How to unlock data as a superpower when you don’t have any


Australia’s major content producers have been building and enhancing a treasure trove of audience data – understanding what people are reading, watching and listening to – and creating precision targeting opportunities for brands.

The activity has been fast and furious, including Nine’s data matching capability with the support of Adobe; News Corp’s Customer Data Platform (CDP) created in partnership with Foxtel Group, Streamotion and REA Group; and Seven’s 7REDiQ that connects partner data from Ticketek, Flybuys and Experian to name a few.

Now, the publishers and broadcasters are showing that these deep wells of data can help brands of all sizes efficiently reach a target audience. And contrary to what may be common belief, you don’t need your own data to make the most of this opportunity.

“Many brands we engage with have an isolated view of their customers. That is, they only see inside their world,” says Andrew Brain, Director of Audience Intelligence, Seven West Media. “What we now bring to the table is a vast array of consented data sets to view those same customers against their lifestyle, life-stage and real-world behaviours and traits.”

Brain gives the example of comparing Prince Charles with Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne. They are the same gender, age, marital status, and both wealthy but would have very different interests and motivators as consumers.

“A lot of the time, we’re helping brands better understand their customers by tapping into new deterministic data-driven insights to better inform campaign strategy and planning,” says Brain.

For advertisers without much in the way of first-party data, Nine’s Director - Advertising and Data Products Ben Campbell urges them not to delay partnering with publishers and broadcasters to experiment.

“This year is the perfect time to test and learn as the phasing of third-party cookies approaches in 2023,” he says.

During Easter, Nine was able to determine how many of its Nine-matched customers,

 – identified via the Adobe Audience match product – walked into a store after being exposed to an Easter promotion on 9Now. The business was also able to establish the optimal frequency of ads it took to deliver this outcome. Nine also tracked daily foot traffic and the highest performing stores to feed into future geo-targeted campaigns.

“There was foot traffic on Good Friday which was unusual for a retailer,” says Campbell. “The brand had extensions into petrol stations and geospatial data provider Near can map up to 1,000 locations. So our data and our data partners keep us accountable.”

Brands are advised to connect with publishers and broadcasters during the planning stage for the best results so that teams can work with insights to turn them into key moments, placements and devices.

“Activating against these insights can result in delivering highly efficient campaigns and delivering on our clients’ key KPIs,” says Chris Oxley, National Head of Digital Sales, Foxtel Media. “Given the nature of our streaming platforms, we also can stitch together TV and digital to provide unified reach.

“At Foxtel Media, we have access to fully identified logged in paying customers. We are then able to combine this with real-time data across Kayo, Binge and Foxtel.”

Last year Foxtel launched FoxTest, an initiative for clients to test and learn across these platforms. Hyundai was a launch partner with a Hyundai Palisade campaign rolling out across linear and streaming platforms.

“The results speak for themselves,” says Oxley. “Hyundai achieved an 11% increase in audience and a 20% uplift in the incremental audience for the key demographic of people aged 24- 54. Most importantly, this was achieved while maintaining CPM rates across digital and linear platforms.”

Shani Kugenthiran, Digital Advertising Strategy & Product Director for Paramount ANZ, says it’s about leveraging close and trusted audience relationships to generate a flow of first-party data via information collected at signup.

“As broadcasters, we have a clear insight into viewer behaviour within our ecosystem. We understand what content viewers are engaging with and when,” says Kugenthiran.

“This, coupled with our second-party data partnerships – matched using verified email addresses – provides invaluable indicators of audience behaviour that are easily collected and processed to generate enriched user insights, all without personally identifying individuals.”

Kugenthiran points to the example of a campaign for a fitness business that utilised insights on the brand’s members across 10 Play. She says: “We were able to validate demographics and share viewing habits with first-party data – they loved the global Bachie franchise. We helped them to refine personas based on their brand and challenged some assumptions in terms of household composition and demographics.

“These insights informed the media plan and drove member acquisitions. This is now part of their always-on media plan.”

News Corp’s CDP means advertisers without their own data aren’t behind the eight ball as it brings together data from News Corp’s brands which together form a 16 million strong database. And partnerships with second-party data providers such as FlyBuys add the layer of what audiences are doing outside the News Corp network – what they’re buying, where they’re going, products they’re researching and more.

“When we combine this, we get a strong view of our audience’s interests and intent,” says Suzie Cardwell, General Manager Client Product & Strategy, News Corp Australia. “This allows us to put your message in front of people who are likely to want your product.”

Cardwell says the data approach is already delivering results with one example a campaign for a brand that sells stocks and condiments where their granular audience segmentation was employed to identify audiences most likely to buy the brand’s products.

“We were able to identify audience groups that were regularly searching for recipes that contained stock – soups, stews etc. From there, we also identified that a proportion of those people were also looking at a lot of health and fitness-related content.

“We worked with the brand to craft content and ads that emphasised the healthy aspects of their stocks.

“We were able to measure the effect we drove through Flybuys and the sales from our audiences exposed to the campaign. This resulted in a significant increase in sales from those audiences against audiences that weren’t exposed.”

Cardwell says her team is constantly surprised by trends in customer segments.

“When we look for intenders – people who are likely to be in-market for a product – across different categories, we see that it’s often difficult to categorise them into personas or demographics. So indicators of intent we see in their behaviour across the network are key in finding people who are likely to be your next customer.”

While it’s beneficial for your brand to have its own first-party data assets, it turns out you don’t need to in order to work with major digital publishers since they’ve already done the hard work building up theirs.

To find out more about how Australia’s Australia’s major digital content producers can help you with their rich data assets, visit

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