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Thai publisher’s data-driven strategy to build a more engaged and loyal subscriber base

Thairath's data-driven initiative enables teams to analyze key data on reader behavior to improve content strategy

The situation

Thairath participated in the Google News Initiative (GNI) Data and Insights Launchpad (DIL) program, delivered through a partnership between Google and FT Strategies. The three-month long program aimed at addressing and accelerating publishers’ data and insights capabilities, from reader discovery to subscription strategy.

During this program, the reader survey revealed that users were still not exposed to Thairath Plus (the group’s premium, in-depth and analytical content), and there were necessary actions required to increase the visibility of the content and offering to users. Thairath spent time understanding their external audience through a reader survey, while also internally reflecting on the level of digital literacy across its teams and newsroom. The team was motivated to continue learning more about their readers in order to deliver a better user experience. The program also highlighted the importance of internal alignment whilst building a data-informed organization. In particular, the Thairath team wanted to explore new ways to embed data into its day-to-day functions at a level that would be understood widely across the organization.

Thairat_Sayanan Yaion_Headshot
It’s great to learn from those publishers that are successful in using data and making subscriptions. The survey and full presentation with the deep recommendations are very insightful for us. We think that this new approach will be able to adopt into our business and drive a good result.
Sayanan Yaion
Business Development Manager, Thairath
  • 65% increase in social interactions (compared QTD to Q4 2022)
  • 3% uplift in website membership sign ups rate
  • 100% of teammates trained across organization

The action plan

As a result of the program, the Thairath team spent time deep-diving into the content analysis workstream with a particular focus towards the ‘Thairath Data-Driven’ project. This enabled them to take the first steps towards building up data capabilities within the entire organization. Crucially, Thairath also dedicated team members from a wide range of departments including editorial, social media, and product. Their data analysts built a data dashboard called ‘Magic dashboard’ with the aim of enabling everyone to be able to utilize data towards optimizing their content creation. This had an immediate positive impact and helped the team devise tactics that would drive reader consumption in every channel including direct, referrals, social media, newsletter and push notifications. This is the first step to utilize and align the data across the organization and the team is mindful that there will be more learning and experimentation along the way.

Additionally, Thairath carried out a second survey to better understand the opportunity to increase engagement with Thairath Plus readers. As a result, Thairath Plus’ value proposition was refined and the content was made more visible on social media. Furthermore, the results of the survey led to its access model being reassessed to allow more readers to sample the content and build consumption habits that would make them more likely to subscribe.

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