Success Story: How Gardner Actions First-Party Data for Cross-Branded Promotions

    Recorded on: September 15, 2022

    Learn all about Gardner Business Media’s use of first-party audience data, including how the discovery of how one of Gardner’s audience members, a Tooling Manager from Washington, was engaging with content about 3D printing on one of Gardner’s manufacturing sites, but was unaware Gardner had another brand just for 3D printing in manufacturing environments.

    In this webinar, Gardner walks through that discovery and shares the different ways they are now using first-party data to promote webinars, retarget events and grow their audience across brands and platforms.

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    Speaker 1 (00:01):
    Welcome everybody, and thank you for joining us today. My name is John and I’m a client success manager at Omeda. With me today is Alex Lytle. Alex is Gardner Business Media’s Director of Digital Engagement. But before Alex begins, I’d like to do a couple of house cleaning items. I just wanna let you know that today’s session will be recorded and an email will be sent sometime next week with the recording of today’s presentation. There will also be an archive of the presentation on AL’S website, and at the end of Alex presentation, there will be live q and a. Any questions you may have, please put them in the question pane. In the go-to toolbar, we will try to get as many questions as we possibly can in the time we have, should we not be able to answer your questions, we will be sure to follow up with a response via email. I would also like to state that our next webinar will be October 12th at 1:00 PM Central Time. Okay, so let’s begin. Alex is going to go over how he used Omeda’s toolbox of apps analytics, Odyssey personalizations to expand Gardner’s cross branded marketing opportunities. Alex,

    Speaker 2 (01:25):
    Thanks, John. Yeah. Hey, I’ll, I’m excited to talk today about how we’re using our first party data. I’ll mention too that this is something, you know I’ll kind of show in the next slide here, but we’ve been an Omeda customer for a little over a year now, and so we’re still pretty early on in learning this stuff and identifying these things and figure out how we’re, how we’re using this. So excited to share with you all what we have been learning and, and doing, but we’re also excited for the future of what, of what we can do with this data. Just a quick little slide about Gardner Business Media. We’re a media marketing company. We’ve been around since 1928, so we’re, we’re getting close to that a hundred years. We have eight brands in the us, three of those brands.

    We also have Spanish languages for we do a lot of live events. A lot of our team is actually at I M T S right now in Chicago. We do magazines, events, webinars, digital products, all kinds of things. And like I said, we’ve been around with Omeda since, since early 2021. And a quick shout out to Omeda. We, we’ve been collecting this data and doing these things prior to Omeda but we haven’t been able to really connect this and, and, and use the data in the right way. And having Omeda and be able to store all this in one place has been super helpful and it’s one of the reasons I get to get to talk to you all today. So, just a quick shout up there. So this really started with you know, as we were looking at our data early on, this started with a guy, a guy named Rob, and this is actually Rob.

    He’s, he’s in Washington, and he is a modern machine shop subscriber. He existed actually in our database prior to Omeda, and when we pulled it all of our data over, he was in there. He became known really early on. So we started with the, we started sending emails out in Omeda about June of 2021, and he became known through our webinar email invitation. And so that’s kind of how we first started connecting who Rob was and, and really learning about him. One of the big parts of our customer value is reaching those hard to reach. Rob is a, he’s a tooling manager. He works in a, he works in a, a machine shop. Like he’s, he’s not on his computer all the time and he’s a hard to reach guy. But being able, like Omeda has helped us connect with Rob and to start identifying that information, identifying his interests.

    And so what we started learning though was, so this was, this was Rob’s profile. We learned pretty early on that Rob was, you know, as I said, he was a modern machine shop name, but he was reading, this is his lytics data that we were looking at, that he was reading about additive manufacturing content on Modern Machine Shop. What Rob doesn’t know is that we actually have a brand strictly about additive manufacturing called Additive Manufacturing. We actually on here too, have a brand called Mold Making Technology, but Rob was reading about all these things on a, on a different site. And so we thought it was interesting that he was reading content that, but he didn’t know that we had these other brands. And so what we started doing is we started using that data to try to make those connections. So for Rob, for example, we sent an email invitation to him.

