At a glance

Building on a successful five-year partnership, Slalom helped Meredith Corporation launch its Meredith Data Studio, a suite of advertising solutions leveraging Meredith’s vast, proprietary, first-party data on over 95% of US women. Meredith’s unparalleled data set combined with Slalom’s advanced analytics expertise gives advertisers a deep and timely understanding of women’s habits, preferences, and motivations.

What we did

  • Insights-as-a-Service
  • 360-degree customer view
  • Modern culture of data
  • Machine learning (ML)
  • Natural language processing
  • Predictive analytics
  • Leveraged AWS Redshift and Snowflake

Trusted content for nearly 120 years

From risotto recipes in Allrecipes to newborn sleep strategies in PARENTS, Meredith has brought essential, inspiring, and trusted content to Americans for nearly 120 years. Meredith’s National Media Group reaches more than 190 million American consumers and 95% of all US women.

With over 40 sites across entertainment, parenting, food and beverage, style and beauty, health and wellness, home, and travel, Meredith has an unparalleled amount of first-party data on US women.

Since 2015, Slalom has been a trusted adviser and implementation partner on Meredith’s data journey.


“Meredith brought us in to help develop a framework for analyzing and structuring its first-party data—a framework to bring all the data together where they could gain the most insight from it,” says Pallavi Tyagi, a Senior Principal consultant at Slalom.

“Slalom has this huge reservoir of talent, so we were able to pull in Slalom consultants who could help out with very specific types of data analyses that we just couldn’t do internally,” says Corbin de Rubertis, Meredith’s Head of Innovation.

Slalom helped Meredith build a modern culture of data by:

  • centralizing its data sources—giving executives direct access to metrics;
  • analyzing billions of data points across data sources to identify and predict trends and patterns in consumer behavior;
  • providing ML-driven insights to influence advertiser marketing, targeting, creative, and product development;
  • developing a consumer-decision framework that understands consumer actions from the lens of their key daily decisions to optimize media spend and placement; and
  • leveraging capabilities of underlying AWS and Snowflake platforms.

     

Introducing Meredith Data Studio, in partnership with Slalom

Meredith enlisted Slalom to help support the exciting launch of Meredith Data Studio, Meredith’s in-house research and insights division leveraging its vast, proprietary, first-party data and predictive insights capabilities to offer full-service data solutions to advertising partners about women’s habits, preferences, and motivations. The solutions include predictive analytics, paid consulting, and self-service tools.

“We’re providing an unmatched, comprehensive, and timely understanding of women and their purchase intent—the holy grail for our partners,” says Alysia Borsa, President of Meredith Digital.

Meredith Data Studio provides insights powered in part by Slalom. The suites of solutions are offered in a flexible tiered model. This includes a custom consulting solution, which is an ongoing, annual retainer service that leverages Meredith’s data, social listening, market research, and editorial expertise. This offering provides insights tailored to clients’ business needs. Advertisers can also choose the Insights Pack solution, which gives access to onetime, trends-based insights at a brand or category level. With Meredith Data Studio, advertisers get a multidimensional view of consumers that fills in knowledge gaps.


“Meredith owns so many brands across so many different types of industries, and the ability to have a holistic view of the content someone chooses to interact with is really powerful,” says Erica Kilbride, a data and analytics Director at Slalom. “It’s a lot of breadth and depth we’re covering.”

Consumers don’t make decisions in isolation, Tyagi adds. “Our overall lives influence how we behave with a product. Having that full 360-degree view of the consumer—of her and her life—helps us see what else she would do, what else she likes, how else advertisers can reach or influence her.”

Powered by advanced data science

The foundation of Meredith Data Studio is a proprietary and evolving taxonomy of over 13,000 terms. For example, lavender relates to colors and patterns, gardening, and cooking. Having a detailed and robust taxonomy enables us to combine terms across levels of the taxonomy and slice data with high specificity. Knowing the different uses of lavender helps answer questions like What colors are trending in home decor? Which herbs do home cooks commonly use in desserts? Are edible landscapes trending?

The next step for Meredith was to create an identity graph that allows us to uniquely identify consumers as they engage with content across multiple channels and devices.

“With the identity graph, you can see, for example, that suburban moms between 26 and 35 years old tend to be interacting with diaper content more frequently—and maybe 50-plus female and male users are looking at that content as well—potentially grandparents reminding themselves on how to do it,” says de Rubertis.

We’re providing an unmatched, comprehensive, and timely understanding of women and their purchase intent—the holy grail for our partners.

Meredith captures over 12 billion intent signals—what visitors are searching for, clicking on, subscribing to, buying, sharing, or adding to a list. For example, if you’re typing in “quick dinner” on Allrecipes, your intent is to make a meal. If you’re emailing a recipe, your intent is to share it with someone.

Meredith Data Studio is also able to predict women’s future behavior and preferences using machine learning. One way our teams do this is by using natural language processing to scrape comments sections, finding sentiments and trends.


“Not only can we see what people were doing in the past, we can actually forecast what they might be doing over the next couple of weeks, months, or years in certain categories, which is fascinating for advertisers,” says de Rubertis.

Validated stories

In addition to capturing clickstream data, the Meredith Data Studio team works with Meredith editors to validate and expand on these insights.

“Meredith has some of the most savvy and sophisticated editors in the industry, and we have direct access to them,” says Tyagi. “They share their expertise and foresight, which helps bring the art and science pieces together. They help validate insights we’re seeing or provide their editorial expertise on emerging trends.”

Not only can we see what people were doing in the past, we can actually forecast what they might be doing over the next couple of weeks, months, or years, in certain categories, which is fascinating for advertisers.

Meredith also has its own survey groups to answer specific questions and augment and validate insights, creating a deeper understanding of specific customer behaviors. “It’s a blend of a market research group, as well as a media group that is very close to their customer and understands who they are at a closer level than just audience aggregation,” says Kilbride.

Advertisers can also choose to validate which trends are informing purchases by leveraging Meredith’s own, or the brand’s, shopper data.
 
All these sources come together to tell a story that’s not just unique and powerful, says Tyagi, “but we know it’s been validated by data, editors, and consumers.”

Left and right brain working together

Meredith Data Studio is a first-of-its-kind business partnership between Slalom and a client where we’re going to market together and driving mutually beneficial growth.

“It feels like we’re both bringing about 50 percent to the table in terms of Meredith’s scale and data and Slalom’s analytics skills and strategic intelligence,” says de Rubertis. “It’s nice to be able to have that combination, which has given us that speed to market and quality of what we’re going to market with. It feels like we’ve got a whole brain now instead of just the left brain.”

De Rubertis says the client reception and enthusiasm has been the best part of working on Meredith Data Studio so far, and “the second best has been the opportunity to work with the super-smart people at Slalom.”

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