What do you bring to a data party for publishers? If the guest list is scientists and scholarly researchers, then a customer data platform might be just the thing.

For publishers, the perfect data party is where you can remember everyone’s name – what they do, what they like, and what content they engage with. A customer data platform, or CDP, collects customer data into a single place, making it easier for STM publishers to attract and retain readers, recruit new authors and reviewers, and target offers for newsletters, services, and products.

John Challice is senior vice president of business development with Hum, a next-generation CDP built expressly for scholarly publishers and mission-based member organizations. For that data party, John says he can produce a golden record with a really winning beat.

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“A golden record is that 360-degree view of your customer – everything that you as a publisher know about a reader all in one place. That’s it. That’s the gold. To do that, you need to liberate data from the data silos that it tends to be in,” he explains. “Most publishers have customer data scattered throughout their organization lots of different places. One of the things a CDP does is it brings all of that together.”

Challice tells me, “Think about it as a two-way integration. Not only is data coming into the customer data platform, it’s also being pushed out, which allows data to be consistent, so you won’t have one address for a customer one place and another address in another, but also you can build segments. That’s the very special thing that CDPs do.

“They allow you to – as a publisher, for example – build a very nuanced segment of people who have visited one of your digital properties in the last 60 days, which is a behavioral attribute; who live in China, which is a demographic attribute; who are interested in thoracic surgery, which is another behavioral attribute or a topical affinity; and who have a title of associate professor or higher.

“All of that can be done in a CDP instantly, and that resulting segment can be pushed out into your marketing system, for example, allowing you to email those people, perhaps send them a special newsletter or information about an upcoming webinar, a special issue, or author recruitment.”


Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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