In this playbook, we take a look at some of the key trends facing the M&E industry and the crucial role data analytics will play in how businesses engage with and track their audiences for decades to come.
Understanding your audience
Audience behavior is becoming increasingly complex. There is more content than ever before, across more channels than ever before, and more devices upon which to consume that content than ever before.
And, because of this, audiences are more demanding than ever before.
Some quick stats...
Average time a US adult spends on their smartphone each day
The % of US adults who get news on a smartphone, computer or tablet
The churn rate for OTT services in the US Q1 2020 – up 6% YoY
The number of global on-demand audio song streams in 2020
Average monthly US household spend on streaming services in Dec 2020
The estimated worldwide eSports audience in 2020
What is Audience Analytics?
Simply put, Audience Analytics is the process of integrating audience data from multiple sources, building a detailed picture of your audience and audience segments, and then analyzing that data to reveal insights and inform strategy.
IS THIS NEW?
No, at least not in principle. Understanding audiences has always been crucial for M&E businesses. What’s new is the complexity of audience behavior, the amount of data that is available, and the sort of detailed insights that can now be gleaned.
WHAT SORT OF INSIGHTS?
Well, by developing a detailed understanding of your audience, you can develop better, more targeted content, deliver it at the best time, and across the most effective channels, to increase engagement, enhance acquisition, and ultimately drive revenue.
With Audience Analytics You Can...
Understand how, why, and when your audience is subscribing to your platform, consuming content, or purchasing tickets – use this knowledge to boost acquisition strategies.
Access huge amounts of audience data to understand what content resonates best and feed this intelligence into your content development strategy.
Hyper-target by Segment
Go one step further and target specific audience segments with one-to-one content developed just for them.
Improve Scheduling & Channel Optimization
Understand when, where, and how your audience consumes content and use this to optimize your scheduling and channel strategy.
Enhance audience engagement and build an accurate picture of how they feel about your content with in-depth tracking of social media channels.
Optimize advertising conversion rates and provide detailed audience feedback for sponsors to attract and retain higher revenues.
Understand how, why, and when you are losing subscribers or viewers and use this knowledge to reduce audience churn.
Connect with the right data
To even start to understand how your audience interacts and engages with their content, you need to connect to the right data.
Which data will depend on your business, however, it helps to group your data sources into the types of data they are providing.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT PLATFORMS
Data Less Ordinary
Don’t only look to the most obvious data sources. By connecting with different, less ordinary, datasets you can draw out some truly valuable insights.
For example, if you have live events, integrate weather data to see how this is impacting ticket sales. Or, by connecting to platforms like Brandwatch, Sprinklr, or Hootsuite, you can start opinion mining.
Establish appropriate Metrics & KPIs
Once you have the right data, you can start identifying the right metrics and KPIs to track.
Broadly speaking, you can split these between metrics for tracking performance on the one hand, and KPIs for tracking engagement and revenue on the other.
Impressions, Clicks, Costs
Users, Sessions, New Users
Impressions, Clicks, Referring Domains
Page Views, Organic Traffic
Total Reach, Follower Growth
Circulation, Unsold Copies, Readership
Audience Reach, Total Viewers
Number of Attendees, Ticket Pricing Variations
CPM, CTR, CPC, CPA, CVR
Pages per Session, Avg. Session Duration, Bounce Rate
CTR, DA, Average Ranking Position
Time on Page, Scroll Depth, Social Shares, Asset Downloads
Subscriptions, Open Rates, CTR
Average Viewing Time, Audience Share, GR
Readers per copy
Interactions (Likes, Shares, Comments), Sentiment, CTR
Total Ad Inventory Revenue, Average CPM, Page RPM
Annual Revenue per User, Total Customer Value, Churn Rate
Team Sponsorships, Media Rights, Product Placement
Ticket Revenue per Event, Total Annual Ticket Sales, Event Sponsorships
Build reports to measure your business performance
With the right KPIs, you can build reports.
Reports help you visualize your KPIs, compare them, and track your audience more efficiently. To be most effective, reports should be linked to core business areas or functions.
Top reports to measure business performance
Content performance reports will allow you to track the performance of various content types (clustered by topic, length, keywords…) against different audience segments (age, location, gender…) to understand which types of content are resonating with the audience and feed this intelligence back into content development strategies
to hyper-target specific audience segments.
