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Industry Dive

How to Make a Big Splash in Media

In an age when publishing companies are struggling to stay afloat, Industry Dive is making a big splash with advertisers and readers through their unique brand of business journalism and digital content creation. Today, the company publishes more than a dozen online destinations for business decision-makers to dive into, drawing millions of readers to sites such as cioDive.com, EducationDive.com, and HealthcareDive.com every day. For the editors and staff at Industry Dive, work is an artful balance between providing the right depth of coverage and enough variety so that readers never feel bored or over their heads.

Scratching the surface of customer relationships

Industry Dive creates rather than curates content, employing more than 80 writers, editors, and designers to develop new articles, blogs, podcasts and other digital content every day. Instead of charging subscribers for their content, Industry Dive generates revenue through a mix of paid advertising and co-branded content. In the past, Industry Dive was able to attract advertisers and sponsors through a highly targeted readership that included executive decision-makers from industries such as banking, biopharma, and medical technology. Yet they were only able to scratch the surface of their reader relationships because of the limited insights provided by tools like Google Analytics. Industry Dive wasn’t able to segment its readers by title or region, for example, or identify personal content affinities across its different brands.

“We wanted to be able to tailor offers to the individual,” recalls Robin Re, VP of Marketing at Industry Dive, “much like Amazon does by recommending products based on past behavior.”

The idea of engaging readers at an individual level also resonated with Industry Dive’s advertisers, who were looking for new ways to convert their readers into warm leads for their sales efforts. As Robin and her team began looking into technology solutions that could help them get closer to their customers, one solution kept surfacing: a customer data platform (CDP). After seeing a demo of a CDP solution at an industry event, Industry Dive decided to take a deeper look, eventually selecting the Lytics CDP solution for a trial deployment on one of their content sites.

Diving for pearls of wisdom

Industry Dive knew a lot about which content was being read the most, but they knew relatively little about who was reading it. Their existing online analytics provided a very broad picture of reader engagement, with too much “noise” that clouded their ability to track the individual customer journey. Lytics removed that noise to bring their customers into much closer focus. “Before Lytics,” Robin Re explains, “we struggled to get a clear picture of our readers. Now we have much better customer intelligence about how people are engaging with our content and can use that information to drive smarter content recommendations and better experiences.”

“Before Lytics, we struggled to get a clear picture of our readers. Now we have much better customer intelligence about how people are engaging with our content and can use that information to drive smarter content recommendations and better experiences.”

The insight from Lytics played out in one very unexpected way: it helped Industry Dive promote an online game around the concept of data security called Total Reboot. Initially targeted to security and IT professionals, Total Reboot guided players to build their own security team and then test their team’s preparedness in a simulated data breach. The game proved to be a big hit and, with the help of Lytics, Industry Dive was able to track its popularity beyond its original audience and re-target the game to a broader group that had already shown an affinity for tech-related topics. The result was a more than 40% increase in click-throughs that ultimately led to a significant boost in new subscriptions for their cioDive.com site.

Matching the 'write' content with the right audience

Creating new content costs time and money, so Industry Dive and its advertisers want to make sure they’re investing in the right kind of content that resonates with their audience. Robin Re sums it up simply: “We need to give readers what they want.” Finding out what readers wanted, however, was a matter of educated guesswork in the past. With Lytics, a much clearer picture of the customer journey emerged. For example, Industry Dive found that marketing managers who read their BioPharma Dive site were more interested in the work that agencies were doing, rather than the companies themselves. Armed with this insight, the BioPharma Dive editors plan to write more stories from the agency perspective, encouraging higher reader engagement.

Today, the Lytics reports are required daily reading for Industry Dive’s editorial teams. “Our editors really see the value of Lytics,” Robin Re says, “because they’re using it every day to shape their editorial content.” Not only do the reader insights from Lytics drive better content, but they also ensure that Industry Dive gets better mileage from the content they and their partners produce. “If we know a reader is a cio at a university,” Re explains, “we’ll show them content from both cio Dive and Education Dive. It’s very individualized cross-channel promoting that helps our advertisers stretch their influence across our entire readership.”

“Our editors really see the value of Lytics because they’re using it every day to shape their editorial content.”

“Powered by Lytics”

Industry Dive’s continued growth is clearly a team effort, yet the company holds a special place for Lytics... at the top of each of its reports the words “Powered by Lytics” appear. For Robin Re and her team, the words are more than an afterthought. “We want people to see the value we get from Lytics because, for us, it’s a strategic investment and a differentiator.”

Although Industry Dive has had quantitative success by extending Lytics across their entire brand, Re sees the real value of Lytics as a qualitative factor. “In the past,” she admits, “we sometimes had to spend money outside the organization to hit our campaign goals. With the insights we get from Lytics, we can improve the quality of our targeting emails and content to

reach our campaign goals on time without spending money elsewhere.”

From the murky customer vision of the past, Industry Dive and its customers today enjoy the benefit of a clear stream of customer data that flows seamlessly from their online sites. Email fatigue has become a thing of the past, replaced by a re-energized engagement that delivers relevant content to the right people based on personalized recommendations, much as Re and her team had originally envisioned. With the ability to pool its collective customer intelligence into new areas of content and engagement, Industry Dive has only touched the surface of its potential. With the power of Lytics, Re notes, “We’re getting smarter every day.”