How Omeda + GA Data Drive New Sales & Upend Content Strategy

    Recorded on: July 20, 2023

    Who is your audience? For digital publications, that question has always been complicated — conditional on what dashboard or platform you’re getting your data from. And with the explosion of new marketing channels, it’s only getting more complex.

    In this webinar, learn how Randall Reilly combined Omeda’s robust audience data with Google Analytics to give their sales and content team better behavioral insights on their audience — and helped them drive stronger content and revenue.

    Key takeaways include:

    ✅ How Randall Reilly used Omeda and Google Analytics to build a powerful, multi-faceted audience database
    ✅ How to create a single view of each of your audience members
    ✅ How to harness audience insights to drive content strategy

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    See full transcript

    Speaker 1: Hi everybody. I’m Whitney Carrier. I’m a client success manager here at Omeda and I’d like to welcome Paul Daniel today. He’s the director of audience at Randall Reilly. He’s gonna tell us about some really cool reporting he and his team put together that combines Omeda customer data with Google Analytics behavioral data to help drive decision making for his sales team and editorial teams and increase customer acquisition. So we’re gonna be recording this webinar and we’ll share it in a few days. And we also have a bunch of webinars posted on the website, a couple each month this summer. So please check that out and register. And if you have any questions during the webinar, feel free to post ’em in the chat. If we don’t answer them, your client success manager will follow up with you.

    Speaker 2: Alright. All right. Hi everyone. Uh, I’m Paul Daniel, I’m director of audience for Randall Reilly. We are a B2B data and media company serving the heavy duty construction, truckingand agriculture markets. Um, we are a purely digital business. We got out of print in around 2020,and I’m reallyexcited and privileged to have the chance today to talk a little bit with you about how we’ve been able to bring together some data in Google Analytics and Omeda to really helpinform opportunities for our content and our sales teams. So just to give you a little bit of background on where we started,about three years ago, our SVP of content and audience came to to our editorial team and said our content really isn’t essential anymore. Uh, we were doing a lot of content that was releasing press releases or the types of things that we’re bringing in a high amount of page views, but not necessarily quality audience.

    Speaker 2: And we didn’t have that sort of differentiation in the market that we were looking for. So what we were really after was creating the kind of content that offered perspective industry level subject matter expertise that really would provide differentiation for our brands. Um, and that really got us started on what I’m gonna talk to you about today. I think one of the biggest questions that came out of that, that had always been really historically difficult to answer is, who is our audience? And I’m sure many of you have sort ofwrestled with that question as well. And I think that we were able to answer it in pieces and parts, but it was pretty unsatisfactory in terms of getting down to a way to identify it in the way that we hoped. Because just to give youcertain examples, I could look for instance,at the entirety of my newsletter list and I could do a title analysis on it, but that didn’t necessarily tell me about engagement or I could look at Google Analytics data,but then that was anonymized.

    Speaker 2: And it was really difficult to get down to the answer of who are the people that are interacting with our content? What do they do? Where do they work? What are they interested in? Um, to try to bring that back to our content team, to our sales team to really better inform content development nd sales opportunities. So our charter in audience was that we really wanted to try to come up with the most meaningful insights that we could any more so than anything we had had previously done. And we wanted to get beyond that population level data down to the user. Our hope there was that our content team would then really understand who exactly is their audience, their engaged audience, the people that they care about, where do they need to fine tune that content development to lean in more heavily to topics that are resonating with the type of audience that they care about.

    Speaker 2: And then on the sales side to really be able to give them more information about the audiences that they are going out and selling in the marketplace. So we have a lot of firmographic information, demographic information, much of which is housed in Omeda, but much of which also lives in other databases that we have. And I’m sure many of you havea disparate network of, of databases that you utilize as well. Um, and to try to marry that with the behavior information that Omeda is so good at tracking. So we felt that if we could do those two things, we could really improve the quality and the outcomes that we were having in the conversations with our content and with our sales teams. So what does it look like? Um, so you’re gonna see two things here.

