Building on its digital presence and profitability, TMG has positioned technology internally as a strategic enabler for growth, and to improve working practices. Telegraph Labs acts as a focal point for this, encouraging experimentation across editorial, technology and commercial departments, and taking TMG to the forefront of innovation.
During 2008, and into 2009, TMG has worked to attract some of the best talent in the industry in order to grow its digital presence and profitability.
Internally, technology is being harnessed to transform the way people work, and the implementation of a new content management system from Escenic, alongside deals with Google to use Gmail and Google Apps reflects this. Key partner relationships with creative organisations like Apple, Adobe and their engineers are enabling TMG to develop and deploy new digital products and services for its customers. Telegraph Newsroom
A huge redesign and CMS relaunch were implemented in only 6 months – an amazing effort for all involved. The project was conceived to make content more accessible to users, the site’s look and feel more elegant, to achieve better integration of different platforms, especially video, and integrate advertising and customer revenue streams more effectively. A comprehensive usability study was conducted to ensure the new design had the needs of online readers as its primary focus.
The transition was made with minimum disruption to the working of the site and the results were greeted with acclaim by users. Website redesigns can often lead to a short-term dip in traffic, as readers get accustomed to a new look, but Telegraph traffic soared in the months following the 2008 summer rollout.
Channel manager roles within editorial were also created, giving them channel P&L responsibility. The objective here was to ensure a 360 degree approach to content publishing and better collaboration across departments.
This in turn allows better integration of advertiser and eCommerce partner content throughout the site, providing a better service to TMG’s commercial partners.
Enterprise and Innovation
Acting as a focal point for creativity and innovation, Telegraph Labs was established at the beginning of 2008 to accelerate the delivery of new digital products. A physical space inside the Telegraph offices, built in conjunction with Google, Apple and Adobe, it focuses on projects that have a life span of 4-6 weeks. During 2008, the Lab:
- Drove the redesign of Telegraph.co.uk to incorporate a brand new experience
- Launched a portfolio of embeddable widgets across the site
- Drove the implementation of the Telegraph’s mobile website, and the applications launched on the Android and iPhone platforms
- Closely integrated the Telegraph with social networks, such as Digg and Facebook
- Brought clients in to demo new digital products and brainstorm ideas
The Lab has moved the Telegraph from being a follower in the digital space, to a leader. As the first UK news provider to launch an application for Google's Android platform, the lab has also been used to drive closer relationships with key commercial partners (e.g. Cisco).
Most importantly, the Lab is a space where commercial and editorial teams work in conjunction with technologists to create new products for customers. In 2009, it will continue to be a focal point for innovation.Clued Up, powered by Telegraph.co.uk
Growth of Business
TMG’s digital revenue grew substantially in 2008.
This outstanding growth can be accredited to a number of contributing factors:
- Continued traffic growth in key channels creating more inventory for the sales team
- Restructure of the sales team bringing in new talent and aligning the sales team around multimedia and content-led partnerships
- Set up of Sales Operations department offering campaign management, digital design and production and video production teams in-house
- Launch of new advertising products, such as video InSkin, and sponsorship opportunities in mobile
- Set up of a performance network which enabled an increase in yield on remnant inventory of nearly 100% and attract new advertisers to Telegraph.co.uk (e.g. Virgin Media, Sky, Aviva)
- Set up a ‘premium network’ to monetise ‘spiked inventory’ in key channels (e.g. Travel and Finance)
- Monetising traffic outside the UK, primarily in the US. TMG was the first publisher to partner with AdGent007
- Implementation of channel managers in editorial giving them ownership of channel P&Ls (e.g. Travel, Sport)
- Set up of Telegraph Labs in partnership with Apple, Adobe and Google to encourage innovation
- Implementation of strong new ecommerce partnerships – Betfair, MoneySupermarket, Thomas Cook, TravelSupermarket, Yell
- Improvements to existing paid subscription services (e.g. Kindred Spirits dating service and Clued Up crosswords and puzzle service) and new product launches (e.g. MiLife diet service and eMusic download service)
”With a comprehensive transformation of digital activity examining every part of their business, TMG showed impressive growth and innovation, working effectively with partners to explore all possible avenues.”
Newsroom image by victoriapeckham
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