    We had an additive manufacturing webinar, and we started looking at that lytics data. And so we sent Rob an email invitation to an additive manufacturing webinar based off that data. It turns out that Rob, not only did he subscribe to that webinar, but he also became an additive manufacturing magazine and newsletter subscriber. Fast forward to today, Rob is actually known on four of our sites now four of our eight US brands, and he was active as early as, as last week. And so being able to identify that data and connect those pieces together and then gives us a better, again, understanding of Rob and his interests and, and who he is and what he’s interested in. And so that really started us on this path of like moving down this and figure out, well, how can we, how can we use this more?

    And in this case, we’re using the data in kind of three different ways right now that I’m gonna talk about. We’re using it in our webinar promotions, which I showed a little bit, and I’ll talk more about. We’re using it in our event promotions, and we’re using it for audience growth. Being able to have this first party data segment. Also, we’re able to push that onsite with personalizations. We’re able to push that into an inbox with email. We’re also able to push that offsite, and we’ll show a little bit of that through our event promotion stuff. But having all that data in one spot has really helped us not even just, again, not even just for an email invitation, but using that in multiple, multiple ways.

    So the first thing I’m gonna talk about a little bit more is webinars. We produce over 200 webinars a year. In the past, those, excuse me, those have relied heavily on email promotion. We used to send when one, we would have one webinar used to send three separate email promotions out doing that. But now with that first party data, we’ve been able to limit our email sends. We’ve also been able to increase that, those unknown convergence, and we’ve been able to maintain or grow webinar performance. And I know that’s a thing now to talk about that. Yes, we like are able to send less emails and get similar results. And so it’s been really nice to be able to not have to go back and say, okay, I guess we’ll do one more email to this group of people.

    We’ve been able to actually send less email and maintain our results because of how we’re using this first party data. So here’s a quick example of one that we’ve done recently, and this is an example of how we’re using the data. So this was a webinar with our plastics technology group. I will say too, that our content management system and how we’re collecting this data, we have an in-house content management system. And so, you know, we’re, we have all the taxonomies and all these things set up to push over into Omeda. And this was a quick example of some of the things that we were targeting in this email. This was all content that is being read across all of our sites. We don’t just look at one brand, we look at across all of our sites and the content that’s being consumed.

    I’ll also mention that this is a standard webinar practice for now. For every e for every webinar we produce. The first email is always looking at lytics data. And so we don’t go above, we don’t go outside of that. We only look at our known profiles that we know are consuming, consuming content relevant to the webinar. So in this case, there is all the, the different things that we targeted. You can see that we sent that to about 3,300 people. We had a 42% open rate on that. And then 282 clicks, which that was total clicks, which was about 8.6%. We converted on this email. We had 270 people register for this webinar just based off of this one email. Now, I will say this is one of our like, better performing ones, but this was a great result for us to say, wow we only had to send 3,300 emails to get 270 webinar registrants was a really great, a great conversion for us. We’ve also expanded that to per to personalization. Again, here was one running across all of our sites looking at, similar to what we talked about earlier with that additive manufacturing. Anybody who had been consuming content in additive manufacturing got to see this 865 impressions on this. And we had a 5.2% click rate on that personalization. So not huge numbers there, but a 5% click rate. Pretty good.

    And let’s talk about event promotion. So in our event promotions we actually have two events right now that we’re running this for. We have parts Cleaning Conference and the Additive Conference, which are actually happening this week at IMTS. which is where a lot of our team is. What we’ve been doing there. Let’s go to the next slide is, so we’re gonna talk about the Additive Manufacturing Conference. And so what we’ve been able to do is we’ve been able to identify an audience across, again, all of our different brands. And that was, in this example, it was anybody who was reading who was visiting Additive Manufacturing Media, which is our brand site, anybody who was on the conference site, but again, anybody across any of our sites who was reading content related to three D printing we put all that together into one query into one audience, and we were able to use the AdRoll integration and to push that, that push that anonymous audience out to AdRoll and retarget those people.

    We did that with a couple events where actually we have more events coming up that we’re gonna continue doing this because it a, it performed really well. Again, when you can take an audience of people that are reading rel related content it it, it helps, it works really well. And so I didn’t have a great screenshot of that integration, how that’s set up, but there’s a lot of, I know Omeda has a lot of documentation out there of how that add roll integration works. But it was super helpful to be able to put it all in one query and audience builder and then push it out to AdRoll and then set up our ads on there.

