Seven West Media selects Cloudera, Contexti and Amazon Web Services to deliver innovation in audience engagement

“Over the two weeks, we delivered 2.7 million emails across 108 targeted campaigns triggered by audience behaviours. The results of the program were compelling. We measured a 29% increase in the average minutes streamed by users who engaged in the program when compared against a control group,” said David Miller, director of Data and Business Intelligence at Seven West Media. “Our data solution has transformed how we can understand our audience as well as how we can proactively engage them.”

Seven West Media (SWM) engaged Contexti to assist in the design, build, and management of a modern data platform to support SWM’s evolving digital strategy, aimed at delivering much deeper insights into viewer behaviour.

The solution was run as a pilot program for SWM’s coverage of the 2016 Australian Open Tennis event, before being expanded to support the extensive and groundbreaking coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Australia. It now forms the core of SWM’s data capability as the company continues to provide market leading audience engagement and innovative advertising solutions.

Adopting a cloud-first approach, SWM’s data solution runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS) with a Cloudera enterprise data hub at its core providing a fast, secure, and easily scalable platform that can adapt to demand.

“There were two key data challenges that we needed to solve. Firstly, the variety and complexity of the data sources meant that we needed a mature and enterprise-grade open-source data management solution at the core of our data ecosystem. The second challenge for us was the highly variable nature of the events that generated the data, with huge events like the Rio Olympics needing to be supported over and above business-as-usual demand. This drove our decision for a cloud-based solution,” said Sharmaine Salis, head of Data Architecture at Seven West Media.

In preparing for the Rio Olympics, the Contexti team ran comprehensive performance tests to form a clear benchmark. With a high level of uncertainty around data volumes that would actually be generated, SWM took advantage of their cloud-based solution and the new elastic-pricing model from Cloudera.

“Although we were pretty confident in the performance of the system after Contexti’s tests, we decided to err on the side of caution. So, with only one week to go before the Opening Ceremony, we provisioned additional nodes. And a week after the Games, we turned them off again. That is exactly the type of flexibility we needed!” said Salis.

The solution easily transformed the enormous data volumes into the usable data sets to drive a comprehensive suite of dashboards. These were delivered to key stakeholders each day to give executives access to critical audience metrics throughout the event.

This same data was also used to underpin an innovative audience engagement program. Over one million people registered on the 7Olympics app or website during the event. Each user’s level of engagement with the content was tracked across over 200 daily variables and these were used to trigger highly targeted and personalised emails aimed at increasing user engagement.