For news and media organizations, audience is king. But how they use insights to adjust their editorial and revenue strategies varies widely across the industry. Deloitte, in partnership with the Google News Initiative, conducted a global study to help publishers responsibly analyze and activate their data to improve user engagement, increase direct-paying relationships with readers, and drive revenue from advertising.
During the study, Deloitte interviewed 80 executives from 50 leading news and media companies in 16 countries, from print to digital. Along the way, Deloitte uncovered stark contrasts in these organizations' level of data maturity. While three-quarters of publishers acknowledge the value of data-driven decision making, less than half are able to use their data effectively.
The most successful news and media companies use audience data to drive innovation across editorial products and revenue strategies, but many still struggle to prioritize data investment over other competing business needs. In its report, "Digital transformation through data: how news and media companies to drive value with data," Deloitte placed each organization into one of four categories.
Deloitte’s data maturity scale:
- Nascent: For these media companies, the data journey has barely begun. While they've been collecting basic information such as page views for some time, digital initiatives are not a priority for top management, and they have so far failed to make adequate investments in essential tools and technologies.
- Developing: These news organizations have garnered some success from utilizing data but still struggle to implement new tools and processes into their workflows.
- Mature: Data-driven decisions are second nature to mature media companies across much of their operations, but there are still instances where data takes a back seat to gut instinct and old ways of doing business.
- Leading: These media organizations see data as the key to their future success and have adopted a culture of continuous experimentation and innovation. Increasingly, these organizations think of themselves as technology companies that generate news products.
Where does your media organization fall on the maturity scale?
The first step on your journey to becoming a data-informed organization is to understand where you are, as well as where you need to be. Our interactive Data Maturity Benchmarking Tool can help you figure it out. After taking your self assessment, download the data activation guide to see what steps you can take to improve your data maturity. This guide outlines the top nine publisher use cases for data to drive user engagement and monetization. In it, you’ll also find the four key organizational foundations you'll need to execute any of the use cases.