Earlier this week, Conde Nast announced the appointment of its first Chief Data Office, Karthic Bala, following several years of digital expansion and innovation at the media company. Bala, who was previously head of data strategy at the company, talked to Publishing Insider about how he’ll tackle the new position and what lies ahead for the company.
Publishing Insider: Being the first in a new role is exciting and a little daunting. What is your vision for this role? What are some new projects you're excited about?
Karthic Bala: I am really excited to take on this new role to transform Condé Nast into the leading data-driven publisher. This is the right time to double down on our success with Spire and take it to the next level.
I am focused on expanding Spire to become an integrated marketing platform that helps customers reach their goals in a frictionless manner. Another important initiative is to help our customers connect with their target audience in a one-on-one manner and engage with them in a meaningful way.
We can help our customers have meaningful dialogues with their target audience. This will also enable us to provide attribution and prove performance. I am also excited to take on expanding our deep-learning applications and exploring voice, AR, VR and other emerging media formats.
Publishing Insider: Spire has proven to be an important platform for Conde Nast. What was your involvement with the development of Spire and its capabilities and how do you think it has it allowed the company to expand digitally?
KB: Spire was a huge team effort, and I was involved in the initiative from the start. My team, partnering with other teams at Condé Nast and best-in-class data providers, created this platform. This platform enables our customers to target the right audience, optimize campaigns and provide actionable insights in a brand-safe environment.
Publishing Insider: From a publishing perspective, how will you expand or deepen Conde Nast's digital capabilities to drive revenue?
KB: Our plan is to invest in advanced data capabilities that enable us to drive maximum value for our customers. We want to provide our customers not only the ability to execute marketing campaigns, but also the tools to help them understand and manage their customers better. With Spire, we have built deeper relationships with our customers by providing performance-driven marketing and actionable insights that will drive highly profitable revenue.
Publishing Insider: How do you see the company
revolutionizing the way a traditional publisher can revamp and expand its reputation as a digital media leader?
KB: Traditional publishers are focused on aggregating audiences and monetizing them. We, however, have started to work like a technology company and are investing in building the capabilities, both organically and through acquisitions, to revolutionize the way we provide marketing solutions. By enhancing our platform to personalize our users’ experience, using large volumes of data in real-time, we are able to increase audience engagement.