Fabien Lebrusq is the Head of Mobile Marketing for the French daily newspaper Leparisien.fr. He takes a look back at his career path and shares his experience with us. He also reveals the current trends and challenges of mobile supports which the leading players in the press have to deal with.
What did you do before becoming Head of Mobile Marketing at Le Parisien?
To begin with I come from a science background, and also have a degree in Applied Languages but I quickly realised that my passion was marketing. I then got a Masters in International Marketing and Management. My first professional experience was working at Orange, where I worked on mobile projects in the different roles that I had in the company, first of all as assistant project manager then as sales representative and finally as mobile product manager. Since 2011 I have been Head of Mobile Marketing for the French daily newspaper Le Parisien – Aujourd’hui.
What is Le Parisien’s digital strategy?
First of all we need to remember that Parisien-Aujourd’hui is France’s leading generalist newspaper. The LeParisien.fr brand has more than 26 applications available on 7 different operating systems with approximately 4.5 million downloads. We feature in the top of the OJD* rankings in terms of the number of visits on mobile channels (mobile applications). In addition to all of that, the goals of Parisien.fr include providing our readers with information all day long through an optimal user experience, increasing mobile traffic and of course, promoting our offers.
What are your main tasks and challenges today?
My role is to drive the company’s mobile marketing strategy. I work on projects such as creating new apps, on communication campaigns and partnership programmes. I have a cross functional position as I work with the CRM, SEO/SEM and Social Media teams as well as the technical departments. The AT Internet platform is used by all of the teams at Le Parisien, including both the marketing teams and team of journalists so that they can monitor the audience figures for their articles.
Can you give us a (brief) description of your typical working day?
I start my day by consulting the AT Internet traffic data. I compare the data with data for the day before and then with data for the previous week. I also pay attention to web data which I compare to mobile data as we are aware that as part of the daily headlines it is the latest information which generates a large majority of traffic. This comparison will let me know whether it is the latest news or a specific marketing action that generates traffic. Of course, I read my emails and I like to keep up to date with the latest information in the mobile sector and I do so by visiting specific sites and reading professional blogs. I then continue with different project management tasks and, depending on the moment, this can be anything from monitoring app updates to launching a new product etc.
In your opinion, what have been the major developments in the job?
I think we’re entering a phase where targeting mobile phone users is becoming increasingly specialist in terms of location, technical analysis and identifying areas of interest. We can see in the statistics that the use of mobile technology is booming, and also that the local market is something that works and that sells. Last year we talked about SoLoMo (Social-Local-Mobile), and I really think that this type of targeting is a real fundamental trend.
What has been your greatest success in your current job?
I was heavily involved in a project to revamp the mobile app for one of our vertical brands “Sortir avec le Parisien”. In brief, it is an application which is able to detect the location of a user and suggests different things to do nearby such as theatres, restaurants, discos etc. The user is then able to select what interests them, share their choice on social networks and via email, and finally, along with their friends, vote for their final choice. I managed this project from A to Z, both in terms of graphical design and in monitoring the development with our mobile service provider. We relied on AT Internet data to identify the sections which were consulted the most on the old application and we also analysed the statistics for the web version to identify the pages with the most traffic.
Which analysis in the AT Internet solution interests you the most?
I am a big technophile and I like to keep up with the latest in Hi-tech. I closely monitor the progress of the statistics on the use of operating systems or new versions of apps. For example, with the AT analyses I was recently able to see that Apple’s iOS7 has already been installed by a large majority of our users, except that this version of the operating system is only available as a download to developers. Apple fans have probably already found a way to install the operating system.
Do you have to deal with any recurring Web Analytics-related issues?
No, not really in terms of web analytics, but more generally speaking I would say that people do not think systematically of mobile activity. The press has experienced rapid changes and has had to adapt ever since the arrival of the web. Today, we are beginning to look at what is happening on the mobile, and this is starting to become instinctive. A large part of my job involves evangelising my contacts on the subject and ensuring that anything that can be done on the web can also be done on mobiles as the opportunity for potential is huge on this type of channel.
With hindsight, what piece(s) of advice would you give to someone starting out as a web analyst?
Tag everything! Even if you think that some information cannot be exploited, you still need to tag everything as it is always pertinent to benefit from the maximum amount of information available on your traffic.
What do you like most about your job?
I like the flexibility of my job as it lets me use different marketing platforms and tools. I am very interested in the behavioural and usage analyses. I feel like I am helping when I communicate about useful data. As far as the ever progressing statistics are concerned, I also feel that the work which has been done to date, and which we continue to do, has had a real impact on how our readers use our applications.
A big thank you to Fabien for having accepted to answer our questions. We would also like to thank him for his numerous presentations and speeches at AT events which are always very enriching and which help us enhance our solutions for measuring and analysing mobile channels.
*The OJD is a professional French association whose role it is to certify the broadcasting, distribution and listing of newspapers, periodicals and other types of advertising channel.