‘Craig David Can Make Listeners Switch On or Switch Off!’

Why the Media Industry Urgently Needs to Work on Creating Single Customer Identity Profiles if it is to Generate Advertising Yields

News Facts:

  • C-Suite media leaders in marketing and technology face the dichotomy of its customers’ identity profiles when creating personalised services
  • Listeners and readers believe they are the apple of the media industry, yet c-suite leaders know that although their audience is important, the real customer is the advertiser
  • Media leaders acknowledge that their technology for capturing customer data must be better utilised in order to stay ahead of the digital curve
  • Media companies, no matter what size, are rapidly transforming into digital media organisations – but need to invest in the right technology practices to stay competitive

London, U.K., 20th September 2016 – Amido, a vendor-agnostic technical consultancy specialising in assembling and integrating proven cloud technologies to improve customer identity and data management, reports that c-suite leaders in media are still facing challenges when capturing and analysing contextual data for better personalised services. The media industry is considered to be one of the most advanced players when creating customer identity profiles, but much like retail, they still lack insight and struggle to find value in the data they hold about their customers owing to the inadequate integration of their siloed platforms.

Leaders in technology and marketing admit that customer identity information is critical, especially since there is a growing need to retain the existing customer base in the face of stiff competition from rivals and disruptive digital market entrants offering personalised and targeted services. ‘The challenge for most media firms, and we are no different, is the move from broadcast [or other media] to a personalised world,’ says David Henderson the Director of Technology and Operations at Global Radio said. ‘As more listening is coming from an IP enabled device, we can offer personalisation,’ Henderson says of the changing landscape they now operate in.

The benefit of this, despite some level of complexity, is that organisations are now able to tailor services through customer understanding which can be used across the business to shape the products that companies serve their communities; in this instance, it’s the advertisers and the readers/listeners/viewers. The Amido research also demonstrated that business leaders in the media, alongside financial services and retail, were already enabling a level of personalisation across their organisations. For example, radio businesses that have adapted to an IP delivery business model can gain consumer insight and an accurate social graph through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Media companies are capturing and mining social media customer information which increases personalisation and improves the yield it can extract from its core customer base: its advertisers. ‘The customer in the truest sense is the agency that we are dealing with for the advertiser,’ adds Martin Gee, CTO of Haymarket Media Group.

Henderson from Global Radio adds: ‘The advertising yield that we get is much, much higher.’ This has changed the business model to discrete and unique offerings to entice increased log-in behaviour, which in turn provides the broadcaster with increased customer data, especially when combined with data from cookies. But a lot of sacred cows will be challenged. When our Capital XTRA breakfast show asked what artist turned them on, the answer was Craig David. When asked what turned them off, the answer was also Craig David!’

Understanding the customer is the key to enabling personalisation and the Amido analysis finds that customer identity management is used for monitoring every touch point a customer has with an organisation as well as throughout its business processes. The touch points varied greatly, from a financial process to responding to marketing. ‘The lines between consumer and enterprise identity are becoming increasingly blurred to a point where it becomes hard to categorise. For example, we see enterprise identities that need access to consumer facing systems,’ observes Amido CTO Simon Evans.

Despite having been part of business technology leadership vernacular for many years, a single view of the customer is still proving a major challenge for organisations Amido spoke with and in particular those with a multi-channel route to market. ‘Consolidating a single customer identity management platform would be valuable to simplify the cost. What is becoming clear to us is that the sales teams want to sell audience groups so we need tools to monitor behaviour and model segments of the market,’ says Martin Gee, CTO of Haymarket Media Group.

‘Identifying our audience is very important to us and has been since we started this company six years ago,’ said Alex Sullivan, Managing Partner of Clifton Media Lab. ‘In finance, like many other sectors, it is really important to know who your customers are. And we need very specialist detail because our customers are financial advisors.’

Stephen Upstone, Chief Marketing Officer at LoopMe, an advertising services provider to the media, agrees: ‘It’s all about knowing when to serve an advertisement.’ Upstone acknowledges that mobile is a strong sector right now but he also maintains that his business is not just about mobile but mobility itself. ‘We are interested in contextual data. We search location to see if this mobile device visits sports stadiums, for example. It really helps complete the picture.’

Steve Homan, CIO with the tabloid newspaper publisher the Daily Mail Group, found that the organisation’s customer identity management strategy was ‘a big table of all the things that we know about that person. We wanted to build up loyalty; so I asked what can I buy or rent that consistently monitors what and whenever a person touches the business, and tells me who they are and what their motivations are. I don’t think our data level is massive, it is a reasonable amount of data. Lots of data is useless. Actionable data is what you need,’ he concludes.

Whether developing a direct to the consumer business model or having to improve information and services to retailers or intermediaries, how organisations capture contextual customer data and deploy identity management technology differs widely, Amido found in its research.