    And I wanna mention too, on that event, if you could see the, the bottom two images, there were examples of like some of the images we put in AdRoll at the very top. It’s hard to see, but that was actually somebody’s browser and outlook at Garner who you, if you see over in the right corner, was getting that ad retar to them from AdRoll. So it was just a quick example of like, oh yeah, this, this stuff’s actually working. And then the last piece that we’re using this for is audience development. So we are cross-selling our magazines and our newsletter subscriptions to con to people who are reading content related to that brand. And so kind of the example there is if people are reading about additive manufacturing, kind of like Rob reading about additive manufacturing, but they’re not on additive manufacturing site, we’re gonna promote content to them to say, Hey, maybe you should consider subscribing.

    We’re doing that through a couple ways. You can see on the right there, we’re doing one through a personalization. So if they’re anonymous and we don’t un we don’t know who they are, they’re getting a personalization if we know them and have an actual e a valid email address for them, we then also send them an email through that campaign. So far, we’ve had 1700 conversions. We’ve been running this for about three to four months now, and it’s been super successful. So we’re continuing to tweak that and, you know, change up the email and the content. But the idea of just promoting again to related subscriptions to people reading about that content has been super useful.

    Here’s a quick example of just that personalization. And so we’re actually splitting this between us and non-US visitors because on our, on our non-US side, we don’t need as much information for them to subscribe to the magazine ’cause they can’t get print right now. And so, so for them you could see like they’re the same thing, but on the US side, they get a personalization first we wait three days to see if they convert or not. And then if they have a valid email address, then we send them an email offering that subscription. Same with the non-US side. They get a personalization if we don’t have an email or if we, if they don’t convert and we have an email for them, they get an email right after. Right now our personalizations across all of our brands are averaging about close to a 2% click rate.

    Our emails are averaging a 46% open rate with a four over a 4% click rate. So super successful email conversions, personalization, conversions they’ve been doing really well. And so for us, like these were all just some quick examples of things we’re doing, but there’s lots of opportunities in the, in the future for us. We have lots of different things that we think we could be doing with this. You know we’re getting, we’re getting better on our websites as far as tagging content and making sure that everything on our sites is being tagged appropriately so we can, again, pull that information into Omeda and understand it. We’re also looking at how, how can we sell this? We have customers that aren’t interested in really just one brand, but they might be interested in reaching additive manufacturing readers all together. And so we’re looking at, okay, how can we take this data? How can we take these different tools and collecting this data and run a program or a retargeting program across all of our sites, collecting that audience together. So we have lots of different opportunities here. This is just kind of like a start of, of how we’re using it, how we’re collecting it, and what we’re doing with it. I ran through that obviously super quick, but I think, you know, hopefully there’s some time for questions here at the end and people have some other things might be relevant. So questions.

    Speaker 1 (12:58):
    Can I ask you a question though, Alex? You

    Speaker 2 (13:00):
    Sure Can

    Speaker 1 (13:00):
    John, what? Cause somebody, what causes somebody to go into that audience pool? Is it based on, they just came onto the database? What, what draws them into that pool in that voyage?

    Speaker 2 (13:12):
    Oh, on this, on this previous one here?

    Speaker 1 (13:14):

    Speaker 2 (13:15):
    Yeah. So for each of our brands, good question. For each of our brands, we set up queries basically looking at, okay, what, what are the different olytics parameters that makes that person interested? So this was a, this was for composites world in this example. So we looked across all, all of our brands said, okay, if somebody would be interested in composites world, what is that content that they could be reading on different sites that would make them interested? And so carbon fiber composites materials, like, there’s a lot of things that, you know, we don’t need to, the details we don’t wanna get into, but we started looking across all those brands. Say, okay, what are those things? when it comes to our, like our plastics technology group, we look at like, okay, who are people reading about injection molding? And like, it’s those types of words, but we, yeah, we basically say, okay, what are all those taxonomy terms that somebody would then fall into that? We also try to keep it unique. We try not to have multiple taxonomy words and different brands. So like every brand should be kind of unique as far as, you know somebody should, somebody shouldn’t get the like multiple brand subscriptions for one, one keyword.

