Tribune Publishing Focuses On Being A Data-First Sales Organization

Tribune DMPPublishers often talk about wanting to “help the buyer however it wants to buy,” embracing methods like private marketplaces, direct sales or automated guaranteed. But a big part of how buyers want to buy today is with data.

Tribune Publishing wants to create more data-focused advertising opportunities throughout the organization – which includes the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun.

Which is why this year the publisher is focusing on best using its data-management platform (DMP) from Krux and  “transitioning our sales organization into a data-first kind of sales organization,” said Lori Tavoularis, VP of programmatic and platforms for Tribune Publishing.

First, Tribune Publishing will extend its DMP, first launched 18 months ago, to affect marketing disciplines such as direct sales, reach extension and internal marketing.

As a publication with both print and digital arms, Tribune Publishing uses its DMP to identify readers based on subscriber and registration data. After removing PII, it matches those users to an advertiser’s CRM or point-of-sale (POS) system for efficient targeting.

“Being able to go to market with a data-driven and audience-oriented sales offering is important to us,” said Tavoularis. “It’s being able to find lookalike users for clients, and the ability to match up our data with a marketer data and do targeting against that.”

For instance, Tribune Publishing is running a campaign informed by a retailer’s POS data. In another instance, it’s using CRM data from a local car dealership to target Tribune Media readers who have expiring leases.

Additionally, Tribune Publishing can help advertisers supplement their print campaigns.

“If you’re [a retailer like] Target, you’re already doing an immense amount with a publisher like ourselves around the circulars, and POS data match-backs and all kind of things with your print buys,” Tavoularis said.

But it’s Tribune Publishing’s direct sales team that dives deepest into its DMP data – particularly to develop contextual and behavioral segments.

“Targeting via first party or third party can be narrowing,” Tavoularis said.

The DMP shows connections that aren’t intuitive – for instance, a car advertiser targeting truck enthusiasts and auto intenders might perform strongly among moms and can adjust its ad targeting accordingly.

The DMP can show six segments that performed well on the KPIs, as well as lookalike segments that performed just as well. Tribune Publishing can optimize based on those segments and achieve greater scale, since advertisers can expand beyond the small buckets of their original targets.

Tribune Publishing also hopes to execute reach extension to local buyers in-house, via Centro’s SiteScout DSP. It just finished an integration with the Krux DMP to enable buys based on Tribune’s first-party data.

“That has started to be a huge push for us with local, regional advertisers,” Tavoularis said. “Most national right now has their own resources, but specific advertisers in Chicago or LA are looking for impressions in their DMA” that also have attributes like an “LA Times reader.”

Tribune Publishing is also using its DMP to boost its subscribers. It can offer specific messaging to cross-sell or upsell users based on what products they are currently using.

“Being able to identify where someone lives in our subscriber funnel has been integral in finding those users and converting them,” Tavoularis said. “It’s a big part of our revenue strategy as a corporation.”

Using its subscriber data, Tribune attracts new readers on Facebook and Twitter. It will look at people who liked an article, remove those who are already subscribers and then retarget those users on Facebook or Twitter.

The wide variety of applications of Tribune’s data speaks to its importance in marketing today.

“I think data is going to be the core of what we do, whether it’s marketing, direct sales or programmatic,” Tavoularis said. “What we’re able to do creates a far more meaningful one-to-one marketing experience. It’s going to reduce waste and give advertisers more well-performing campaigns, which ultimately means more revenue for us.”

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