Q & A 

B2B media: 5 minutes with… Daniel Verrells

Well managed audience data is at the heart of every successful B2B media operation. We grab five minutes with Daniel Verrells, MD of Beeline Data Services, to ask him how publishers can make better use of their data assets.

By Daniel Verrells

B2B media: 5 minutes with… Daniel Verrells
"In an increasingly noisy world, you need to be able to slice and dice your data to ensure your message is getting through to the right audience."

Q: Is creating a true single customer view worth the effort?

A: I fully understand publishers’ reticence to change a winning formula. I also fully understand the desire to focus on other things that bring in revenue rather than something that will at least cost them time if not money too.

However, things are quickly changing and your readership and customers are now demanding that your content or marketing is relevant and delivered in a timely way via their preferred media.

Without a single customer view and the ability to view all the information you have on your customer, this demand is impossible to meet. A single customer view gives you the ability to pull together the huge amount of detail you have so you can deliver your content the way they want it rather than in the way you want it. If you cannot do this, they’ll go to someone who can.

This is how marketing works (in the widest sense of the word) and this is how it has always worked best. Now, with the proliferation of choice, it is more important than ever.

My experience has also told me that moving to a single customer view exposes the holes in the information you have on your customers as well as allowing you to use what info you do have. It gives you plenty of potential for some quick wins so you can quickly benefit from the new strategy.

Q: What top tips would you give a publisher looking to get more value out of their data?

A: Understanding your customers’ needs and being able to fulfil these needs profitably comes from your data whether it’s via analysis, research or in using the data to market your products successfully.

Relevance is a word I use too many times a day but that’s what it’s all about. In an increasingly noisy world, you need to be able to slice and dice your data to ensure your message is getting through to the right audience.

The most creative publishers are using their data - quality data – to drive this. Without the knowledge and ability to do this, your content sinks with the rest.

Q: What are the key performance metrics publishers should focus on when reviewing their audience data?

A: I would say the age, depth and breadth of your data should be monitored constantly. I’m all for creating industry maps of your target market and measuring against those. Obviously, goneaways and bounce levels are a good quality indicator along with clicks and opens (albeit to be treated with a healthy degree of scepticism).

Q: In terms of GDPR compliance, are most publishers where they need to be?

A: I’d say most are where they want to be!

Most (but not all) have faced the challenge with responsibility and come up with a strategy that treads the line between compliance and commerciality.

Let’s face it, nothing I have read or heard 100% agrees with anything else I’ve read or heard. Much of it is still down to interpretation and perhaps always will be. But, if anyone does get hauled across the coals by the ICO, they better be sure that their interpretation is the same as the ICO’s.

My favourite line describing GDPR is from a blog published by Steve Wood, deputy commissioner (policy) at the ICO: “The new regime is an evolution in data protection, not a revolution.” I love the fact that we are being forced to practice our communications like we always should have been doing.

Q: What are the best ways to avoid data degradation?

A: It’s a rolling process involving a mix of getting on the phone and desk research. Two tips I would give would be to involve your editorial team and phone up every company that returns a magazine. New projects we have taken on recently are showing a high number of “false” goneaways. Contacting them also gives you a good opportunity to capture a replacement.

Q: How do you see the revenue mix for the typical B2B publisher evolving over the next two to three years?

A: I’m of a mind that print will still provide a large share of the revenue in quality magazines; digital (as we know it now) isn’t going to set the world on fire much more and paid-for events and quality content will be on the rise.

As I’ve touched on earlier, the cleverer users of their data are going to be able to understand what customers want and how to deliver it. I see more and more face-to-face events, more and more delivery of quality, niche content (paid-for) and ever more creative ways to deliver a quality audience to content publishers and marketeers.

Funnily enough, as a marketeer, I am having some very good response to a well-crafted direct mail piece, personalised, delivered by 1st class post in an eye-catching envelope and some of my clients report the same – some things never change!

"...we help you make money, save money and become more efficient through the effective management of your most important asset – your data..."

About us

If you’re a B2B publisher, your audience database is, bar none, your most valuable asset. This is what your advertisers pay for access to.

If you don’t look after that, you’re not looking after your clients… and we know how that ends up…

At Beeline Data Services, we help you make money, save money and become more efficient through the effective management of your most important asset – your data.


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