    Speaker 1 (14:15):
    So it’s recent activity on those taxonomies, right?

    Speaker 2 (14:18):
    Absolutely, yes. Okay.

    Speaker 1 (14:20):
    Thank you. Mm-Hmm. . So actually I, I see that you were using Olytics, Odyssey, AdRoll…

    Speaker 2 (14:34):
    AdRoll? Yeah, we use personalizations for it. Yeah, we’re using all our apps.

    Speaker 1 (14:41):
    So the gamut of all our apps.

    Speaker 2 (14:43):
    Yes. And, and that’s been super helpful. Like like I said, previous to Omeda, we, we were using different applications to do this stuff. But there, yeah, we see a lot of value in being able to, one, to collect that data, but then how, how after we collect it, how are we reaching back out and using that data? And so yeah, the, if if there were five or 10 other tools of how we could communicate to an audience with this data in mind, like we would use those because we’re, you know we try to send we, we try not to send as many emails as possible. We try not to bug as many people as possible with personalizations. And so we’re, we’re, you know, cognizant of all those things. But yeah, if there were, if there were more, more tools on, Hey, here’s a way, another way you can reach your audience, we would, we would do that too.

    Speaker 1 (15:28):
    Okay. And this continuous voyage you said you kind of reevaluate and you’ll tweak like the queries, but will this continuous voyage just continue forever and ever, or will we at some point stop it and do a new one? I’m just curious.

    Speaker 2 (15:45):
    So we’ve been tweaking a, what we’ve have been testing is, is the language in these things right here in our personalizations and in, in our email. Yeah, the VO because we’re doing so many other audience things right now, like the voyage itself you know, adding another email in making multiple personalizations, we haven’t done that yet because of so many other things we’re doing. But yeah, we’re always looking back at the data to say, okay, you know, like for example, one of our, when somebody on the executive team mentioned the per that personalization right there and said, Hey, like you might wanna think about changing the language around and, you know, trying to communicate with the audience more. And so we’re, yeah, we’re constantly trying to test and tweak to see like if something performs better or something Yeah. Makes that a higher conversion rate.

    Speaker 2 (16:33):
    A little bit? Yeah, we, I mean, over time as we’ve done more and more of these types of things, like we’ve started to identify, you know, like we’ve, we’ve started to identify ways that we can, that work best. And so, you know, there’s a lot of text in some of those emails and we’ve kinda figured out, no, like, we wanna make these kind of short, sweet and you know, get to the point type of things. But yeah, we, we’ve taken a lot of what we’ve just learned over time with all of the things and tried to, you know, put that into this type of messaging.

    Speaker 1 (17:03):
    So there’s a question, do you have a list of taxonomy you try to have from your editorial team to stick to?

    Speaker 2 (17:11):
    Yeah, so that is a good question. Yeah. So on our, so on our, when our editorial teams are produced in this content they do have like a set selected a taxonomy nodes that they can select from. We are, we have been going back and forth about not tagging too many things and only tagging the relevant topics. But it is a, it is a, you know, a game to play there. We also, we use hashtags on our website too, and so we pull those hashtags in. Hashtags kinda give us a little more you know, a little more of those niche topics and things like that we, we use hashtags for, but we’re also pointing that data into analytics as well. So there are some ways there where they don’t have to everything or they don’t have to be too careful because those hashtags are really helpful to identify some of those more niche topics there.

    Also be, because we are a, like an in-house CMS, we have some mapping being done as well. So if certain content is being tagged by an editor we are a, we have mapping tables being done to say, oh, well, if it’s being, if this is being tagged, then that probably means it’s this topic. And so that data’s also being put into Olytics. So there’s work being done in the background as well, where it’s not strictly on an editor to do, Hey, if you don’t tag this the re we won’t know. Like we, we do have some work being done in the background to try to help manage that. So it’s not so heavy on them to do all the work.

    Speaker 1 (18:30):
    So another question is, how has your sales and marketing team responded to this type of engagement?

