How MailOnline is building an insights business

MailOnline is joining the ranks of a growing number of publishers keen to deepen partnerships with brands and agencies by offering more strategic — and valuable — services. The publisher has started offering key clients access to its live on-site surveying tool, Pulse, to help them make more sense of its digital audience of 29 million monthly uniques in the U.K. (over half of the U.K.’s digital population), according to comScore.

In the last few months, MailOnline has run hundreds of reader surveys on topics like views on brands or current events. The publisher will soon make its real-time analytics available to clients so they can see which articles are trending. It will also profile specific reader groups, so clients can ask questions like, “When are people most likely to read about mortgages?” or “What content are mothers reading apart from content about babies?” before spending money on campaigns.

“We’re pivoting our business; we want to be seen as a strategy and insights resource to clients,” said Bedir Aydemir, product marketing and insight director at MailOnline. “The idea is that we’re adding value before the client has spent any money.”

Digital advertising has been moving away from targeting based on broad demographic segments to more granular, interest-based targeting. Mail Advertising, the commercial division for Mail Newspapers and MailOnline within parent company DMG Media, is the driving force behind becoming an insight partner. According to SimilarWeb, over a third of MailOnline’s visitors come to it directly, making the publisher somewhat less vulnerable than others to the duopoly’s dominance. This also gives MailOnline a rich, enticing data set.

Speaking on stage at One Vizeum in London this week, Roland Agambar, CMO at parent company DMG Media said that the publisher has profiled 3.5 million of its readers. In this database, each customer has around 300 fields of data, including first-party data related to their viewing habits, engagement and transaction data — it sells everything from home goodsto travel cruises — enhanced with third-party data from partners like Netmums and Nectar. The publisher is close to having a single-customer view, and the business is starting to make use this database, said Agambar.

Database customers are separated into three segments depending on how valuable they are. MailOnline has a few thousand high-value customers, each of which spends about £4,000 ($5,400) a year with the publisher. It has a million customers in the low-value bucket. Messages are tailored to different levels accordingly; for instance, the publisher is in the process of understanding what message would nudge someone who visits the site infrequently to make a purchase or sign up to one of its newsletters.

Aydemir said MailOnline is starting to build what it calls a “next-best action engine,” which will automatically serve readers an action aimed to resonate best with them, whether that’s an ad from an ad client or an ad directing them to its property search service. “It might be serving them fewer ads, even though that’s counterintuitive,” he said, “but we want them to communicate with us more regularly.”

According to Aydemir, because MailOnline has scale, it offers guarantees of 1 million on-platform views for branded-content video, and it hasn’t had to buy traffic from social platforms or media distribution on other sites to match clients’ reach goals. Aydemir said clients are increasingly asking for more social distribution. This week in the U.S., it launched DailyMailTV, opening up another potential distribution channel for advertiser content.

Audience data is the backbone of any publisher, but using it for more commercial advantages is nascent, according to Dan Chapman, head of digital at Mediacom. “With a publisher’s understanding of their customers through analytics and research panels, they are in a great space to start stealing share in insight-driven creative concepting and production,” he said. A growing number of publishers are using this data commercially: Recently, ESI Media started delivering real-time article engagement data to advertising agencies.

MailOnline’s whole business is understanding the monetary value of customer data in ways that weren’t possible five years ago, said Agambar. One way this plays out is that Aydemir and memebers of his team now move around the company, collaborating with different departments to help them understand the value of customer data.

“We want to work in a partnership type of way with clients, but we need to be flexible,” said Dominic Williams, chief investment officer at Mail Advertising. “We’re a brand that still needs to evolve.”


Brazil artists turn former government building into creative centre

Image result for Brazil artists turn former government building into creative centre

Creativity is blooming in one of the least likely of places in Brazil.

The 13-storey Ouvidor building in the heart of Sao Paulo used to be a local government building before it fell out of use.

Empty and derelict, the site was wasted until 300 painters, sculptors, circus performers and musicians moved in, transforming it into an artistic hub.

Now, they want the house officially declared a creative centre.

Al Jazeera’s Daniel Schweimler reports from Sao Paulo.


10 Essential Building Blocks for Successful Businesses


There are so many things that go into building a successful business. Each business can arrange those building blocks differently. But there are some essential elements that should go into every business plan. Here, members of the small business community share some essential building blocks for successful businesses.

Understand the Importance of Logos for Business Success

Your company’s logo is one of the first things potential customers will notice about your brand. It’s something that should represent your offerings and tie all of your different platforms together. In this article from Solopreneurs, Sam Davtyan discusses the importance of a good business logo.

Grab Social Media Attention Without Looking Foolish

Getting people’s attention is essential to any successful social campaign. But you want to make sure that it’s the right kind of attention, so that it can actually benefit your business. April Heavens-Woodcock shares some tips for grabbing attention on social media without looking foolish in this article from Agora Pulse.

Create an Experience for Your Brand

Some businesses get so caught up in trying to create a brand that they forget to create an experience for customers. But in this video and accompanying article, Brian Solis discusses how the two are really connected. And BizSugar members discuss the post further here.

Get a Blog for Your Ecommerce Website

Blogging has been around for years. But some business owners still may not realize the benefits. Even ecommerce businesses can benefit from having a blog. This Exit Bee article by Vanhishikha Bhargava includes some of the reasons why your ecommerce website needs a blog.

Write Epic Content

Once you have a blog, or any other content sharing platform, you need to fill it with really epic content so that potential customers will keep reading and even get it to go viral. In this article, Neil Patel shares the ultimate guide to writing epic content that will do just that.