Alan Walsh, CEO of Amido, concludes: ‘To maximise the value of contextual customer data, media organisations need to integrate their systems in order to get a complete and holistic view of their customers. This builds on the basic customer knowledge to get a deeper understanding. The creation of a single customer view informs decision-making and allows media organisations to target effectively. It focuses marketing activity and increases revenue from existing customers: which products to suggest they buy, what articles they might find interesting. A joined up identity strategy improves customer experience by reducing spam. Personalisation excellence comes when you combine your CRM system with insight gained from multiple data sources (social profiles, email marketing, order or browsing history, customer services, transactional history, cookies, online journey, location based information through mobility etc.) to offer up products and services that customers want, when they want them and in the right channel. You can then apply machine learning to predict future behaviour and pre-empt what customers want before they know they want it. One technology product cannot do all this – it needs a combination to build the identity that will underpin personalisation, customer retention and loyalty.’

Amido’s work with publisher Northern & Shell (N&S), whose titles include Express newspapers and OK! magazine, brought together disparate data sources to create a single view that improves the reliability of its audience data as a media owner. The days when a print publisher could rely solely on its ABC circulation figure to sell ads seem to be numbered. The only way N&S could actually make a difference from a data point of view was to put people into audience segments and then serve them personalised ads on the fly when they are on the website.

The project was completed in six months, with no significant distraction to the day-to-day running of the organisation and the result was that the N&S ad sales teams are now able to provide targeted adverts with the advertisers now paying more for precise audience segmentation and the customer shown only relevant information related to his/her interests. Customers have positively responded to the enhancements of targeted advertising and emails with an increased email open rate for its Daily Express members plus a huge spike in user opt-in to the services provided across the Express, Star and OK!


Join us at the Soho Hotel on Thursday October 6th 2016 where our customers and report participants will be providing insight into how, by utilising customer data and technology more effectively, they have achieved a more personalised experience and as a result, enabled consistent revenue growth by increasing customer engagement.

Guest speakers include Bob Strudwick (CTO, ASOS), Ian Cohen (Ex- CIO of JLT and now adviser) and Mark Chillingworth (report author, creator of the CIO top 100 and ex-editor of CIO UK). For more information and to request a place please visit https://www.amido.com/landing-page/are-you-making-it-personal-event/

Online resources

Press Contacts 

Jazz Gandhi
Sakura Communications
M: +447920032740
Email: jazz@sakuracommunications.co.uk

Harriet Durnford-Smith
Senior Marketing & Communications Manager
M: +447850650135
Email: harriet.dsmith@amido.com

About the Report

Amido commissioned a piece of research into senior IT and marketing decision makers across six vertical markets (retail, media, financial services, utilities, logistics, industry and automotive) to uncover how they are utilising the ever-increasing amounts of customer data to identify their customers and personalise customer experience. The report reveals:

  • Which sectors are leading the way in achieving a single customer view
  • How well senior decision makers think they know their customer
  • How customer data is being used to enhance long-term brand engagement
  • What are IT doing to solve the increasing problem of multiple customer data sources
  • Whether multichannel strategies have created or broken down barriers between IT and marketing

Companies that participated:
Retail – Virgin Holidays, Everest Home Improvement, N Brown, Shell Retail
Financial Services – LV= Direct, NFU Mutual, Prudential UK, Brightside Insurance
Industry and Automotive – Belron, Marston’s, 2 Sister’s Food Group,
Logistics – Metapack, DX
Media – Clifton Media Lab, Haymarket Media Group, LoopMe, Daily Mail group, Global Radio
Utilities – First Utility, Northumbrian Water, Aggregate Industries

About Amido

Amido is an independent technical consultancy that specialises in implementing cloud-first solutions. We help our clients build resilience at scale, flexibility for the future and differentiation of customer experience. And, we do this while minimising business-risk and build-cost.

We specialise in assembling and integrating proven cloud technologies, often building solutions around an existing core while enabling clients to prioritise their investment between commodity services and those that deliver competitive advantage. We design solutions that bridge and augment clients’ existing technology, reducing the operational risk of change.

We work with brands like ASOS, CBRE, Global Radio, London City Airport and Coats to remove friction from their customers’ online and mobile experiences to drive revenue and engagement. From social sign-in to smart content delivery and smooth transactions, we help brands build loyalty through customer recognition by bridging systems in a powerful and unique way, yielding real-time results for brands and their customers. Our passion is finding the right strategic mix of technology to give your company a competitive edge and your customers the best experience possible. For more information, please see https://www.amido.com/

Amido is ranked 12th in The Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100 league table, the UK’s top 100 SMEs with the fastest-growing international sales.

Amido Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 7203090.
Registered office: The Leathermarket, 11-13 Weston Street, London, SE1 3ER