Public Libraries Get a Boost with Targeted Marketing and Data Analysis

By Kristina Massari

New Analytics On Demand Apps Improve Outreach and Provide Insights to Multi-Branch Systems

Public libraries face challenges demonstrating their value to the communities and stakeholders they serve – just 22% of Americans say they know most or all of the services provided by their public library. To help libraries overcome these barriers, Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has added three new applications to Analytics On Demand, the first affordable big data analytics solution for public libraries. The new apps, Marketing Action (for Patrons and Non-Patrons) and Branch Insights, help libraries deploy targeted direct marketing programs to current and prospective library users, as well as better understand how existing patrons are interacting with individual branches across a system.

“Libraries offer essential content, tools and services to patrons of all ages and they contribute to local economic advancement, but budget cuts have left them with fewer resources, which need to be allocated more effectively,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager, Gale. “Until recently, few affordable tools existed to help libraries measure the impact of their efforts on the community. Analytics On Demand was created to help library decision makers strategize, plan, communicate, and measure outcomes, and these new apps will help them better allocate resources and better engage their communities.”

Launched in April, Analytics On Demand has grown to include applications to analyze eBook and audiobook usage reports from library vendors, and now, Marketing Action and Branch Insights (available next month). As with other Analytics On Demand apps, these new additions give libraries quick, affordable, and easy access to valuable insights on an ongoing basis, specifically:

  • Marketing Action (Patrons)—Allows libraries to analyze demographic, psychographic and other information on existing library users to inform the development of new campaigns. Direct mail and email lists can be customized by a variety of demographic and psychographic filters.
  • Marketing Action (Non-Patrons)— Similar to that for patrons, this app enables libraries to generate mailing lists of non-cardholders based on specific criteria related to their household composition. Direct mail campaigns and maps help libraries target key geographies, and identify potential partner businesses and organizations.
  • Branch Insights—Tracks cardholders’ use across various branches in a single library system and provides insight into where and how individual consumer types are engaging the library system, so they can tailor the materials, programs, services and outreach at the branch-level.

Discover how Analytics On Demand can improve your library activities and download sample reports at

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