News Corp national sales MD Lou Barrett discusses game-changing innovations at D_Coded

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• Barrett: “News Corp is on a very ambitious programme to completely transform digitally”

News Corp Australia unveiled a series of new and game-changing innovations at its D_Coded event, held in Sydney on Tuesday.

Lou Barrett, managing director of national sales of News Corp, spoke to Mediaweek about what these innovations bring to brands and News Corp’s future in the digital space.

Barrett was excited to be among members of the industry and marketers in a face-to-face capacity following the pandemic.

“We’re all keen to get back face to face. But we still run a virtual event for people who can’t make it. We wouldn’t have done that before COVID,” she added.

The game-changing innovations

D_Coded introduced Customer Data Platform, Customer Match and Shoppable Video Advertising.

In partnership with Foxtel Group, Streamotion, and REA Group, News Corp Australia will launch a new Customer Data Platform (CDP) in July 2022. The platform will combine the force of the networks’ first-party data with building the richest targeting capability in the market for advertising clients.

News Corp Australia is introducing Customer Match, which allows advertisers to target brand messages to individual customers anonymously and Shoppable Video Advertising, which lets brands connect with consumers and make purchases directly within advertisers’ video content.

See also: News Corp Australia’s D_Coded announces innovations in consumer targeting

See also: News Corp Australia’s D_Coded unveils Shoppable Video Advertising

Barrett said the event was about “getting people to notice your brand, people wanting your brand, and people buying your brand. People have been saying to us that this is great because it shows how News Corp can take you right through the purchase funnel. We’ve addressed all areas of it.”

The managing director proudly spoke about their most significant announcement, their Customer Data Platform.

“We’ve been working on bringing Foxtel, REA and News Corp together since I’ve come to News Corp, we’ve been working on bringing them all together, and we’re there. It’s exciting.”‘

L-R: Pippa Leary, Managing Director, Client Product
Lou Barrett, Managing Director, National Sales
Suzie Cardwell, General Manager, Client Product & Strategy

Barrett explained that the data collected is first-party data and that privacy is safe. Individuals are identified by an ID rather than by personal information.

“That ID can be logged in or not logged in across devices, for REA, Kayo, Binge, News Corp. It’s ready now for the beginning of the financial year, which is great,” she added.

The managing director noted that their partnership with location data specialist Near gives their clients the ability to match customer emails against 16 million Australian emails. They can then target brand messages to individual customers in a privacy-safe way.

“The fact that we can marry those 16 million email addresses with our first-party data is a game-changer,” she praised.

Barrett also called Shoppable Video Advertising a “game-changer” and said: “you haven’t seen Shoppable Video like this.”

“This is Shoppable Video doesn’t take you outside the video experience. You can purchase the product whilst you’re watching the video. It’s very seamless, and that’s a first.”

The managing director added that all the data collected is measurable. She said: “We’ve got the ability to track and measure all of this and provide attribution studies off the back of this.”

L-R: Mark Brownie, Head of Trading Data & Programmatic Sales
Pippa Leary, Managing Director, Client Product
Lou Barrett, Managing Director, National Sales
Suzie Cardwell, General Manager, Client Product & Strategy
Michael Krawczyk, Head of Digital Client Growth & Capability

The future of News Corp in a cookieless world

Barrett noted that with the demise of third-party cookies coming in the next year, it was important for News Corp to sort out their first-party data ahead of time.

The cookie apocalypse has also ensured the protection of people’s privacy. She added: “I think we’re ahead of the game now, and we’ve got a really solid offering because we’ve done that, and we’re well prepared.”

Looking to the future of News Corp in the digital space, Barrett said: “we’re a completely transforming digital business.”

“Prints will always be very important to us. Print is not going anywhere, by the way. News Corp is on a very ambitious programme to completely transform digitally.”

“Our digital audiences are growing enormously. Some of our print audiences have grown too – look at The Australian,” she said before adding that everything they do now is “digitally focused.”

Barrett said that the company is no longer looking to launch print brands but digital brands. They have made strategic investments, such as finance newsgroup Stockhead and production company Visual Domain, which she said ties perfectly into Shoppable Video Advertising.

“We can create the content and put the purchase point in that video. And again, we’ve got the data to back it up. We’re meeting all ends of the equation now and making sure that we’re well rounded,” Barrett added.

See also: News Corp Australia announces investment in finance news group Stockhead

Top image: Lou Barrett

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