have far-reaching impacts on government and beyond.
So where, in all of this, does the opportunity lie for advertisers to utilise these rich insights?