    Speaker 2: The firstitem on the left that you’re looking at, that is a Power BI dashboardthat is being fed by data from Google Analytics. And what you can see all the way down to the individual URL is user interaction. How much time is being spent on those articles. You can filter it by author, you can filter it by topic tag, brand, et cetera. That’s a compass for our editors. So when they react to that change in strategy and say, I am focusing more on long form content or how to or evergreen content or the types of things that are really gonna make an audience wanna come back anddeepen that relationship with a brand they can look at this and say, how are we doing?

    Speaker 2: You know, are we hitting the mark? There was some concern when we first put this together that there might be unhealthy competition among the editors, people writing content to jack up their minutes spent by user or page views, but didn’t really happen. Um, and in general, I think it’s been a helpful tool for our team, and I’ll share a little bit later with some of the results that we’re seeing. That has been much supportive of the, of the pivot in strategic direction that we wanted to take with our content. What you see on the right, this is really where the rubber kind of hits the road. So this is anonymized. We have the emails, I’m not showing them here. And we don’t give those emails out to our sales team directly.

    Speaker 2: I’m sure they would like for us to. But what we have here, you can see we’ve rolled this up by company, by title and job function, and then by time spent. So this particular piece on the right is really marrying data from Google Analytics, as well as data from Omeda. And this is where we can go and begin to talk about for those key accounts that we care about or those key decision makers like equipment decision makers, or purchasing personnel,you know, who is spending time with our content, how much, where do they work, what do they do, et cetera.

    Speaker 2: So let’s talk a little bit about what it has meant for us. We track unique email monthly readership as a KPI, that is one of our kind of north star metrics that we are responsible for an audience every year. We have seen double digit year over year growth for consecutive years in that. And we really attribute a lot of what we’ve been doing here [with this reporting to our ability to continue to grow in that channel. It’s really been exciting to see that turnaround and it has really also driven a lot of buy-in from our content team with whom we have a really great relationship, but certainly performance also breeds trust. Um, and as we’ve been able to see those numbers continue to grow and grow that’s only strengthened that that bond that we, that we share.

    Speaker 2: Our editorial team is really using that data in their content development, both when they meet, as well as when we meet with them. So on a monthly basis, we sit down and we actually plan out all of the campaigns that we are gonna run an audience in support of the content team. Um, and all of this data that we’re looking at in terms of what’s resonating and with whom is really a key piece of what we use in that planning process. Another really interesting way that you can use this data is to look [00:08:30] at your acquisition strategy and audience. So before I showed you know, what are the companies, what are the job functions that are interacting with content? But the reverse way to look at that is who isn’t on that list? And, sometimes when we’ve sat down with our editorial team, they’ll say, I’m really surprised to not see X company here.

    Speaker 2: So it could be that that’s simply an engagement factor, but it also allows you to sort of say, do I need to [00:09:00] either through a first party strategy, like some type of on-page conversion or through a third party strategy, do I need to go after certain companies? Do I need to go after certain roles so that I can plug some of those gaps? And that’s a really interesting way to look at your acquisition strategy because you know, you’re always looking to fill that top of the funnel, but when you can do it with a little bit more precision and, and uhintent as to what you’re going after, that only makes that that more powerful. Um, on the sales side, [00:09:30] um, we have been able to work with our sales team providing these insights on a, on a number of packages that they have worked to sell.

    Speaker 2: Um, and that’s really, really exciting. I, I wanna stress that,I’m not totally certain how it is in your organization,but for us it’s, it’s historically been kind of a one-way dialogue. Sales has an opportunity for a client. A client wants to reach a certain type of audience, they come to the audience team with a set of criteria. [00:10:00] We provide a list foreither email or off platform. We provide that to them. And that processwash rinses and repeats, may not even necessarily hear exactly how that campaign performed. Um, but that’s kind of how it goes and that is going to continue. That is the nature of, of being an audience team and, and working with the sales team. Where I think that,we’re really excited is that the level of insights that we’re seeing here are allowing us to begin [00:10:30] to have a two-way dialogue.

