Why Scripps Bets on the DMM

It might seem like a curious position for a content company, but Scripps Networks thinks finding audiences is more important now than ever. They are employing DataXu’s DX3 platform, which they call a “digital marketing management” platform (DMM), to facilitate that shift.

“The fundamental shift for us was the movement from buying placements to buying audiences,” said Jonah Spegman, digital media director at the company. “It has also been critical for us to be able to ad an extra layer of analytics as a filter in our ad buys for key audiences.”

Scripps, which includes The Food Network, The Travel Channel and Web properties like HGTV.com, devotes as much as 20 percent of its media spend to audience buys through DataXu. Scripps believes that being able to compare analytics on Yahoo, Google and Microsoft audiences is a key component in turning big data insights into adaptive audience-buying strategy.

“This approach lets us target more effectively across a larger inventory pool,” said Spegman.
Still, a central question is will this so-called evolution be enough to make big data manageable for brands and publishers other than a Scripps, which boasts an immense, multi-channel network of Web and TV properties?  Some of Scripps’ TV properties, for example, are highly specific in theme, like the Food Network. Increasing the quality of data on consumers in developing insights, even incrementally, should result in significant improvements in engagement, as the data is being used to fine-tune insights from a smaller range of variable unknowns about targeted consumers.
That said, Scripps is pleased with its results, aided by vendor partner DataXu. The company reports that consumers, when targeted early in the funnel, Food Network consumers, during a test, tended to bring ad interactions twice as high as normal CTR rates.
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