CDP power plays: 15+ customer data platform use cases for media companies

    Last updated: June 7, 2024

    Data’s the bridge between you and your audience. But if that data’s split across a bunch of single point solutions, you’re not going to be able to use it. Or you can — but not without spending hours transferring, uploading, cleaning and reformatting your data before you can even figure out what it means — let alone use it to connect with your audience.

    Our research bears that out: Half of media and audience professionals spend 5 or more hours per week on these “data janitorial” tasks, according to our State of Audience Report. But data silos don’t just create busy work. They keep your team from getting the behavioral insights they need to create actionable audience segments, personalize content to different personas and ultimately, from driving revenue. 

    One solution: use a customer data platform. These tools take in data from every touchpoint you use to reach your audience – from email and events to print and ads — and consolidate it all in one place. 

    Streamline your tech stack: Boost efficiency, unify data & retain talent! Get expert tips now:

    Better yet, incoming data is standardized and automatically added to each user’s pre-existing profile. Say that Emily’s already been reading your newsletter for 6 months, but now she’s reading articles on your website. With a CDP, you can see both of those interactions within her profile, and target content and offers to all of her interests. 

    Data’s also cleared of dedupes upon entry. So everyone in your organization — from email and editorial to ad sales — has the most complete, current view of each audience member. 

    This doesn’t just save time. It also removes the guesswork from the audience development process — so you can personalize content, create targeted ad packages and send individualized offers at scale.

    Read on to see how you can put your CDP data to use. Along the way, we’ll share success stories and winning strategies from media businesses like yours. 

    How can I use my CDP data? 15+ use cases from media companies like yours  

    Convert unknown visitors to known audience members 

    You can’t connect with your audience if you don’t know them. Sounds obvious. But for most media companies, this is a major stumbling block. Anonymous conversion is one of the biggest challenges for media and audience professionals, according to our new State of Audience Report, mostly because they don’t have processes for identifying and qualifying their website and social media audiences. 

    But customer data platforms convert anonymous website visitors to known, so you can understand your audience, target messaging to individual readers, and plan campaigns with confidence.  

    Send reminders to subscribers with expiring subscriptions or credit cards

    One of the biggest benefits of subscription models is their predictability: Subscribers receive a steady stream of content or products and businesses get recurring revenue that they can use to make their offer even stronger.  

    Payment failures – whether due to credit card updates or expirations, network connectivity issues, or simple forgetfulness – disrupt that cycle and leave everyone empty-handed.   

    Left unaddressed, this involuntary churn can threaten your company’s long-term growth — up to half of customer churn comes from failed payments.  

    Avoid this by querying your CDP data for anyone with a credit card expiring within your payment period. Then using the website browsing and behavioral data generated by your CDP, you can create more targeted renewal offers for each person in your audience. 

    For example: At-risk subscribers might receive a 10% discount or free add-on in their renewal offer whereas highly engaged subscribers might receive a referral bonus or invitations to networking circles or a loyalty tier.

    Retarget customers who abandoned a purchase on your website

    CDPs also collect website browsing data that make it easier to send, and personalize, cart abandonment emails to potential subscribers. For instance, Architectural Record used its CDP data to target people who abandoned the subscription form with a follow-up ​email campaign. 

    This personalized campaign earned a 13.4% conversion rate and netted them more subscribers with less time and manpower than they could through a single-point solution. 

    Place a soft gate (registration wall) on popular evergreen webpages

    Your CDP data can help you identify your most popular pages, overall and for very specific audience segments (i.e., first-time site visitors in your ICP’s industries). From there, you can target gates at anonymous visitors so they can keep reading until they’re ready to register or pay for a subscription. 

    Good targeting can’t make up for spammy marketing practices. But it can help you get more submissions, collect more audience data, and turn one-time website visitors into audience members and subscribers.

    Drive income by paywalling your content

    Like gates, paywalls pay off when they’re targeted at specific audiences that have already shown a pattern of interest in your content. 

    On Omeda, you can use your CDP data to target gates and paywalls at custom audiences, like people who have visited the site 5+ times in a month, non-subscribers, or other demographics. 

    On Omeda, you can target reg walls at custom audiences that you’ve built using your CDP data, for instance, “non-subscribers that visited the site 5+ times in the last 90 days.” So you’re reserving your hard sell only for those that are most likely to convert, as shown by your audience data. 

    Run a free trial for your publication

    So you need to strike a balance between paywalling your entire site and giving up the farm right away. No worries: You can also use your CDP data to run free trials for site visitors. Want an example? Haymarket Media increased paid subscriptions by 64% when they used Omeda to offer a free trial, followed by a hard paywall, for their magazine.

    Learn more about your new visitors and collect more first-party data through welcome walls

    Prompt new website visitors to sign up for your email list with a pop-up welcome wall. On Omeda, maximize submissions by targeting welcome walls at custom audiences, like “all anonymous visitors that have visited the site at least once this week.” You can also build up your audience profiles by incorporating dynamic fields into these forms, based on what other fields you’ve already collected.

    Create targeted offers based on what someone’s read

    Past behavior predicts future behavior. So personalizing your offers on someone’s engagement history is typically going to be more successful than targeting by their job title or industry. 