    Speaker 2: So being able to come and say one of two things,I’m seeing an opportunity here. I’m seeing that this type of content with these type of companies is resonating. Do you have opportunities to that you’re pursuing? Are accounts that you’re pursuing where you’d want to go and share this data? Or you can use the underlying process that we’re showing here and we’ll go into more detail later to help kind of inform any other information that a salesperson [00:11:00] might already be preparing. So they might be saying, I havex number of people in our database that fit this profile and this criteria, maybe that’s equipment ownership or a class of truck or things like that. But then we can also go and sayand I can confirm to you that these types of companies and these types of roles are interacting with this type of content and that just makes that pitch that much stronger.

    Speaker 2: So we’re really, really excited that we’ve been able to kind of begin to havea reciprocal dialogue [00:11:30] with our sales team on that. Um, on the media kit sideI think that our media kits are still pretty traditional. They still speak in sort of a total universe way. However, we were able to take some nuggets out of there in terms of talking about,the top companies that our clients are interested in the top types of roles, that we’re seeing who are high engagers with our content and compliment some of what we talk about in those kits there, [00:12:00] um, in a way that’s really been informed by the data that you’re seeing here. Um, and then the last one, this is kind of a personal passion here, I think, is that when you look at a platform like Facebook that’s a platform that demands scale.

    Speaker 2: So it’s all about big numbers and the market, the client side especially and the sales side that enables that they’re attuned to big numbers. And I’m not suggesting in any way that we’re going to completely invert the dynamic. [00:12:30] There’s always going to be a place for that. But I really believe strongly that there is also a parallel opportunity to be able to, deliver audiences that may potentially be smaller, but which are so well informed by this kind of combination of, of behavioral data and firmographic and engagement data that they can create some really interesting opportunities and high performing campaigns for our clients. And I think that when you can pair those with the traditional things that you’re used to doing ,you can really be really light a fire. Um, okay, so I’m gonna, I’m gonna hand it over to Whitney now who is going to talk a little bit about the actual piece you probably care about the most, which is like, how are you doing this?

    Speaker 2: And I think that before I do that, I want to say one last thing, which is just that this isn’t particularly complicated, but what it enables you to do is take the best parts of two platforms that you have at your disposal and get a sum that is greater than the parts. So GA is really good at giving you the traditional metrics that you’re used to in analyzing digital performance, whether that’s page views, users, time spent on site, scroll depth conversionsany number of things that you may be tracking. That’s what it’s really good at and you’re used to it and that’s awesome. But that’s all anonymous data and it’s also, as we sometimes call it sort of dumb data. On the flip side, Omeda is this rich database of your first party information. And you know, each one of us perhaps stores different custom attributes on a customer record, but you have all of this information about a customer, who they are, where they work, what products they’re affiliated with, what events they’ve signed up for, any other number of things [00:14:30] that you may wanna store in there.

    Speaker 2: So all we’re really trying to do is bring those two things together in a way that helps kind of tell the story that I showed you earlier. So I’m now gonna hand it over to Whitney and she’s gonna really talk about how you can take this in your own environment and apply it,technically so that you can get started with this.

    Speaker 1: Thanks Paul. Yeah, so in Omeda, like Paul said, it’s pretty simple to set it up. Basically, when an email address is processed to the Omeda database, we create a hashed email address that’s stored on the customer record. And you can set up automation using web strings, an email builder, which will automatically tag all the URLs to your site in your email content with that hashed email address. So when a customer clicks on a link to your site, their hashed email address is brought to the browser where Google Analytics can pick it up. So on the next slide, you’ll see if you go to email builder tools deployment defaults, there’s an option to enable web strings. So if you select yes, you’ll see there’s a little dropdown there ’cause you can have more than one web strings set up for different brands or whatever you’re trying to do there.

