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India Today

India Today increases eCPM by leveraging First Party Data

India Today Group, builds “1View“ - a Customer Data Platform (CDP) effectively leveraging first-party data, to increase audience engagement and eCPM by +20%.

The Project

India Today Group, a leading media organization in India partnered with Google in 2022 on a project to establish a unified view of customers across the website and various channels by developing a Customer Data Platform (CDP)- “1View”. This has helped in better personalization and user targeting for showing relevant ads specific to the user's profile, thus optimizing ad revenue.*

“1View” now enables 4 key aspects of 1) user profiling and segmentation, 2) multi-channel personalization, 3) ad targeting based on segmentation, and 4) improved analytics and customer insights.

The initial planning phase of user profiling and segmentation involved:

- Mapping the customer journeys by collecting data from clickstream events and app clickstream, audience registering and subscribing to the India Today website.

- Identifying touchpoints of users to create user profiles for each visitor, whether non-logged in or registered, by collecting data about their activity on the website. This data includes the pages visited, articles read, and the videos watched.

- ‘1View’ uses this data to create a detailed profile of each user's interests and preferences and further creates ‘Cohorts of Audience’ visiting the multiple websites owned and operated by India Today Group.

To achieve personalization, India Today created an in-house recommendation engine called “Rec-Engine”. Rec-Engine utilizes past user activity to create unique profiles for both logged-in and anonymous users, providing recommendations using content attributes as input. The engine also takes into consideration various signals such as content freshness, relevancy, trending, and popularity to further enhance the recommendations.

India Today uses this information to serve personalized content to each user. The personalized content is presented through various widgets like bottom strips and must-read widgets in between articles & a customized ‘for-you’ page for users. For example, if a user had previously read articles about politics, they would see a recommendation for other articles on that topic.

In addition to creating user profiles, India Today also segments the users into groups based on their interests, demographics, and other factors. This allows them to run targeted ads toward specific audience segments and users who have shown an interest in any particular content genre. E.g. travel / auto enthusiasts and genres like finance, education, real estate.

* India Today collects first-party data via consent and respecting user privacy

The collaboration has brought about remarkable progress in getting a single comprehensive view of the customer. Improved user engagement, harnessing first party data, ability to create user profiles and to deliver targeted messages has boosted the monetisation potential. Google’s support has always been a testament to the power of data driven strategies.
Kalli Purie
Vice Chairperson, India Today Group
India Today - Image 1
Screenshot of the recommendation engine on the India Today Website
India Today - Image 2
Screenshot of the recommendation engine on the Aaj Tak Website
India Today - Image 1
Screenshot of the recommendation engine on the India Today Website
India Today - Image 2
Screenshot of the recommendation engine on the Aaj Tak Website

The Result

By collecting and analyzing the data about users and using it to create user

profiles and segments, India Today was able to improve the relevance of their content and marketing, which in turn helped to attract more visitors and grow ad revenues.

In conclusion, India Today's creation of “1View”, their own Customer Data Platform, has resulted in significant improvements in user engagement, content recommendations, ad targeting, analytics, and customer insights. In increasing recirculation, users are spending 50% more time on the platform.

India Today is also able to provide advertisers with segmented user profiles increasing relevance through targeted advertising, resulting in improved click-through rates (CTR).

  • 2x increase in page/session
  • -70% decrease in bounce rate on the recommended articles
  • +20% increase in eCPM (for segmented audience ad targeting)
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