The Value of Publisher Content in a Data Driven World

by: Dick OHare, on Sep 12, 2014 in Market Musings

One of Local Yokel Media’s angel investors, and digital media dignitary, Dave Morgan, recently wrote a very interesting post.  The basic tenet of the post opined that as media has become more fragmented (vs. the big audience aggregation days of the big three TV networks and major newspapers), effective media planning will start with data driven strategies of finding the right audience vs. content targeting.  As he correctly notes, in the past, audiences were vast and distribution was scarce.  Today, that has flipped as distribution is vast and audiences are smaller and more fragmented.  So, from a big reach perspective, I agree with this POV.

However, local markets (especially hyperlocal) don’t fall into this argument as cleanly.  Yes, fragmentation has affected local markets too, especially in the digital world as there has been more local coverage from more players (including bloggers).  But, in this market segment, content (especially hyperlocal content) is a very effective proxy for geography in audience targeting.  I.e., consumers of geographic content live in that geography.  We find that the more granular the geographic content (i.e., from a community newspaper) the stronger the geographic proxy for that audience.  In the local and hyperlocal markets, content is a foundational targeting vehicle.  But, it is extremely fragmented.  That is the challenge Local Yokel Media is looking to solve through aggregation.  Of course, marketers look to target beyond geography (i.e., folks in the market for a new car).  This is where a well-executed union of content and data can deliver extremely impactful, efficient campaigns.  We’ve seen this consistently with our marketing clients.

Targeting audiences via data will no doubt continue to surge in this ever increasing programmatic, data driven digital world.  However, we live in an industry where the pendulum sometimes swings too far into the next up and coming development.  From my perspective, this has happened with audience based data targeting.  And, the industry still has work to do in how this can be better policed and audited for things like impression fraud.  So, let’s not throw the content baby out with the bath water.  Great content will still be highly valued by marketers, especially if it does its job and aggregates an audience.  And, local and hyperlocal content (when done well) effectively aggregates local audiences, delivers local relevance to local ad messaging, and drives results due to this local contextual relevance (we call it “geo-contextual” relevance).  In the hyperlocal market, geographic content targeting should be foundational to an effective media plan and data can support this.


Find the original post here: Media Fragmentation Means Ad World’s Future Based On Audience, Not Content 

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