Whilst having a finger on the pulse of the news agenda and a knack for knowing the trends which are grabbing the attention of consumers are essential components to great storytelling and journalistic nous, data has never been a more integral piece of the content equation.
Speaking at this year’s Digiday Publishing Summit in Milan, Italy, Mike Fox the CMO of Culture Trip explained how the startup is making headway when it comes to data and understanding the needs of their audience by utilising "content mapping".
Whilst journalists traditionally huddle together in editorial meetings to discuss recent headlines and breaking stories, heat maps are the latest addition to the newsroom, enabling publishers to understand exactly which content resonates with their readers according to location. In this way, heat maps may enable publishers to see which regions are showing an appetite for particular content, and tailor their content accordingly. For example, whilst Stormzy might light up the map in London and the South East of England, French musician Clara Luciani might make the Paris portion of the map glow, and there may be little cross over. Publishers can use heat maps to understand what content has universal appeal, and what has local interest.
Having a nose for a good story on it's own is no longer enough to sustain the newsroom of the future. By harnessing data, publishers like Culture Trip can not only offer up the most relevant content to their audiences, but also reap the benefits of contextual commerce as an additional revenue stream.
With unparalleled understanding of their audiences through an abundance of data, publishers are becoming more sophisticated in how they incorporate audience insights into their product offerings - commercial and editorial. From building products around audiences, fine-tuning existing products and changing the way they work with advertisers, publishers are working towards a kind of flexibility that allows them to adapt to what they know about the audiences.