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Data Flexibility Drives Customer Targeting, Insights for The Washington Post

Case Study Provided by CDP Vendor ActionIQ Underscores Value of Partnership and Scalability

The News:

Customer data platform (CDP) vendor ActionIQ released the results of its two-year engagement with The Washington Post, which helped drive business growth and a more holistic reader experience by increasing data flexibility and availability across the organization. ActionIQ used first-party data to improve personalization and engagement to support the publisher’s new subscription outreach, terminated subscriber journey conversions and re-subscriptions, and paid-media activities.

ActionIQ’s CDP allows for faster analytics, improved segmentation and targeting for delivering the right content at the right time, deeper reader demographic and interest data for stronger customer relationships, and more detailed content insights.

The Washington Post has seen several successes among its customer journeys launched in early 2023, with a large increase in new email lead conversions, increases in visitor returns to the site from email outreach, and a 38% increase in the resubscribe rate, compared with previous benchmarks. Click here to read the press release, or view the entire case study here.

Data Flexibility Drives Customer Targeting, Insights for The Washington Post

Analyst Take:

CDP vendor ActionIQ’s engagement with The Washington Post clearly illustrates the value of being able to create data flexibility by consolidating and managing customer information across all touchpoints to provide a unified view of the customer and their entire journey. A CDP can be used to unify and verify data held in data silos to create a single source of truth. As organizations move to create a 360-degree view of the customer or prospect, they need to ensure data flexibility, even if data is held in a variety of disparate systems.  

By understanding how customers have been interacting with the brand, from marketing, through sales, and post-sale, all in one place, organizations can better tailor personalized campaigns that are timely, relevant, and more likely to drive positive responses. Without a unified data platform, insights that are captured and stored in one system may never be available to be used in another, resulting in an incomplete customer persona or profile.

Data Flexibility Supports Efficiency and Maintains Data Security

A key reason ActionIQ was selected by The Washington Post was its flexible approach to managing data. “ActionIQ’s flexibility as to where the data lives – the ability to map to the data wherever it lives – data warehouse, proprietary systems, [or] hosted in the cloud,” says Michael Trapani, Head of Product Marketing at ActionIQ. “The flexibility was important as this maintained efficiency and security.”

Prior to deploying ActionIQ’s CDP, a data analyst would need to manually stitch together data from three different sources, and then wait four hours for a query to be run. “It’s like we’ve gone from hand tools to power tools,” says Jason Langsner, Head of Product Management at The Washington Post. The use of a CDP eliminates the wait time, as well as the need to involve a data analyst.

It is not surprising that the case study yielded positive results; unifying customer data should inevitably improve personalization and targeting of campaigns, due to the ability to create customer segments more easily, based on shared characteristics and behavior patterns. As such, future customer or prospect engagements are specifically tailored to their interests, buying patterns, and feedback, with particularly relevant content being served up at the right time.

Time-to-Value Is Key to ActionIQ’s Selection

What is somewhat surprising is the speed at which The Washington Post saw results. “They began to see improvements in conversions within the first 30 days of deployment,” Trapani says. “ActionIQ prides itself on standing customers up within 90 days, and The Washington Post was no different.”

Trapani says that ActionIQ assisted with the integration and data prep work directly with The Washington Post team in this case, a key success factor. “ActionIQ treated us like a partner from the beginning,” says Michael Ribero, Chief Subscription Officer, The Washington Post.

Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.

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