    With a CDP, you can collect someone’s engagement history across every channel, then create targeted offers based on that history. For instance, Arkansas Business promoted their weekly legal newsletter to people who had read similar content on their site. This drove a 64.7% click-through rate and 34.7% conversion rate. 

    Drive 1:1 personalization by incorporating dynamic content into your emails

    Dynamic content ensures that everyone in your audience gets articles that are tailored to their individual engagement history, interests and behaviors — even if they’re in the same audience segment. This way, you can personalize at scale without manually creating hundreds of campaigns or overstressing your team. 

    Implement a lead scoring model 

    With a CDP, you can account for your audience’s activity across every channel, from email and website to social media ads, events and print, then create a lead scoring model that accurately surfaces your best-fit leads, all while requiring less time and manual labor from your team. 

    Want to see it in action? Learn how IRONMARKETS has used its lead scoring model to create more lucrative, contextual advertising packages.

    Encourage repeat visits and ad revenue with content recommendations 

    Everyone knows they need to personalize their content and offerings. But how can you personalize quickly and effectively enough to actually connect with your audience?

    Content recommendations use your CDP data to recommend articles to each individual audience member, based on their past interests, behaviors and purchases, as well as content engagement data from similar audience members. 

    This way, you can turn your one-off site visitors into long-time readers and subscribers, all while driving better insights and revenue for your advertisers. (Learn more about content recommendations on Omeda here.) 

    Drive engagement and first-party data through polls and quizzes

    Target interactive quizzes and surveys to specific audience segments using data generated by your CDP, then use the insights to create even more personalized content. 

    PS: When you integrate Omeda with CredSpark, form submissions from CredSpark flow back to your Omeda CDP, where you can instantly use survey responses to further personalize your content and create better offers. 

    Collect customer feedback

    Feedback is most helpful when it provides specific, actionable improvements to specific processes, like onboarding, payment recovery, customer support interactions.

    But with your CDP data, you can identify people who have, say, paid for a subscription within 30 days, completed an onboarding course, or called customer support, then create an audience segment for that group, all without leaving the platform. From there, you can target email surveys and/or on-site personalizations specifically to this group. 

    This way, you can evaluate very particular parts of your business without spamming surveys at your whole list — or manually pulling lists from cross-functional teams.

    Re-engage lapsed audience members 

    Re-engagement campaigns ensure you’re providing your audience relevant while keeping your lists clean and protecting your deliverability. All part of a good audience-first strategy. 

    But re-engagement campaigns are risky business. Likely, your lapsed subscribers lost interest for a reason. So if you blast generic blog posts and whitepapers at your entire lapsed audience, then spread it over a 5-email re-engagement campaign, you’re not winning those subscribers back. You’re going to get opt outs — and likely some spam complaints for your trouble.  

    The more you can personalize your re-engagement messages, the more likely you are to win back those subscribers quickly. And with a CDP, you can see how someone’s engaging across not just email, but your website, events, print, etc., then use it to give every lapsed subscriber the message that’ll re-engage them (And if you use dynamic content on Omeda, you can 

    Want to see it in action? See how Endeavor Business Media used its CDP data to reactivate 150,000 email subscribers here. 

    Connect to ad platforms 

    With your CDP data, you can retarget audiences on social and ad platforms with product offerings based on content that they’ve already browsed on your website.​ Bonus: On Omeda, you can create multi-dimensional audience segments with your CDP data, then create an automated campaign targeting those audience segments on social media — all without leaving the platform. 

    Cross-promote and upsell between related brands more successfully 

    Cross-promotions and upsells are some of the most cost-effective ways to generate incremental revenue from audiences that already know and trust you. But they can backfire if they’re badly targeted 

    Your upsells won’t yield real revenue unless they introduce each subscriber to the content and publications best suited for their needs. With a CDP, you can find the behavioral and demographic data you need to identify the right cross-promotion and upsell opportunities, including:  

    • what products/publications are most commonly bought together? 
    • what content is most popular among your readers and which articles are most frequently read together?  
    • If you’re recommending articles to your readers, which ones are most popular? Which ones have the most crossover appeal between segments?  
    • what additional content your subscribers are viewing on your website, especially if it’s behind a paywall or meter? (If someone’s providing their email address to view articles related to a topic, chances are that they’ll at least subscribing to a magazine on that topic.)
    • your subscribers’ job title, industry, age/location and other demographic information  
    • your subscribers’ average order volume  
    • If applicable, see what sessions, breakouts and panel discussions, and webinars your subscribers attend

    Deliver custom advertising solutions

    CFE Media, now part of WTWH Media, needed to give their advertisers more visibility across CFE’s various brands and position them as authorities in the space — without spamming their audiences. And once the ads were launched, they needed to help advertisers better engage individual CFE audience members. 

    Their solution: Own-the-Topic, a highly contextual advertising package that, as implied, gives advertisers a 100 percent share of a topic across CFE’s digital properties.

    For three months, one customer “owns” all the advertising space for a specific topic on a CFE brand site. That allows their engineering audience to engage with ads triggered by specific keywords related to that topic.

    Then, using data from Omeda’s CDP, CFE could develop a segmented audience list and target them via email with relevant content from their database.

    This precision drove serious results: One client’s ads received 1,300 clicks and 750,000impressions, with follow-up emails receiving a 41.5% open rate.

    To learn more, discover how CFE Media drove more than $3 million in revenue from its Own the Topic campaign here. 

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