    Speaker 1: And then on the next slide you’ll see that if you click on manage, it’ll open this [00:16:00] window where you can create a new web string and you can add tags, maybe you wanna have your UTM tags on there, like UTM medium is email, or UTM campaign is your deployment type name. Um, and you can add the parameters from the left hand side to populate those tag values. So on the next slide you’ll see how you can add and you can put your different tags there. And then you can also add a constant tag, and that’s how you can get the hashed email address in your web string. So you can call the tag whatever makes sense for you in GA. And then the constant value is gonna be the hashed email address merge variable, which you can copy and paste from our knowledge base on email merge variables.

    Speaker 1: So then that’s gonna automatically pull that customer’s hashed email address and tag it in the URL. And the web string itself is also gonna show up as a merge variable. So if you set up your email content and send a test, you’ll see all your links tagged with the web string merge variable. And then once the customer receives the email, those merge variables will be populated with your tags and customized based on that customer record. So the next slide, how you can marry the Omeda data. With the GA data, you can utilize two of our APIs and we also have a knowledge base on our full suite of APIs. But the two you can use is the first call will be the hashed email address lookup. And that’s going to post your hashed email address that you’ve picked up and stored in GA.

    Speaker 1: Return the Omeda a customer id and that will let you use the comprehensive customer lookup API by customer ID. And with that API you can return all sorts of customer data from Omeda like Paul was talking about, demographics, subscription information, contact information, behavioral data, promo codes, acquisition dates, so that you can bring all of that data together and then create reporting like Paul and Randall O’Reilly team has done on their side to really benefit your goals. All right, so let’s go to questions. And again, if you have any questions, feel free to post ’em in the chat. So first question, Paul, it looks like you’ve put together some really comprehensive reporting across several different brands. Do you have a recommendation for a good place for to get started if we wanna try this?

    Speaker 2: Yeah, definitely. That’s a tough one. That’s something that we wrestled with a lot. Um, [00:19:00] one of the things that I didn’t mention, but I will, is that the reports that we’re running are quarterly. You could really run them at any interval, but still you’re talking about a lot of data. I think the other thing to consider is also what are you gonna do with the data when you get it? ’cause one of the things that we didn’t cover here is once you get it, how do you organize it? How do you make it digestible? How do you get it in front of your editors and your sales team in a way that really makes sense to them? That’s an entirely different webinar unto itself. But my suggestion would be, maybe you pick one brand,maybe you don’t start across your media network, and uh, or you could even just take the underlying methodology that Whitney has shown you here and instead of worrying about creating a full on set of reports and then socializing that report, you could do it, just on a set of URLs or on a particular topic area of one site.

    Speaker 2: So maybe you have a salesperson that’s interested in understanding, you know, what kind of readership are we getting around this particular topic because I have a client that’s interested in a sponsorship opportunity there, you can take all the underlying methodology that we’ve shown you here and apply it to get some of those answers without needing to go through the heavy [00:20:30] lifting of creating full on digestible reporting,you know, at whatever interval you choose to choose to do it. Um, so I think really one of the, the biggest things I would say, and I’m gonna borrow from my wife who’s a CPA, who has always told me about Excel, that before you put a single piece of data into Excel, you really need to think about what are you trying to accomplish. Um, and I would say here that thinking a little bit about how you’re gonna use the data, who you’re gonna share it with, [00:21:00] and using that to shape, how much scope you take on first would would be a great place to start.

    Speaker 1: Great, okay. Did you find some data more valuable than others for your content and sales teams?

    Speaker 2: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think that, for our sales team, or excuse me for our content team, they have always wanted to know who’s reading. Um, and they didn’t know it until now. So,[00:21:30] we could give them a for every place that in some first party capacity or a third party append, we have some level of title information. You know, we can give you a title composition breakdown on your list, but as I alluded to earlier, that doesn’t necessarily let you know about engagement. We could do a full on company list, but it’s the same issue. So I think being able to see specifically these are the companies that consistently month over month, keep coming back and how much time they spend. And then furthermore, what are the roles that are doing it? Um, because we have a strategy that is very much in our business focused around what we call equipment decision makers, people who have the authority to drive purchasing decisions for equipment, whether that’s trucks or construction or agriculture equipment.

