How Les Echos-Le Parisien doubled advertising revenue with first-party data

The company

Les Echos–Le Parisien Group reaches 25 million French people every month, drawing on the expertise of its 1,600 employees, including some 700 journalists. Its first-party data activation ecosystem, SONAR, launched in June 2022. The ecosystem pools user data from five media brands in the Les Echos-Le Parisien Group - Les Echos, Le Parisien, Investir, and Connaissance des Arts – across all environments, including web, app, video, and newsletters.

The challenge

Les Echos-Le Parisien Group sought a solution that would enable it to use the full potential of its first-party data and match the audience volume available in first-party data to that of third-party data. The group also needed more granular audiences and the expertise to support the integration of the technology and the development of new data solutions.

“Thanks to Permutive and SONAR, we're ready for a world without third-party cookies, with 100% of the group’s audience segments now built using first-party data.”

Violette Chomier, Chief Data Officer at Les Echos Le Parisien Group.

The solution

Permutive’s patented edge technology was crucial in solving campaign delivery and performance issues. It enabled the group to reach users from their initial page visit and seamlessly integrate all events to score articles and user engagement.

Building on this, Les Echos-Le Parisien Group introduced its first-party data activation ecosystem, SONAR, in June 2022, powered by the Permutive platform. This marked a shift in strategy by Les Echos-Le Parisien Médias in preparation for the end of third-party data. 

“Advertisers are seeking a balance between performance, quality, and transparency. This trend tends to favour premium publishers. We decided to move away from third-party data to focus on our strengths, proprietary data, and high value-added content,” said Corinne Mrejen – CEO of Les Echos-Le Parisien Partners Division – Chief Impact Officer.

With SONAR, they now create 100% of their segments using first-party data. Before this, they used first-party data for only 20% of their audience segments. The group’s vast inventory, consisting of over 1,000 daily content pieces and more than 2 million subscribers, allowed them to generate over 500 new first-party segments and 50M profiles ready for activation. 

Permutive’s technical and marketing support facilitated the swift implementation of SONAR, aligning with the group’s vision for data in the French market. Additionally, Permutive’s flexibility allowed easy integration with other solutions, further enhancing the group’s data strategy. Permutive also provides the group with an insight analysis tool that enables them to analyse campaigns more closely, optimise them and make their audiences perform even better.

  • 100%

    of cohorts are now built using first-party data (compared with just 20% a year ago)

  • 2X

    increase in data-driven revenues

  • 57%

    increase in average budget per campaign

  • 25%

    increase in the number of new advertisers


A first-party-only approach 

In a bold move, Les Echos-Le Parisien Group decided to go all-in on selling with only first-party data and has found it’s working from both a technical and a performance perspective. 

In partnership with Permutive, Les Echos-Le Parisien Group can sell their first-party data with very high volumes that equal to or are even higher than the volumes they had with third-party data. This includes very high granularity in relation to the behaviour of each user.

Instead of relying solely on third-party data, its data solution uses a combination of engagement scoring (frequency, semantic relevance, time spent, page scroll %, and advertising KPIs), semantic analysis of more than 1,000 pieces of content published each day, and deterministic data from 8 million profiles who are subscribed or registered with their publisher brands.  

Next steps 

To evolve their data strategy, Les Echos-Le Parisien Group are looking at using Permutive’s browsing data to analyse the behaviour of its subscribers with the help of its data scientists. The aim will be to create solutions enabling the group to counter churn, develop personalised content, or create new types of data monetisation. 

“The impact on revenues is significant, a twofold increase in data-driven turnover and an increase of over 25% in new advertisers.”

Violette Chomier, Chief Data Officer at Les Echos Le Parisien Group.