The recent DataContent track at the BIMS conference in Miami last week pointed to some very clear trends in data product development. Here are some of the memes we’re likely to hear a lot more about in 2015.
Predictive Analytics: The ability to predict who is in the market to buy different types of products and services is truly coming of age.
- Cooperative models like MadisonLogic let members overlay their customer data with aggregate data from other co-op members. This immediately identifies high-value prospects (see “lead scoring” below).
- Penton can now identify new products and product categories just as they’re trending. They then sell this data as part of high-end analytical products priced from $5-$15,000/year.
- Walmart uses data on regional events, weather, and other factors to accurately forecast product demand.
- Russell Perkins reminded attendees that having an accurate underlying universe definition is key to the success of any predictive product.
The API Economy: Salesforce and other CRM integration drove much of the initial market interest in APIs. The real trend is now toward building API-based data products rather than full-blown online information services (also known as “Data as a Service”).
- Edmunds, KnowWho, OpenCorporates and many others are firmly on the API bandwagon.
- Those offering free access to low-volume use of their APIs are seeing extraordinary success and spurring more applications using their data.
- When it’s done right, APIs allow easy workflow integration (which is the holy grail). They also reduce the need for expensive and complex interfaces, security protections, and transactional systems.
Social Integration: Events are becoming the crown jewels in publishing company properties. It’s partly due to their social dimensions and the way that so much information and brand marketing revolves around events.
- Equilar is aggressively pursuing the “event networking” market for its incredibly detailed info on C-level execs.
- Social3 offers the ability to see which customers have the most social clout with their new social lead-scoring service.
- Reachable’s product offering mines the social networks of employees and business partners to uncover personal connections to high-value prospects.
Lead scoring: It is becoming common to not just sell access to an audience (via a list sales, ad sales, etc.), but to rank prospects so customers’ sales efforts are faster and more successful.
- The best leads are prospects who buy a lot, buy from multiple competitors, and buy the same way that you market to them.
- Editorial departments are using popularity ranking to drive coverage in much the same way as content marketers do.
Discovery advertising: The art and science of displaying teasers for related articles to “engage” audiences and earn ancillary revenues has matured into a serious business segment. Taboola will earn $250 million in 2014 from these services.
“Renting” data: Craig Harris from HG Data made the case for an alternative to the subscription model: All information delivered to a customer must be removed from their systems if they do not renew their subscription to the data. This is another clever way to permanently embed data services in the workflow.
Deeper Data: Entrepreneurs continue to find new “deep” data sets to add value to company, people, and product databases.
- LowerFees.com bases their new hyperlocal information service on price data for consumer service companies like oil change centers, dentists, etc.
- Nutritionix is building a massive database on the nutritional value of all food products sold in the US.
Driving Usage: This remains a hot topic especially as services get more complex and costly.
- D&B’s Data Exchange is a great cooperative approach to driving sales for industry-specific B2B publishing partners. It also forces them to append the proprietary DUNS ID numbers, thus driving D&B sales.
- ScoutAnalytics: helps publishers monitor subscription service use and proactively drive more usage, improving renewal rates.