Over the past few months, "collaborative" publisher Wikia has been working with data management platform Krux Digital on streamlining and segmenting the company's audience. The company claims the combined use of its first party data and third party data have led to 93 percent lift in eCPMs compared to what it was able to charge without Krux's help over the past six months. In addition, the promise of better targeting has opened Wikia up to consumer packaged goods marketers, which tend to still be wary about being associated with user-generated content.
"We know we’re sitting on a ton of data – we have over 70 million monthly users – and Krux provides an infrastructure that allows us to better analyze and segment our audience," said Becca Wright, VP of marketing solutions for Wikia. "We’ll be able to better activate the first party data we have and later on, third party data. It makes targeting a lot more relevant for consumers and advertisers. The research we’ve done is centered around 'motivators' of our audience, who we identify by asking questions such as whether they are optimistic or pessimistic about the state of the world. Using this kind of deeper profiling strategy, Krux has been able to gradually penetrate our audience and make the targeting capabilities more interesting for our advertisers."
Wikia runs what it calls a "collaborative publishing community," which includes user-generated content within roughly 250,000 communities that cover virtually all aspects of popular culture and current events. Krux is best known for its cloud-based consumer data management products and for helping publishers protect and manage their first party data.
In addition to a price lift thanks to Krux's system, Wikia claims upwards of 60 percent more engagement with industry-standard display formats, and for clients measuring click-through on both content and advertising, upwards of 200 percent higher performance. It will be interesting to see if this a one-time boost from turning on the data management switch, or whether the two will be able to not just maintain these numbers, but continue to build on them.
Naturally, Wright and Ben Crain, VP for marketing and corporate development at Krux, are positive that they can. In terms of finding the motivators within Wikia's audience, it has worked with Krux to find the most avid chroniclers of a given subject -- say, gaming, for example -- and then looks to the audience who expand on the original post.
"It’s a unique take on what many publishers are doing in the data space,"Crain said. "It shows the considerable advantage that comes from the privileged first party consumer and the marketing relationships they have. It expands their monetization opportunities to reach category of spending that that might not have had as broad an access in the past."
Crain describes Krux's role as providing and "enabling function" for Wikia, which can set up data management platforms that can stitch together their internal analytics and match it with data from third parties. "It’s important to have turnkey access to myriad third party sources so you can go in and select which ones are right for a given point and which audience segments are most valuable for a particular marketer," he said.