Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chart of the Day

Guess the chart...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

measures of success on a publisher website

As a marketing scientist with a special interest in media sites, a few interesting posts and developments have come to pass in the last couple of weeks.

This post from Greg Linch came on my radar – discussing how a measure like "engaged minutes" makes more sense for content evaluation on media sites. Using page views stems from advertising models established from print circulation models. In the more-digital era page views can give a bum steer, so you should derive your own measures…

Some publisher sites will have defined their KPIs organically as the online presence evolved, but now may be in the last throes of reporting this first wave of measures, or submitting to legacy standards, as the accuracy and granularity demanded by advertisers is not satisfied by a big number that looks a bit fishy, but has been audited to the highest professional standard possible, on that measure.

The race to 'that measure' has seen many publishers shift strategy over time,. If this has not publicly admitted, it has seen many well known publishers become more famous for the content that people are finding from their organic search and referral traffic.

In May, The UK Daily Mail saw its highest traffic not reporting the death of bin Laden, but for some Kim Kardashian bikini shots…
The politically left wing Guardian newspaper sometimes gets its highest single volume of inbound referrals from right wing Drudge Report.

In terms of then using PV and CPM based models, the Daily Mail should focus on more US celebrities and the Guardian should put up more stories about disappointing US economic news and military tensions.

Discussion of how the Mail became bigger online than the NYT is featured in this BBC piece and the message is clear – they do what they do well. A mixture of very clickable viral bait, tempting picture links and glossy magazine images to keep you on site, and get you to share. Houses that look like Hitler.

The thing with right wing Drudge is that inbound referrals are distinctly un-sticky. Huge volumes come in to view that carefully selected poll showing the GOP up but don't feel compelled to browse around the rest of the site. Which is where engaged minutes come back in 

Following the Pacman Google Doodle, The Guardian have launched a Space Invaders window with an amusingly blunt request to 'Help make our analytics dwell-time figures skew this month' 

One final thought is that a favourite reference site of mine, BBC Sport may see fewer engaged minutes in the coming weeks. Redesigned in canary yellow, the site will glow radioactively on the screens as previously discrete males try to quickly scan the fixture lists and transfer gossip.