Richard Titus was shocked to discover that one of Associated Northcliffe Digital’s portfolio businesses was just throwing away its transaction data, when he first started as CEO.
They told him they wiped it each week: “Well, hard drives are expensive.”
Data is the asset, and a really big opportunity for businesses, he said at yesterday’s Guardian Changing Media Summit.
“It’s very hard to copy; it’s very hard to steal; it’s very hard to pirate and it has incredible large scarcity.
“Data with its scarcity is one of the most important assets most businesses have today. Most businesses give it away; don’t collect it; they wipe it off their hard drives.”
AND, the digital consumer division of DMGT, looks after Associated and Northcliffe digital media sites, as well as online classified sites such as Jobsite.co.uk, FindaProperty.com & Primelocation.com. A significant part of its business is in Eastern Europe, Titus said, where its classified sites are ‘market leaders’.
Its new hyperlocal network Local People was focussed around bringing community-oriented information to groups of 20-30,000 people.
Titus, who previously worked for the BBC, also emphasised the potential to make advertising money out of small and medium enterprises, he said.
Titus said that the “the thing that most matters in digital today is your relationship with the customer”.