    Speaker 2: So you really want to make sure that you’re developing the kind of content that’s drawing that audience in. Um, so that was extremely useful to them. And as I said before, as well, [00:22:30] also knowing who isn’t reading. Sois there an issue going on there? Do we have an actual gap in our audience composition? Do we have an engagement problem with specific companies that we care about? Is there a technical issue that might be going on that we wanna look at? Um, that was particularly, particularly useful. Um, and then I think for our sales team, you know, really being able to bring that behavioral level information outside of just, here’s the total universe of contacts that we have that [00:23:00] meet your fleet size and your equipment ownership criteria, et cetera, et cetera. I’m just using trucking as an example there, you know, was was something that we had not really been able to ever do before. Um, so I think that those two major buckets have been extremely useful.

    Speaker 1: Great. Alright. What do you envision the next steps being as you leverage this data?

    Speaker 2: Oh man, this, this one gets me really excited. Um, I think that,there’s [00:23:30] so much opportunity here. I think one sort of,trivial, well not trivial, piece that I’ll say is that I think we could visualize the data better. So as you saw, I didn’t have particularly sexy slides earlier with what I was showing you in Power BI and Excel. Um, and that is just because we really focused on, on getting the numbers right and now I think being able to present them in a way that tells a story more visually is only gonna help our cause. And I think anybody on this webinar, of which I hopefully many knows that, [00:24:00] you know, being able to tell a story with, with beautiful visuals always goes a long way. So I know that that’s an opportunity if we change nothing else about the specific data that we include.

    Speaker 2: Um, but I think that where I get really, really excited is that this was really step one for us. Um, and this year we are underway on a project to enhance the amount of information that we have in Omeda. A so one of the things that I have told our sales [00:24:30] team in these reports is if I told you that you could have like three hours a month with the key decision maker at this account that you are passionate about or pursuing, you take it every time. And that’s really what the reports provide. So they’re valuable right now, but for our business, where they can get even more valuable is being able to bring in more of the attributes that we keep in other databases [00:25:00] that we have not here to forest stored in Omeda. Things like, equipment ownership data, likelihood to buy new or used equipment within the next year.

    Speaker 2: Um, proprietary lead scoring data, brand preference, sway ability. So if you think about the story that we’ve been telling, but now being able to go and say, equipment decision makers who are loyal to John Deere and are due to buy equipment in the next year are acutely reading content on these particular topics, you can quickly see how much more of a powerful pitch that provides to our sales team and to our content team.

    So we are well underway in a project this year to get those attributes in so that when we are bringing the Omeda customer records side of the piece that that creates this marriage we’ve been talking about, we can analyze and slice and dice it from a lot more ways [00:26:00] than just job function, title and company. So we’re really, really excited about that. Um, I think the last piece for me is still want to find a way to be able to do this from a website visitor angle as well. We’re talking a lot here about email, which is a very effective channel for us, but that sense of,sort of total engagement across all of the different platforms that we had, chasing that grail is something that really motivates me and I’m excited that we’ve been able to do this in email and hopeful that we can extend these same type of insights to other channels.

    Speaker 1: Great. Well you so much, Paul, I really appreciate you sharing your story today. I know this will be super helpful and valuable information for so many people, so thank you.

    Speaker 2: Thank you, Whitney. I’m really glad to have done it. And um, just a plug for OX6, this all started as a success story at this year’s OX event and it’s always a really, really outstanding opportunity to learn from and connect with peers who you know, anybody in B2B knows that we’re almost all facing the same exact challenges regardless of the specific industries that we serve. And it’s always just so refreshing to go and both sort of feel that comradery and that collective sense of trying to solve problems together. And I always walk away from those events with good ideas and I hope that some of the ideas that I shared there will be really useful to you in your business. And please feel free to, to hit me up, outside of this and let me know how it’s going for you or if you have any additional questions.

    Speaker 1: Aw, thanks so much, Paul.

    Speaker 2: Thanks y’all.