    Speaker 2 (18:37):
    Oh, I mean, yeah, our, so I mean, the first thing our sales and marketing team wanna do is they wanna know how they can use it and how they can, how they can sell it, right? I was actually just having a conversation right before this with our events team. We have another event come up here in a couple months and, you know, I brought up the AdRoll example here and said, Hey, we did this for the two events this week, we should do it here. Like, it performed really well. And so today we’ll be setting that up. On the sales side, yeah, we’re always looking to how we can, how we can monetize this. And at, at Garner we have been in this, we’re, we’re getting in this mindset of, of big G where we’re not looking at just individual brands, but we’re looking at some cases of how we can, how we can span across those brands.

    And this, there’s a lot of tools here that give us that to be able to say, yeah, we have people reading about additive manufacturing content across five of our sites, instead of just one, here’s why you should sell across all of them, or Here’s why we should put a package together for you that hits these three or four brands. And so yeah, it’s this has definitely gave us a good insight into, oh, we should be we should be doing this in, in other ways. Like, we should be selling this and we should be telling our customers that, hey, we can reach your audience in these places as well.

    Speaker 1 (19:47):
    Okay. Prior to you using the analytics data, how did you target your audience for webinars?

    Speaker 2 (19:55):
    So, but prior to that, we strictly looked, we looked at so anybody who registers webinar obviously comes in the database, and we always looked at it at just opt-in names. So have they registered for a webinar before? Are they subscribed to the magazine? Are they subscribed to the newsletter? We would basically just take that group of people and split it across multiple ways and say, okay this group’s gonna get email one, this group’s gonna get emailed. Two, we never really looked deep at that lytics data or that first party data to target that way. So it was a very general kind of just umbrella approach to just throw it out there to as many people as possible and see see what we can get back.

    Speaker 1 (20:35):
    What was your first wow moment when you got all your audience together into a single platform

    Speaker 2 (20:41):
    First? Wow, that’s a good, I don’t know who asked that question, but is that a Bob Kennedy question? It feels like a Bob Kennedy question. First wow moment. Yeah, I mean, I think, I don’t wanna use the Rob example. I’m trying to think of a better one there. But yeah, I think, I mean, it, it kind of is that like, as we started doing this more and sort of recognizing all of this data, like going back into it and just like, you know, I really enjoy looking at like, just looking at records and just looking at what data coming in and stuff. And as we, like Rob was, Rob really was that first example where we looked at things we’re like, oh my gosh, like this is working for us, right? Like, here, here’s a guy that we thought, oh, well, let’s just see what happens here if we, if we push this webinar to the, this group of people.

    And to see that it came back and was working was like, oh my gosh, this, like, this is kind of like the dream of what we’ve been talking about for years of like, it would be really cool to do these types of things. Like this has given us the opportunity to be able to actually do that and see that. So it’s, yeah, it’s been, it’s been a long, you know, a long process of like, hey, like if we can get to this point and we can collect all this in one place and do these things, then I think we’re really gonna be able to do some cool stuff. And yeah, this Rob as excited as he looks here, was really that first example there of being able to say like, wow, like, yeah, this, this is gonna work and here’s all the different ways that we could, we could and should be doing it.

    Speaker 1 (22:05):
    Could you explain in a bit more detail the process of waiting three days and validating the email address before sending the subscription offer?

    Speaker 2 (22:14):
    Sure. so on the three days part, we, yeah, we, we just give some time there because that, you know, our, we deal a lot with, again, people who work in shops and machine shops and they’re not on computers every day. And so for us, like we set up that three day there just in case of like, you know, if, if, and they’re not gonna be on our sites every day. So we try to give that time of how long we wanna send less emails, I guess is what I’m saying. And so if we can convert them on a personalization first we’re gonna do that, you know could we expand that three days and make it a little longer possibly. But yeah, we wanna, like, if we can send a one less email and do it for personalization, we’re gonna do that on that filter right there.

