News Corp’s Lou Barrett On D_Coded: ‘The Penny Has Dropped… So We’ve Supercharged How Brands Plan, Book & Measure In One Place’

News Corp’s Lou Barrett On D_Coded: ‘The Penny Has Dropped… So We’ve Supercharged How Brands Plan, Book & Measure In One Place’

As a cookie depreciation tsunami slowly approaches, News Corp is sharpening its audience intelligence platform, Intent Connect, with AI tech that enables advanced data collaboration capabilities through planning, booking and measurement. Managing director of client partnerships Lou Barrett tells B&T it’s about future-proofing clients’s digital marketing plans.

At last year’s annual D_Coded event, News Corp unveiled its commerce media plans to the market, in an effort to capture the growing demand for ecommerce solutions. 

It also rebranded its News Connect audience platform to Intent Connect.

This year, the media giant is placing its bets on data and tech, sharpening up the ability of brands to plan, book, and measure across News Corps media assets, including its News, Lifestyle and Entertainment mastheads, REA and Foxtel Media Group.

“It is all about the way we identify how we target and then how we measure,” News Corp managing director of client partnerships Lou Barrett told B&T ahead of the D_Coded event in Sydney today (Tuesday, 14 May).

“We can identify high intent customers that are ready now to make a purchase. So Intent Connect has gone through this major transformation and what we now say to customers is that ‘you’re in the driver’s seat, and you can seamlessly use this to plan, book and measure campaigns within a single platform.”

Barrett said the focus on data and tech is an attempt to help clients future proof their digital media plans once third party cookies completely deprecate across all browsers. It also provides confidence their ad spend will reach the right audiences and can be measured.

“They’ll be able to see their digital marketing campaigns with a level of precision and confidence that hasn’t been there before. And I think a lot of them realise cookie deprecation is coming and that’s really forcing this on clients.”

What Intent Connect also allows, adds Barrett, is for marketers to keep bottom of the funnel activity ticking along.

In the current economic climate where there is pressure on budgets, this is important.

“Too many customers have gone too far down the funnel (with performance marketing vs brand) and I think the penny has dropped,” Barrett added. “They’re now looking at brand marketing and going, oh, gosh, maybe we haven’t focused enough on brand for a while and we kind of need to bring that into the fore as well. The easier that we can make it for them at the bottom of the funnel, the more they can put their energies into focusing around how they build brands.”

News Corp director of commercial data, video and product Paul Blackburn said Intent Connect is the antidote to signal loss, and will drive four-times return on ad spend: “With Intent Connect marketers gain the ability to access high fidelity audience signals that deliver them better outcomes – we call this signal gain.”

News Corp says it is one of the first publishers to integrate Google Pair into customer match capabilities, which allows marketers and agency partners to connect their own customer data to News audiences with ease.

But the star of this year’s D_Coded is Intent Connect. Here are the enhanced features:

  • Home Screen – an entirely redesigned home screen boasting a brand new user experience, look and feel, built for simplicity and speed.
  • Audience Builder – an AI-powered search allows Intent Connect users to build and create the perfect audience for campaigns with newfound speed and accuracy.
  • AI Chatbot – a dedicated concierge-style assistant called CAI to assist with audience insights, campaign optimisation and effortless execution.
  • Customer Match – enhanced with new partnerships including Google PAIR and LiveRamp ATS Direct, allowing users to match their own data with News Corp Australia data, adding to their signal availability through a seamless suite of solutions. 
  • Intent Connect Local – takes targeting to a whole new level of precision, enabling users to engage with audiences in specific locations, delivering personalised messages in their own neighbourhoods.
  • Programmatic Homepage Buying – a new programmatic booking feature, this high impact format is available for guaranteed booking deals, offering more control by allowing clients on Google’s
  • Display & Video platform (DV360) to request, book and activate direct.
  • Booking Flow and Campaign Analytics – refreshed to enable effortless, real-time campaign management with the campaign analytics dashboard, placing everything from booking to insights in one single location.
  • Independent Measurement – streamlined and simplified, closing the loop on campaign effectiveness with a suite of independently verified measurement solutions.



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