Get Your Business Off the Road to Nowhere

At some point while running a business, you’re likely to experience that burned out or uninspired feeling. But if your business starts to experience some of the signs outlined in this 3Bug Media article by Gary Souldis, you might be on the road to nowhere. You can also see more discussion about the post over on BizSugar.

Don’t Forget About Offline Marketing

Online marketing gets a lot of attention. But there are still some offline marketing efforts that can be worthwhile for businesses. In this SMB CEO article, Ivan Widjaya discusses some of the offline marketing methods that can still be beneficial for businesses.

Master the Art of Engagement

Being engaging is important in every part of your business, whether it’s communicating through email marketing, social media, blogs, videos or other formats. Here in Target Marketing, Jessica Noonan discusses the importance of being engaging when it comes to email campaigns.

Don’t Compare Your Business to Others

With so many small businesses out there, it can be easy to fall into the comparison trap. But your business is different. So you shouldn’t waste all of your time worrying about measuring up to others, as Kimberly Crossland points out in this article in the Savvy Copywriter. The BizSugar community also shares input on the article here.

Keep Using Google Plus

Using the right social platforms can be a big part of your online marketing success. Although some people think that Google Plus is heading toward its last days, there are still plenty of benefits of using it. In this article from Bigshot, Karen Eisenbraun discusses some of the benefits of using Google Plus for business.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to:  [email protected]


9 Questions to Ask When Building a Mobile App

mobile phone users

“The next big thing” is a phrase that gets tossed around often. Entrepreneurs dream of creating it but often don’t know where to look, so they head down a long, bumpy road that sucks their wallet and their inspiration dry. Of course, failure nearly always precedes success, but it doesn’t hurt to avoid failure when you can.

If you’re embarking on a new mobile app idea, first consider whether you’re a results-oriented or a cause-oriented person. This will help you perfect your approach and, better yet, may prevent you from investing in an idea that’s likely to flop. The cause-method-results path tends to be best; profits are just a result — they may drive entrepreneurship but they’re not something to build off of, so consider your cause first and foremost. Whatever you create must have demand and whatever has demand serves a purpose for its customers.

So how do you identify the purpose of your next mobile app?

1. Is it a Need or a Want?

Imagine you’re an average smartphone user and someone tells you about this app. Would it excite you? Would you want it? Would other people want it? Ideally, they’llneed it, but the next best option is that they simply want it.

So how can you create a want? Look around you. This era is all about the translation of life into digitized form. It’s all about information that makes people’s lives easier. Urbanspoon, Foodspotting, and Yelp do just that. They speed up and simplify your life. How will your app make its users’ lives simpler and speedier?

2. Is it Offering Something that Doesn’t Already Exist?

That’s exactly what Mark Zuckerberg asked the Winklevoss brothers when they told him about the idea of Harvard Connection, and they certainly had an answer. If your basic idea resembles something that’s already out there, you need to be confident your app will offer something its competitor doesn’t. Do you think your interface will blow it out of the water? Is the other app particularly vulnerable in a crucial department, like connectivity or functionality? Can you take advantage of that?

3. How Soon Can You Launch?

Say your app idea is amazing — it’s something people would absolutely love and it’s completely unique. Now what? The biggest mistake you can make is to sit on it. There’s one thing Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk would all agree on: you must rush to the market to launch your idea or someone else will. It’s a competitive world. Everyone’s trying to innovate. So the sooner you dream it, the sooner you must build it, because someone else is bound to dream and build the same thing tomorrow or the day after.

4. How Will You Build It?

That brings us to the question of complexity. Can you design and develop this app yourself? If not, can you get someone else to do it? And if you get someone else to do it for you, how much can you pay them? Would you look to a simple app creation platform that lets you build and host the app easily or go to a team of custom developers? And what’s the faster approach?

5. Is This the Best You Can Do?

If you’re going to sell something, better to sell it to a hundred people than to ten.How many platforms does your app cater to? An Android app is better than a Galaxy-specific app, so try to maximize your audience as much as possible; don’t make the classic mistake of approaching only a handful. Most of the time, increasing your potential users just takes one simple addition but makes a huge difference in the long run.

6. Can You Survive the Market?

It’s time to consider your competition and your marketing strategy. The idea is there. You can build and launch it soon. Now ask yourself if you have the money and the drive to compete. When you launch a product that hits your rivals where they’re vulnerable, the bigger companies you’re hurting will wage war, rapidly improving their product to maintain their top spot. That’s why it’s paramount to consider how soon you can make the name of your product echo in the market. Can you hire marketing agencies? If you don’t have the money, do you have investors who can do it for you?

7. People Love Your Product Today. Will They Love it Tomorrow?

Your app’s ability to inspire return visits is what will help it dominate the market. Does it hold long-term value for its users? It needs to. Does it encourage consumer loyalty? That’s a must. It should be habit-forming, engrained so much into the mobile lives of your users that they wouldn’t consider switching to a competitor.

8. How Will You Get Results?

Profits require commercialization — particularly ad-hosting. Businesses are biting at the bit to advertise in apps that overlap with their target market, and creating digital ads is far cheaper than print. Whether you use an ad service like Doubleclick or AdMob or go with a custom solution, make sure your ads don’t detract from the user experience. Of course, charging for downloads is another option, but if you’re aiming to mass-distribute it’s best to keep it free.

9. Does Anything Need to be Eliminated?

The secret to making highly usable apps isn’t adding more and more stuff but eliminating as much as possible. You’re probably focused on packing in features now, but your app likely contains some redundancy already. Superfluous features increase your file size and suck up device memory — not a great thing from the user’s perspective. So simplify it.


Approach your next idea with purpose and foresight. The next big thing in mobile is out there, but method and strategy are crucial to its success. Just make sure you get there first.