Condé Nast Goes Cross-Platform With 'Catalyst' Audience Tool

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Christopher Reynolds, Conde NastA year after rolling out Catalyst, its audience targeting and insights tool, Condé Nast Digital is enhancing the product to unify its audiences across digital and mobile platforms.

Like many publishers, Condé Nast has "seen massive growth in the last two years," said Christopher Reynolds, VP of marketing analytics for Condé Nast.

Last year, Reynolds said, it witnessed triple-digit percentage audience gains every month, year over year. Even with that slowing a bit this year, Reynolds said the publisher of brands like Vogue, Style.com, GQ and Wired is still growing at 60 to 70% year over year.

"Somewhere between 30 to 40% of our traffic is mobile," he says, "And we both collect data and would like to deliver audiences through our app environments and our mobile environments."

Instrumental to that will be Condé Nast's use of LiveRamp, a data on-boarding tool that for several years now has helped companies like Condé Nast mesh offline customer relationship management (CRM) data with online digital marketing applications for better targeting and more efficient spend. Just a few weeks ago the firm made its expansion into mobile official after working with several clients to perfect that broadened reach.

Data on-boarding is crucial to Condé Nast as it seeks to differentiate on its first-party audience data.

"The key to all of this is the relationship. We have direct relationships with the end consumer and they're willing to give us information about who they are because they love our content and our brands," Reynolds said. "As a result, our data is so much more accurate about who these people are."

The publisher is one of the early customers in LiveRamp's expansion into mobile. According to Reynolds, this new mobile expansion will help the company launch Catalyst 2.0 by the end of the year.

"The idea is it's 360-degree access to the consumer," Reynolds said. "We're excited about the progress and we're hoping that mobile data targeting is a really significant development."

Aside from its cross-platform tracking ambitions, delivering more video content is another priority for Condé Nast, as is consolidating down to fewer audience segments. The company started Catalyst last year with 10 segments, which was unwieldy from a sales standpoint. It saw more activity against certain audience segments, data which it will use to refine Catalyst targeting.

"But then we're also trying to expand the channel that we're going to deliver that audience through. So email, video, mobile, apps," he said. "Last year was the big year of launching it and talking with clients about how we're doing this, and this year is much more about figuring execution so that we can offer that full access to the consumer."

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