Data about customers.
Seems like such an obvious answer to the needs of news organizations looking for ways to be successful online.
Two recent articles, I think, provide direction for news organizations trying to find their way in this era.
The first comes from The New York Times.
The headline on the article is: The Data That Turns Browsing to Buying
The article, by STEVE LOHR, begins:
"NEXT JUMP may well be the most intriguing Internet business that you’ve never heard of — though that’s likely to change as the company seeks a wider audience.
"The handful of industry analysts who were invited into the company’s New York offices recently have come away impressed. Next Jump, they say, represents the future of online commerce and could emerge as a counterweight to Amazon, the giant Web merchant. And this patiently gestated start-up, they add, shows one path to the still-elusive promise of Internet advertising: using data to greatly improve the efficiency of marketing."
How many newspaper companies can say they're using microtargeting data to greatly improve the efficiency of the marketing services they're offering advertisers?
The other article is from PaidContent.org. It contains the text of the speech given by Matt Kelly, associate editor of Britain's Daily Mirror, to the World Newspaper Congress.
His talk makes clear why the first article is so important.
"The associate editor of the Mirror says we have to put journalism first and search engines second," the headline says.
His speech is a worthwhile read that makes one critical point. Not all traffic is created equal. It matters who's reading your content, not just how many people are reading it.