Isentia restructures with a fresh focus on brand, data and content strategy

Global media intelligence company explains what recent integration of Brandtology and King Content means to its new digital and data capabilities

Isentia’s acquisition of Brandtology and King Content has ignited media speculation about the future of King Content’s capabilities, but chief executive and managed director John Croll confirmed the move is about prioritising content strategy.

Speaking to a small group of media representatives at Isentia’s headquarters in Surry Hills, Croll said the new rebrand and restructure means Isentia’s core focus will be on integrated media intelligence, research, insights and strategy content.

“Our clients wanted to answer more questions for them and where we saw King Content and its strengths was in strategy, and then being able to build onto that content,” Croll said. “We want to use data as a driver to see what the issues are and help clients with a strategy, and then build something with content in mind.

“With King Content, what we saw was a business going from $7 million in revenue to $15 million and then $20 million in the first year we had it, so there was a strong growth profile there. But the issue for us was that a lot of the revenue was in short campaigns, and content marketing was going through a little bit of a transition at that point, for instance clients like ANZ were starting to employ their own in-house journalists. So we decided we wanted to have longer term contracts built around strategy and the ongoing content build. We’re happy to help with the strategy build, and let them create their own content.”

Ex Bauer chief and King Content’s CEO Matthew Stanton, who is now Isentia’s CEO of strategy and content, confirmed the journalists, editorial team and strict quality control for the clients is still operational, but the focus is now shifting away from short-term campaigns and small-margin projects towards strategy.

“Strategy is one of our core strengths in our team and we want to move away from a transactional side of content marketing, but it’s not like we couldn’t fulfill those capabilities,” he said. “And we now have such deeper insights from our data, we have an even stronger insights-led strategy capability.

“All our offerings are backed up by data and we work with our clients to provide truly integrated solutions. We already have some early successes and although we’re not totally there yet, so far, so good.”

New insight-led capabilities

The re-structure is set to bring about a new single brand and a fresh data insight-led capability, along with new products to help clients derive real time actionable insights from data across the likes of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Isentia’s CMO, Richard Spencer, said the new brand reflects a strong repositionining, where the company offers media intelligence, research and insights, and strategy and content.

“We can now move a client seamlessly through data to intelligence and strategy, into content positioning. It’s now a very circular basis where everything fits together,” he said. “We’ve moved all our elements of our organisation into an exciting new space, and our view for the future is that the more data we have from various sources we can add, we can create even deeper insights and more understanding into what our clients need.

“So it’s a real shift at a business core level from media monitoring into data intelligence. And we have integrated sales and marketing teams to really engage with our clients on the frontline as part of this new shift.”

Real-time analysis with ‘Stories’

Isentia also launched a new capability within its revamped MediaPortal platform called ‘Stories’, which summarises news trends and provides real-time analysis on timely topics to clients, while providing the insight into how various themes are evolving through the day, including analysing reach and velocity.

“The complexity and speed of today’s media cycle, and the growth in social media, means our customers are finding it more and more difficult to trawl through the influx of data and make timely decisions,” Croll said. “There’s information everywhere, but what’s rare and what’s valuable, is real insight.

“Our priority is providing customers with those insights by enhancing our product offering. Stories will show our customers how a piece of news is evolving in real-time so they can make decisions faster. We’re also improving our data intelligence platform, which will increase the speed, scalability and content sources for our clients in multiple languages.”

The cloud-based evolution and internal cultural shift

According to Isentia’s CIO, Andrea Walsh, the move to a more large-scale cloud-based system was more than just about introducing new technology but a complete shift in retraining IT teams and bringing in new programs.

“We also had to hire a lot of new talent and created a new hub in Singapore, and we’ve spent a lot of time retraining,” she said. “It was also about finding the right partners, and we’ve worked very closely with the likes of Google, while ensuring we remain agile and innovative. It’s a huge change in process and culture, but we’ve also had a lot of support from the executive team and we can see the benefits for our clients.”

Re-designing to embrace a new vision

From a design perspective, the new rebranding campaign encompasses a new logo of three dots, which represents the iconic mathematical symbol for ‘therefore’ – a shorthand symbol for the moment a problem moves to a solution, via an insight.

“Our commitment to our customers continues to fuel our quest to deliver the best in functionality and user experience they’ve grown accustomed to,” Croll said. “We’ve adopted the dots in our brand design because it embodies our brand proposition of real data intelligence, and how this manifests as real-world problem solving.”

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