    We’re looking at a couple things. We wanna make sure that they have a valid email address. We’re also making sure I didn’t mention this on there, but we’re making sure that they haven’t received multiple emails from us in a 24 hour period. There’s, I know there’s a new fatigue filter or a fatigue element out there now for email. But we’re also checking that. And so if somebody has received a couple emails of 24 hours from us we’re waiting until that’s no longer true to push this email. So it’s, we think it’s important that they convert, but we’re not sending it right away. We’re sending it, you know, based off of the activity of that person and when it’s, you know, when that time is said. So there’s a couple things there that we’ve, and that, that time filter, for example, is something we do across most of our emails where we don’t have to, where it’s not time sensitive. We, we wanna have that, you know, balance where we’re not overwhelming in our, our readers in their inbox.

    Speaker 1 (23:47):
    Where does managing this Omeda functionality lie within your organization? Is it the audience development team? Is it the marketing team?

    Speaker 2 (23:55):
    Is it both? Yeah, it, it’s, it’s everyone. We had, we had Omeda in a couple weeks ago to kind of work with us and workshop things with us, and we had audience, digital products, marketing events members from our executive team. This platform is not it’s not for one person or one group. There’s, you know everybody has a different filter and a different scope of how they’re looking at this. Our, our events team is saying, well, how, you know, how can we use this to prevent, to promote, promote events, and how can we, you know, the AdRoll integration is really beneficial for them. I just say, well, how can we gain more magazine subscribers? Like, there’s so many different things in here of how the data can be used that we can’t have it to just at least a guarder, we can’t have to just one department.

    We, we have it spread out to where, you know, we have lots of different people in here for different functions. You know, a Abby is our webinar person, she’s the one that’s in here building out all those webinar promotions and thinking about how she’s using that data. So yeah, it’s it spans across all of the departments. Our editorial people are looking at you know, content consumption and how different people are, you know, what, what taxonomy topics are being consumed the most. So yeah, we, we branch across all of all of departments at Gartner.

    Speaker 1 (25:07):
    So the forms that you use to collect subscriber information, are they all Omeda hosted forms? Did you use any other, you know, third party form platform?

    Speaker 2 (25:20):
    They’re all Omeda hosted forms. We do and we, we do have an integration with CredSpark. So we do work with credits Spark in some cases and be, and we’ve worked with them. I think some other customers are doing this now. We worked with them where they can also convert that anonymous to known. And so there are cases where we’ll use them for different, like surveys and quizzes. But when it comes to subscriptions every one of those is Omeda orm because we want that unknown to known conversion. We do have a, we, we use Jot form for very minor cases, but if we want that conversion it’s most of the time gonna be an Omeda form or a CredSpark situation, depending on if we, you know, if if it’s a surveying quiz and that date we want that data to live somewhere else, we might use credits Spark as well.

    Speaker 1 (26:06):
    How do you define engagement when utilizing your analytics data? Is there like a set timeframe, like 30 days, one week, two weeks?

    Speaker 2 (26:15):
    Yeah, so that, I mean, for us, that’s going to probably differ than whoever’s asking this question. Like I said so we, when it comes to like, people working in shops and stuff like that, you know, we, I, we recently had an example. We were looking, I was looking with one of our brand VPs and we were looking at data for a newsletter and we looked at, there was an ad, a video ad that had really high clicks, and I picked one random person out of that, and we opened them up in immediate to look at him. And he had been in the platform the, for the entire year, and that was the first time he had ever clicked on any email. And that is a year of activity. And so engagement for us is really different, hard to define because we do have people that it might be 90 days, three months before they’re opening and engaging in an email for us that are really good names.

    And so as email has gotten harder with like all the Apple stuff and the open rates, like we have kind of gone back to try to redefine what Engage means to us because there’s that name that’s been around forever to our customer is a really good click, right? And so we’ve, we’ve really had to balance out, okay, well what is, you know, if, if they haven’t engaged in 30, 60 days, and we’re looking at that entire group too, we’re not looking at just an email click, but we’re looking at, have they been on our website? Have they registered for a webinar? Have they downloaded a white paper? You know, we’re, we’re taking engaged to like a bigger level to not just look at one tiny piece. We’re looking at kind of the whole universe as far as like, what is engagement? Have they registered for an event? Like what does engage mean to us? You know, as long as they’re still active within our community in some way, then that to us is more, is is engaged less than did they click on an email recently?

    Speaker 1 (27:54):
    Thank you. I think that’s it for now, Alex. Thank you very much.