With the cloud-based setup, Hearst can expand the services it offers its advertiser clients.
“Advertisers might come to us with a group of their own segments they may want to target in an email, or print ad, and understand that overlap of the customer base,” Swift said.
The move to the cloud essentially “provides more efficient plumbing” for Hearst, “enabling an easier flow of information between divisions of Hearst, and work more closely with advertisers,” Swift said. It also allows Hearst more flexibility as it expands or acquires.
“When we bought Hachette [Filipacchi Media U.S., in 2011], we had to go through a lengthy exercise to expand our database to accommodate that information,” Swift said. “Now that ability to expand becomes much easier, because we can expand the cloud. Our principal goal is aggregating information together to understand the transactional information that’s going on.”
Popov envisions publishers like Hearst using this platform to move closer to a big data environment.
“The next stage, specific to publishers, is piling on that engagement data to identify new content and new audiences for existing titles in a much more scaled, dynamic way,” he said.