Collectif Top Stories
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How Les Echos-Le Parisien doubled turnover with its first-party data strategy

Case Study: As part of our Collectif series (see more here), Permutive’s Isabella Jenkins outlines how French publisher Les Echos-Le Parisien Médias has pivoted away from third-party cookies and adopted a first-party data strategy. The results? Amongst other benefits, the average ad campaign budget has risen by 57%.

After making a decision to move away from third-party data, in advance of cookie deprecation,  Les Echos-Le Parisien Médias – the advertising arm of the Les Echos-Le Parisien Group – needed a new strategy.

As has become clear to most publishers and advertisers, quality first-party data is going to be at the heart of the future of digital advertising. And that’s a fact that didn’t escape Les Echos-Le Parisien group, which is home to media brands including Les Echos, Le Parisien, Investir, and Connaissance des Arts.

Unlocking first-party data across brands

Having previously partnered with a DMP focusing mainly on third-party data solutions, meaning its first party data solutions were underdeveloped, Les Echos-Le Parisien was left to rely on data it couldn’t analyse. This resulted in mixed campaign performance and the publisher unable to reach its target audiences, so it looked for a change of strategy.

Having identified the importance of first-party data, Les Echos-Le Parisien Médias entered into a partnership with Permutive, a privacy-first platform for publishers and advertisers to help them more accurately target the audiences they need to reach while respecting consumer privacy. The self-service platform also empowered Les Echos-Le Parisien Médias to improve volume without losing out on the granularity of audiences.

The partnership, which kicked off last year, saw Les Echos-Le Parisien launch a first-party data activation system called ‘SONAR’ using Permutive’s publisher platform. Launched in June 2022, the SONAR ecosystem pools user data from Les Echos, Le Parisien, Investir, and Connaissance des Arts, garnered from the media brands’ presences across web, app, video, and newsletters.

Since the launch of SONAR, Les Echos-Le Parisien Médias has shifted entirely from third-party data and builds 100% of its audience segments using first-party data.

The SONAR data ecosystem is part of Les Echos-Le Parisien’s focus on three key pillars: the human intelligence of its teams, Permutive’s technology, and delivering a tailored offering.

Permutive and Les Echos-Le Parisien’s teamwork was close from the beginning, moving away from what would be seen as a standard provider-client agreement. This meant that the Group could make rapid progress when implementing Permutive’s tools, and in realising its vision of data within the French market.

“2022-2023 is a pivotal year for the digital advertising market now that it is reaching a certain level of maturity. Advertisers are seeking a balance between performance, quality, and transparency. This trend tends to favour premium publishers. We made the decision to move away from third-party data, to focus on our strengths, our proprietary data, and our high value-added content,” says Corinne Mrejen, Director General and Chief Impact Officer at the Les Echos-Le Parisien Group.

Transforming audience segments

Within the first year of using SONAR, Les Echos-Le Parisien transformed its audience segments, so 100% are built using first-party data, compared to just 20% in the previous year. It also achieved a two-fold increase in data-driven turnover versus 2021, and saw the average campaign budget rise by 57%. Meanwhile, data-driven campaigns activated by SONAR increased click-through rate by an average of 26% compared to 2021.

Since launching in June 2022, SONAR has helped Les Echos-Le Parisien to create more than 500 new first-party segments, powered by the group’s inventory of more than 1,000 pieces of content published every day and its more than two million subscribers.

Significantly, the number of new advertisers buying through Les Echos-Le Parisien also increased by a quarter. Moreover, SONAR’s data ecosystem is being widely used across French media groups.

“The results for this first year are promising, with improvements in both our own performance indicators and those of our advertisers. This is down to our commitment to understanding the data of all the group’s brands and business lines, but also our efforts to optimise our various segments and processes. With the SONAR ecosystem, we are able to place this know-how at the disposal of advertisers, from brief to insight,” says Violette Chomier, Chief Data Officer of the Les Echos-Le Parisien Group.

Isabella Jenkins
Client Partner, Permutive


Permutive puts publishers in control of their revenue by enabling them to reach and monetize 100% of their audience while respecting consumer privacy – publishers can develop unique audience insights, optimise campaigns on the fly, and provide detailed mid- and post-campaign reports. In unlocking the true value of their audience, Permutive’s customers drive direct deals, win more RFPs, and secure repeat business with advertisers.

Permutive is trusted by the world’s largest publishers, including News Corp, Hearst, BuzzFeed, Penske Media, Future plc, the BBC, The Guardian, Vox Media, Insider, Hubert Burda Media, Condé Nast International, Trusted Media Brands, Hello! and Reworld Media.