Insights on product and data in INMA’s free regional event

Jul 21, 2021 at 02:23 pm by admin

Like ‘brainsnacks’ for the Asia-Pacific, INMA’s free APAC News Media Summit delivered key pointers on two key topics for a wide regional audience.

Industry experts from all over the world talked product and data – and a whole lot more – across the two-day inaugural virtual conference.

Guided through the programme by Philippines news anchor Karen Davila, and with a ‘state of the industry’ summary from INMA executive director and chief executive Earl Wilkinson, speakers delivered what would have been good value in normal circumstances, and was especially so as a free event.

INMA specialist Grzegorz Piechota and Taihei Shigemori of Nikkei’s digital transformation office looked into the future of subscriptions, while another INMA specialist, Jodie Hopperton introduced the concept of product and Ben Haywood of Australia’s Nine told what the TV-and-newsmedia company had learned about effective partnerships between product and editorial.

Product brought strategies and goals “not just for product but the whole organisation,” said Hopperton (pictured), describing the youngest and fastest-growing department as “customer experience to the core”.

“It means you must break down traditional silos. Editorial is the journalism, but product brings together the experience,” she said, mentioning enabling products such as checkout and paywall experiences.

A role Reuters found was “not well understood”, product was the key that allowed newsrooms to focus on extraordinary journalism.

Delivering principles for an effective partnership between product and editorial, Haywood brought lessons and learnings from the product journey from the publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review.

“Choose conversations over presentations,” he said. “Product and editorial – who are at the coalface – speak different languages, and operate on different time scales.”

Earlier attempts at bringing the two departments together “created a lot of tension” with each having different ideas about objects and what constituted success. “Don’t argue about facts,” Haywood said, pointing to a 2017 project to launch a new homepage.

“There were mixed views, with editorial thinking it a failure – a question of what success looked like… Google analytics v Chartbeat.”

Much more in the programme included case studies from Jim Bulley of South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo and Dian Gemiano of KG Media in Indonesia.


The second day’s programme turned to data, with detailed presentations by SCMP’s Ian Hocking and News Corp’s Australia’s Suzy Cardwell (see Unique inhouse data delivering guaranteed results for advertisers)with the opportunity to ask questions.

Hiromi Ohnishi of Japanese giant Asahi Shimbun – which has a daily print circulation of five million – might have been a novice by comparison, but had lessons to share including the use of AI-driven analytics and “small successes” with targeting.

Also early in the process, Lee ChinTan told how Sin Chew Daily launched membership programme SinChew+ in 2019, and was working on a funnel approach despite lacking the confidence for a paywall. “We try to convert casual users to become members, and when established as regular, will try to convert them to paid.”

The publisher has launched a premium section and also exclusive events, “to remind them of what they’re missing”.

Earlier, an analysis of the dynamics of programmatic advertising came from McKinsey partners Siddharth Gopalkrishnan and Craig Macdonald, while Singapore Press Holdings’ Ignatius Low talked digital and content marketing.

INMA plans a similar event – this time free for members – on Indian time, from August 12-13, details here.

Peter Coleman

Sections: Digital business


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