TMG 600

Compass: A New Research And Insights Agency

Publishing Excellence Awards
Best Diversification of Commercial Strategy sponsored by Google

The Telegraph sits on a wealth of first-party data from its online subscription properties, has a trove of proprietary insights tools and an expert team of researchers and analysts.

In 2023, Telegraph Media Group launched Compass, as a new revenue stream and research agency for the industry. Its USP: access to the same first-party insights, expertise and tools used by the newsroom. Its mission: to help businesses identify new opportunities and competitive advantage. Its offering: researched and identified actionable insights, quantified problem solving suggestions and ready to publish thought leadership.

Since becoming a subscriptions business, Telegraph Media Group has invested heavily in insight tools and in-house expertise to deeply understand the needs and mood of its readers and the nation. At the same time, they have also registered increased demand from brands for these insights.

As a result, Compass was born, enabling the team to diversify, generate increased value from their data and create a new revenue stream for TMG. Compass enables businesses to now go beyond their existing media partnerships by having a direct working relationship with TMG’s researchers, analysts, data and tools.

Compass represents an end-to-end offering that goes beyond what is available elsewhere. There are four products for brands to buy:

Compass Surveys

Bespoke surveys that can be used to better understand market trends, opportunities and target audiences. Clients receive in-depth reports on the outputs and recommendations that contextualise the findings. These come from The Telegraph’s reader panel of 17,000 people (the largest of any UK newsbrand), on-site reader behaviours and SEO analysis.

Compass Tracker

Trackers are long-term research projects shared with clients through their own unique real-time dashboard. This enables businesses to identify and react to emerging or seasonal trends. The Telegraph experts monitor the findings to pinpoint moments of interest and changes in priorities, needs and concerns of the followed audiences. Findings can be used to inform business strategy and optimise product marketing.

Compass Creative Testing

The Telegraph can quickly and easily test creatives against a client’s target audience from The Telegraph’s reader panel and among a national representative sample. This allows them to advise on the optimum design and messaging to achieve the greatest campaign engagement.

Compass Content

This is the real Compass game-changer – a product that helps position a brand as an industry leader. It involves The Telegraph’s research teams working with their commercial journalists to turn insights into articles that can be published. If the brand choses, they will receive a guaranteed reach of 5,000 unique users and enjoy improved search engine visibility for their businesses.

In just six months, Compass has exceeded its revenue target by 4.5 times.

Below are some highlighted Compass activations:

  • EE is using a Compass Tracker to identify the changing priorities of its unique customer cohorts over time. The findings will be used to inform future campaigns, their PR and broader strategy. EssenceMediacom are also heralding this approach to their other clients.
  • For Great Rail Journeys, they used Compass Creative Testing to show that their target audience was 2-3 times more likely to engage with one design over another.
  • Finally, Visit Jersey leveraged Compass Content to engage potential visitors to the island outside of the peak summer season.

The research highlighted key motivations for their audience and the research-led article generated dwell times up to 96% higher than benchmark. It also secured prime Google real estate, and is still ranking #1 in Google for a variety of related searches.

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