It’s All About Data… The ACT 9 Experience. Linda Ruth Reporting… Part 6

May 3, 2019

Every interaction gives a bit of data that enables you to learn about your audience and make strategic business decisions, said Dennis Hecht, VP Business Intelligence, Farm Journal magazine, on the first afternoon session of Mr. Magazine’s ACT 9. Over the past few years more data has been generated than in all previous history put together.

Companies must shift to a data-driven business, one which gives privacy back to the customer. In contests of opinion against data, the data wins; when the contest is data against data, the best data wins. The key value drivers are timeliness, uniqueness, actionable, adjacency to opportunity, and the value of the monetary opportunity.

In using data to create sales, Hecht tells us, it’s important to consider the customer’s intent at both the top and the bottom of the sales funnel. Data can conceivably be used to eliminate a step in the funnel—if someone is ready to make a purchase before going through the entire process. Data is also used to build different versions of the magazine based on audience needs. Different pieces of content can be inserted in different versions of the magazine. A corn story will be inserted into the copies going to corn farmers; a cattle story to the cattle farmers. This customized experience can also be re-created online.

Dan Heffernan, VP of sales, marketing, and product planning for Advantage CS, serving the magazine community on the subscription side, picked up the data story from there. You need accurate data for informed decisions; and the next step of gathering masses of data is making it actionable. To do so, Heffernan said, you need to seed the data people with the business team and the business team with the data people. You identify KPIs—key performance indicators; these are often mid-identified. The KPI has to have a practical correlation with the satisfaction of the reader; so the number of copies released, for example, might be less important than retention. Bi-lateral literacy.

Your KPI will be based on your goals, which will be based on your mission. If you identify building and maintaining relationships as your mission, it affects what your key indicators are and how you go about improving them.

Overwhelming as data might be, it is a precious tool in building and improving your business, Heffernan says. Your next million dollar improvement is already hidden in the data. Learn to read it.

Click the videos below to watch Dennis Hecht and Dan Heffernan presentations:

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