Determining how to allocate resources to public services such as libraries can be a difficult process. Budgets are not infinite, which means community leaders must make tough decisions about where and how to invest.
Fortunately, consumer analytics can help libraries identify the best mix of resources for each branch to maximize budgets.
Here’s how it works.
Understanding Your Library Borrowers With Consumer Analytics
Do you know who visits your library? To a certain extent, the answer is “yes.” Library systems have excellent “customer” data since they collect borrower information.
But simply knowing the name and address of your borrowers isn’t enough to make strategic decisions. Layering in demographic information is helpful, but also falls short. After all, two families with the same income and similarly aged children may have very different attitudes towards library utilization.
To truly understand who visits your library, you need to use consumer segmentation. Consumer segmentation groups households based not just on demographic characteristics but also based on lifestyle characteristics. It can help you understand the behaviors and lifestyles of your primary, secondary, and even tertiary borrower groups.
Defining the Right Resources for Each Branch With Consumer Segmentation
By analyzing the consumers around each branch using consumer segmentation, you can quickly understand the population that each branch serves. Take the analysis a step further by defining profiles by resource category to identify the types of people utilizing each category, from children’s books to electronic media.
The final step in determining the right resource mix for each branch is to compare the resource category profiles to the branch level consumer analysis to see where they overlap. Perhaps consumers around Branch A have a high likelihood to read young adult fiction while consumers at Branch B prefer adult non-fiction materials.
With insights into the types of materials consumers around each branch are most likely to prefer, you can allocate your budget accordingly. Know which branches should have an extended children’s section…and which branches should not.
The Bottom Line
Using consumer analytics to understand who your borrowers are and the types of materials they prefer allows you to optimize your branch-level budget decisions.
Want to learn more about Buxton’s solution for libraries? Check out our solution overview.