INMA launches Smart Data Initiative

Focuses on five key areas

Photo: Burst on Unsplash

The International News Media Association (INMA) recently announced the launch of a premium initiative for members and the news industry aimed at sharing insights and best practices on creating value with data analytics for media companies and incorporating a data-positive culture.

The Smart Data Initiative is the third subject matter deep-dive endeavor by INMA after its popular 2-year-old Readers First Initiative and recently launched Product Initiative. Combined, the three INMA initiatives are designed to elevate the transformative intersection of subscriptions, data, and product at media companies.

The new data-focused initiative aims to focus on five key areas:

Tying data to business strategy: Data plays a critical role in accelerating digital transformation of news media. INMA surfaces the best ways to align data initiatives to editorial and business objectives and will build a business case for the investment in data infrastructure and partnerships.

Practical applications: Armed with data insights and through rigorous experimentation, news media companies aspire to engage audiences better, grow reader revenue, and reinvent advertising in the post-third-party cookie era. INMA will bring all data-focused best practices and benchmarks to bear.

Data fundamentals: New tech and data infrastructure is becoming a backbone for digital publishing. Understand the technology stack required to enable monetization. Learn how to register and log in your audiences to unlock the value.

Advances in data analytics: Thanks to machine learning and AI, media companies learn more about customers and their journeys, predict behaviors, and segment them to better fit their products, services, and their marketing mix. The Smart Data Initiative will unleash the potential of new methods and technologies.

Data-positive culture: As media companies reset their internal cultures around engagement, they democratize the use of data for decision-making and make it central to their day-to-day work. Share ideas and inspire change at your organization through this new initiative.

The Smart Data Initiative will have at least six deliverables for INMA members: a bi-weekly newsletter, a slack channel for data enthusiasts, bi-monthly meet-ups, reports, and a master class and summit for richer learnings.

Heading the Smart Data Initiative for INMA is Grzegorz (Greg) Piechota, the association’s researcher-in-residence. Former senior researcher at Harvard and Oxford universities, he started his career in journalism and led the newsroom of Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland. The book he wrote with Professor Thales Teixeira, Unlocking the Customer Value Chain, was recognized the Best Marketing Book of 2019 by Strategy+Business magazine. Piechota also heads INMA’s Readers First Initiative.

The Smart Data Initiative aspires to provide a blueprint for revolutionizing publishers’ value propositions, operating and monetization models while maintaining their missions and values,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director, and chief executive officer of INMA. “We aim to transform the online news business and make journalism sustainable by helping publishers analyze and act on data in new and creative ways.”

The International News Media Association (INMA) is a global community of market-leading news media companies reinventing how they engage audiences and grow revenue in a multi-platform environment. The INMA community consists of more than 16,000 members at 850 media companies in 73 countries. INMA is the news media industry’s foremost ideas-sharing network with members connected via conferences, reports, webinars, virtual meetings, unparalleled archive of best practices, and initiatives dedicated to digital subscriptions, product, and data.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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