Majority of publishers could do more with their customer data

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Results of a recent survey indicate room for improvement in how publishers are applying customer data such as that relating to journal subscriptions, usage or submissions.

According to the Ringgold Challenge, 76 per cent of respondents considered that data could be managed more effectively, while only 15 per cent of respondents had actually calculated the size of their market and their penetration of it. Of those respondents that publish both books and journals, 41 per cent had not tried to integrate subscription / purchase data (for example, to enable cross-marketing of related titles). In addition, only 20 per cent of respondents indicated that they have a defined process for keeping customer records up to date and respondents estimated that inefficiencies resulting from poor data are resulting in an average loss of 156 hours per month.

The Ringgold Challenge is a free 10-minute survey developed by Ringgold and TBI Communications to help publishing organisations self-assess and benchmark their data and processes for selling to the institutional market. Questions can be answered anonymously and data is only shared in aggregate. The challenge recommends basic steps that can be taken to improve the accuracy, currency and integration of customer data in support of business processes and decision making, particularly in the areas of sales, marketing and customer services.