People at Digital Book World 2011 had data on the mind. In just about every session the word came up. And while you’re used to us pushing for better metadata, there are other kinds of data we often overlook. Not the kind you send out, but the kind you gather: consumer information and metrics.
As Rachel Chou, Chief Marketing Officer, Open Road Integrated Media, so wisely said during a session on marketing, “Pushing [data] out is one thing, but you also need to get data back.” Consumer information and metrics must be part of your publishing strategy if a publishing house is to remain competitive. After all, we don’t publish books in isolation; we publish books so that they can be read by others and to communicate with others.
So, who is the reader? We no longer have to wonder. Some retailers have been gathering consumer data through online purchasing forms, loyalty programs, mailing lists and sales tracking for years. This consumer data is something publishers should negotiate access to. After all, as Bob Kohn, from RoyaltyShare Inc., reminded publishers in another DBW 2011 session, “It’s your data.” Publishers should be learning about their readers at least by an ID number that allows them to watch purchasing decisions and build a customer profile.
Let’s not forget metrics on our marketing efforts. It’s one of the easiest forms of data to collect. And it needs to be examined and acted upon. The panelists in the consumer data session were all strong proponents of digital marketing and engaging on social media, but they are also meticulous in evaluating their ROI and conversion rates to make sure that when they invest online, they’re doing so effectively.
And with the invention of the ebook comes actual reading metrics. We now have the opportunity to know when a reader is reading, on what device and that she never even finished the book, but rather she abandoned it after chapter 5. This is valuable information. Don’t you want to look into what went wrong in chapter 5?
To bring this full circle, let’s get back to metadata. With good metadata and correct ISBN practices, you’ll be able to analyze the data you’re gathering more effectively and make smarter decisions. Ultimately, the data’s value comes from how it impacts the decisions you make.
Luckily, if you missed Digital Book World 2011, BNC’s Technology Forum 2011 will delve into the topic of data in several sessions. We’ll be providing actionable advise on metadata during our PD Day. In our second track on Measuring Results, Monique Trottier from Boxcar Marketing will show you the best ways to gather metrics and integrate them into your publishing or bookselling strategy, and James Howitt from Bowker will also be presenting a wealth of consumer information from Bowker & BISG’s consumer attitudes study. To make sure your data is working for you make sure to book your ticket.