Condé Nast maps customer journey across global brands with Fivetran

The publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and The New Yorker connects and monetizes trillions of data points

“With Fivetran, the data workflows just work. We can pull data from pretty much anywhere and put it anywhere. This gives us a true 360-degree view of our customers that we can use to gain valuable insights into our audiences across brands.”

Nana Yaw Essuman, Sr. Director of Data Engineering, Condé Nast

Key results:

  • Data from more than 20 sources is automatically ingested into the company’s Databricks Delta Lake.
  • The need to build and manage customer connector scripts is eliminated, saving over a week of engineering resources per connector and continuous monitoring of custom scripts.
  • Data is turned into revenue-driving insights around digital customer behavior — and targeting is improved.
  • Trillions of data points are now monetized through trusted audience segments.

Data Stack:

With titles such as Vogue, GQ, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, Architectural Digest (AD), and Bon Appétit, Condé Nast is a global media leader. The 37 Condé Nast brands reach:

  • 72 million consumers in print
  • 442 million in digital
  • 452 million across social platforms

Getting the most out of the data generated from these audiences is a business imperative.

The Challenge

Hundreds of millions of people around the world consume Condé Nast’s content across the company’s digital assets, generating trillions of data points and potential insights into their wants and needs. Correctly unlocking this rich data would allow the business to deliver powerful, personalized and relevant experiences that inform and delight — while opening up new, sustainable revenue streams.

When Nana Yaw Essuman, Sr. Director of Data Engineering at Condé Nast, joined the business in 2020, the company had no central mechanism for managing and maintaining data integration sources. “Data was not readily available to consumers downstream and the demand to integrate more sources globally continued to grow,” Nana says.

Pulling data into the data lake with custom scripts was cost prohibitive. Each marketing technology platform had its own API, data structure and other properties that required its own custom script. Plus, creating the connectors on the fly and managing them on an ongoing basis wasn’t scalable.

“We have a tremendous amount of data across multiple touch points, and connecting it in any way, shape or form was challenging,” Nana says. “Writing custom scripts between our various business tools would take an engineer several days — if not a few weeks — and that’s a valuable resource we really need in other areas. Clearly, we required something pre-built that could be seamlessly plugged into our existing environment.”

The Solution

Condé Nast needed a data integration solution to help automate the data migration from first-, second- and third- party sources into the company’s lakehouse, Delta Lake on Databricks. After speaking with several providers and his trusted partners at Databricks, Nana chose Fivetran’s data integration solution for its intuitive controls, vast connector library and white-glove service.

“Choosing Fivetran was an easy decision — they give us everything we need for our particular use case,” Nana says. “Plus, Fivetran already has a strong partnership with Databricks.”

Fivetran automatically pulls data from dozens of scattered sources into Delta Lake, where it’s transformed and segmented into three layers – Gold, Silver and Bronze – for analysis in Qlik, Mode, and Databricks SQLA. This segmentation allows the team to maintain changes from the source via Fivetran and what they expose to the business. In the event a marketing partner updates a schema, Nana’s team isn’t caught by surprise.

When a new source needs connecting, Nana’s team simply enters credentials in the Fivetran dashboard, and the data starts to flow.

“The data workflows just work,” Nana says. “With Fivetran, we can pull data from pretty much anywhere and put it anywhere. This gives us a true 360-degree view of how our audiences are engaging with our content that we can then use to gain valuable insights into our audiences across brands.”

The Outcome

Nana is implementing Fivetran in a phased approach across all Condé Nast brands. Marketers can now deliver holistic, personalized experiences based on previous digital interactions with Fivetran working in conjunction with Databricks’ AI capabilities. This extends a brand’s reach — even when the customer isn’t interacting on one of the company’s owned assets — and it allows marketers to maximize the impact of their paid media spend. For example, a brand can better engage with customers on Facebook, informed by previous behavior on Vanity Fair or The New Yorker’s sites.

Through the deeper and quicker insights developed from this data, Condé Nast is able to better understand what is working and improve customer experience. This allows Condé Nast to diversify its revenue streams — an important differentiator in today’s highly competitive media landscape.

Nana and his team can provide these opportunities in a cost-efficient, scalable manner thanks to Fivetran. Now, Condé Nast can focus on other high-impact, revenue-generating projects rather than spending time building data connectors.

From "Fluff Metrics" to a 360-Degree Customer View – read how you can develop a holistic picture of your customers on the Fivetran Blog.

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