SOCIAL MEDIA PERFORMANCE
Social media engagement reports will display the total engagement with your audiences on social channels, from basic metrics (Likes, Shares, Comments), through Clicks driving traffic to your website or other properties, to complex analysis that displays Audience Sentiment and other parameters showing levels of awareness and
advocacy among key target audiences.
Develop audience journey reports by finding out what channels audiences came from, what content converted them, and what their next engagement steps were. For example, combine CRM data with social platform platforms and ad channels data. Use cohort analysis reports to determine key acquisition or churn moments and compare audience segments with each other.
ADVERTISING & SPONSORSHIPS
Deconstruct the structure of your advertising revenue by analyzing the performance of each channel, or even individual inventory. Build detailed ROI and conversion rate reports for your sales team that demonstrate the value of your inventory and help attract and retain more advertisers and sponsors.
Cohort analysis reports (and why you need them)
Cohort Analysis Reports are an extremely powerful tool for understanding your audience. Download the full guide for more information on what they are and how to read them.
Audience Analytics and Predictive Models
Once you’ve integrated all your data, determined your KPIs, and built various reports to track your success, you need to start drawing some insights from it all – and this where data analytics comes in.
What is Data Analytics?
Data analytics is where you can extract the most amount of value from your data and start generating insights.
For example, you can:
- Understand which channels are bringing the most customers – and optimize your marketing budget accordingly
- Learn which groups of customers spend the most and what they are spending their money on – and target them with specific offers and sales
- Reveal which customers are least likely to make a second purchase and why – and develop an appropriate customer retention strategy
This can be done manually – many M&E businesses have teams of data analysts whose job it is to do precisely this. Or you can let a computer do it for you, which is the next step – artificial intelligence.
What is AI Analytics?
AI, or Augmented, Analytics is where you enhance your data analysis by utilizing artificial intelligence to sift through it and draw out insights.
One of the key benefits is that AI can analyze data, find patterns, reveal anomalies, and generate insights at a scale, speed, and level of detail impossible for individual human analysts.
For example, with AI analytics you can:
- Spot a drop in conversion rates among a specific customer segment that would be missed if you are only looking at aggregate data
- Identify a dip in ROAS on a specific campaign that again might be missed by human monitors
- Identify a dip in ROAS on a specific campaign that again might be missed by human monitors
Once making the decision to utilize AI for your data analysis, this also opens the door to the next step – predictive analytics.
What is Predictive Analytics?
Predictive analytics is the process of using historical data to find patterns and make assumptions to predict future developments.
While strictly speaking this can be done by human analysts, the excruciating complexity of predictive analytics is AI’s playground. By using AI, marketers can draw out incredibly sophisticated predictive insights that would be extremely costly and time-consuming using human analysts, if not completely impossible.
For example, with predictive analytics you can:
- Predicting the impact of content for specific audience segments including high-potential markets and demographics they should target, or forecast and reduce churn rates
- Forecasting media budget allocation at a total brand/campaign or channel level based on what is the most effective at achieving your KPIs
- Identifying potentially costly problems as early as possible before they become a major issue
When it comes to understanding increasingly complex audience behaviors, this is a game-changer – the difference between only ever looking backward at what has already happened and instead, looking forwards and being proactive about what audiences are going to do.
Show the data
“Above all else show the data” – Edward Tuft
Most M&E businesses are already working out how to improve their audience analytics.
The question remains though, what is the best method for doing so? Every business is different so it is important to understand the data analytics market to know which approach will work best for your business.
There are three core components to establish a data-driven approach to your audience:
- Data Integration – collecting and harmonizing the data from all your different data sources
- Data Visualization – displaying that data in a visual data dashboard
- Augmented Analytics – using AI and machine learning to draw out insights and predict behaviors
Some tools specialize in data integration and transformation, and can feed data into business intelligence, data warehouses, reporting or visualization applications.
Then there are solutions that focus solely on data visualization and are purchased separately from data integration tools.
Lastly, there are end-to-end marketing analytics platforms that offer data integration and transformation, dashboard visualization, and analytics.
End-to-end marketing analytics with Adverity
Adverity is in this third category, as a comprehensive data integration, visualization and analytics platform.
This means that businesses can use a single vendor for their entire audience analytics set-up, or pick and choose the modules they need and combine them with their own in-house systems.
This is especially useful if today you only need data integration, but later you’ll need to scale up to include additional modules.
Check out how we helped live entertainment business AnalytixLive
When COVID-19 stalled operations for all of their clients, analytics consultancy AnalytixLive managed to reinvent their business with the help of Adverity.