Newspapers: Step III: It’s all about events and reporting

Okay, I now have a CTO, or I’m in the process of getting one, and I have feedback from my advertisers. I have momentum.

I have goodwill with my advertisers becuase I listened to their concerns and I showed them how serious I was by getting a CTO and vowing to ramp up my technical capabilities.

What next?

Step III

Evaluate what reporting I have and what I need

Summary: Many online publishing companies incorporate a webtrends or an ominture and there done with it. Essentially these publishers are letting reporting software companies determine their metrics. It’s a travesty, it happens all the time, it’s incorrect and there it really no excuse for doing it.

I’m not saying get rid of your Ominture or Webtrends service by any means. I am suggesting that if you have the desire to be a big publication that you need to manage your reporting interface so that you can define new “things” that mean value.

For example, maybe the “weather” page is the largest entry page on my publication site, well maybe I make it a defined goal to improve the content and navigation around weather.

Regardless of “what” it is you need to measure it.

And rigid reporting structures don’t allow you to do this.

You need a flexible event model that allows you to identify metrics as they happen.

Do you have this?

As an additional note, a reporting web display that makes sense for your business drives sound business decisions. I can’t tell you how important that is.

Directive: Easy one here.

– Understand what you have (internal, external, what’s the support level). Have you mastered Omniture, can you dynamically change reports and interfaces.

– Evaluate what you need. You have this already from you advertisers, we don’t have it from content (but that’s okay they don’t know what they are doing anyway). And now your CTO will help you understand what’s supported and what’s not.

Reporting is a “product” in an of itself for any major online publisher or advertiser. It is living and breathing and it needs constant product development and support. It is part and parcel to your content.

Create the roadmap for it and start executing now.

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