Your specialist subject?

chairWe’ve recently been analysing client data sources through our data quality module, MasterVision DQ, and one of the findings we were interested to note was the limited information available for individuals’ subject interests.

This is a key area; having access to details of a customer’s interests enables you to create more accurate lists of recipients for targeted marketing campaigns, and also helps you identify potential authors/reviewers by their areas of expertise.

It’s possible that this information is missing because customers were able to bypass the ‘interests’ field when they originally signed up – there are a couple of improvements to your registration forms you could consider to address this:

  • Changing the ‘interests’ field to a pre-populated list of subject areas will make it a quick and easy task for users to make a selection, with the added benefit to you of structured categories instead of free-text inconsistencies in your data.
  • Making this type of important field ‘required’ on registration forms will ensure the relevant subject info is supplied.
  • For existing users, introduce ‘progressive profiling’ to request the missing information when they next log in to your site.

Of course, changes such as these can take time to implement, but MasterVision can help in the meantime: by inferring subject interests from other sources relating to individuals who have interacted with a particular product, it’s possible to cross-populate customer records with this info.

For example, an individual has subscribed to the journal ‘Econometric Theory’, but their registration data contains no specific subject interests. Using the subject categorisation of that journal from the relevant subs data, we can infer that a subject interest for this user would be ‘Economics’.

This enriched view of your customer data will help you gain a better understanding of the subject interests of whole groups of customers you may otherwise have missed when identifying opportunities for effective marketing campaigns, or seeking prospective subject experts.

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