L’Équipe – analytics driving growth from piloting to personalization

As France’s leading national sports daily, L’Équipe has a comprehensive digital offering that attracts 2.8 million users per day (including 1.2 million users on applications) and 1.5 billion page views per month. Thanks to the decisively data-driven approach adopted by the sports brand, and with a digital team that covers a wide scope of SEO, traffic management and data science activities, L’Équipe has managed to significantly boost its performance and accelerate growth.

 

The Challenges 

With a business model based on paid subscriptions and display advertizing, it was vital to integrate analytics as much as possible to generate maximum user engagement. The goal of this analytics-driven approach was to allow L’Équipe to hone their content strategy and optimize decision making. The aim was to enable the editorial staff to focus on subjects of interest, when to publish content, and how to edit and optimize strategic pages (i.e. the home page), in order to continually maximize content, format, timing, and support, with the teams in real time. 

L’Équipe’s digital team also wanted to implement methods to activate data to personalize the content offer, such as user scoring – as well as different approaches to enhance content recommendations, acquisition and loyalty building, etc.  

Outcome 

With the insights gained from Piano’s analytics, teams have been able to optimize the creation of content and directly influence what they want to highlight. This has allowed them to carry out several actions to optimize the editorial strategy.  

Prioritizing the choice of subjects for L’Équipe’s previews has enabled them to detect new audience potential. They have also been able to drive a more effective approach to UX and better control the distribution of free vs. paid content by analyzing page positions and navigation sequences to carry out menu modifications (i.e. which sports or competitions to highlight) or editorial choices. In addition, switching a certain number of articles to free versions on the web has helped their referencing and offered a better visibility over content related to less popular sports. 

 

"Compared to a few years ago, the awareness of the value of data now plays a major role in L’Équipe’s strategy. Although this huge progress has taken time to achieve, a data-driven approach has become fully integrated within the marketing, product owners, editorial and IT teams."

Romain Lhote, Head of Data

 

As well as optimizing content performance, the teams wanted to activate data to drive content recommendations, loyalty actions or new acquisition strategies – thereby boosting the personalization of their approach. By exploiting advanced behavioral data analytics, they were able to put forward dynamic content and therefore increase the consumption of relevant content. 

Conclusion 

By working with Piano, L’Équipe was able to boost its page views by 80% and subscriptions by 113%. Their ultimate goal is to allow their homepage to be customized according to the interests of users for a particular sport. Following a front-page article, each subscriber will then be able to benefit from a selection of secondary articles that will be adapted to their profile. The possibilities and applications envisaged will then be limitless.

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