In this issue, where we examine several aspects of media technology (data, web CMS, programmatic and production tech, to name a few), we make a point of asking whether there’s a strategic, or even practical, divide between large and small publishers with respect to technology adoption. Is big data only for big publishers? Is programmatic only worth pursuing if you have huge scale? Do the web CMS platforms being developed by the likes of Vox and Buzzfeed have any relevance to what my company should be doing?
In the case of data, you can make it as big, or small, as you want. Down East Enterprise, Inc., which publishes Maine’s Down East magazine, has started using data houses to help dial in its consumer marketing efforts (page 11). Are they merging massive amounts of engagement data from complicated, multiplatform sources? No, they’re simply expanding their data capabilities to target a small, regional audience to boost their print-based circulation business-through direct mail.
But the key for smaller publishers, or any publisher for that matter, is the data they have on subscribers-a relationship that third-party data providers would envy. But perhaps what makes today’s discussion of data "big" is the concept of marrying analytical data with demographic data. In other words, combining what we know about what people are doing and how they’re doing it with who they are.
"The exciting part about combining those two data sets is that it gives us a picture that we’ve never had access to before," says Chris Reynolds, Condé Nast’s vice president of data and marketing analytics, on page 24.
That’s something a publisher of any size could appreciate.