Johnston Press

Maintaining excellence in accuracy for customers

How does an organisation with its roots in printed newspapers embrace the digital age? One organisation that is leading the way in achieving this is Johnston Publishing. You may not have heard of them, but you will almost certainly have read one of their 200+ newspaper titles and colourful magazines or have visited one of the 196 websites that they operate.

In front, in digital
Jonathan DeVries is the Senior Group Commercial Applications Architect and he explains how a complex organisation employing over 3,800 people is achieving a single customer view – with AFD Postcode Plus at the heart of address data integrity.

The Multi-Channel Relationship
“Individuals have all sorts of reasons to interact with our organisation – a person may call us to place a birth announcement in a local newspaper, and then go online to visit one of our job sites and then take a subscription to one of our newspapers. The same person may run a business and sponsor a supplement or place a job advert on one of our web sites or want to buy a car.

When an individual contacts any part of the business we want to have a complete 360 degree view of all the different ways they interact with us. This enables us to be more personal, more professional and more relevant. We understand the significance of each person and their preferences and can make intelligent and timely offers.

AFD Software with *Salesforce
We use AFD Postcode Plus and Names & Numbers within other applications across the business so we were delighted that we could use the Salesforce App Exchange package that is available for AFD products. We had a good experience, the package is easy to install and configure – a seamless process. Maintenance is minimal and when we have needed support we have had a personal contact at AFD Software that is professional, responsive and competent. We have plans to use the geodemographic and business data available within AFD solutions to bring even greater insight. In short, using AFD Postcode Plus with Salesforce is helping us to become more efficient and get the high quality data that is central to our future success.

All this rests on our bringing data from many disparate systems together in one place. Johnston Publishing has grown through merger and acquisition and has nine different publishing units each with their own database. On top of that, the growth of multiple communication channels and product offerings present a major challenge – but one that is central to confident decision making and growth. We had to achieve the result.

Last year we decided to implement Salesforce to make details about each customer, organisation or individual visible to our staff. Perhaps even more important we achieved a new level of business intelligence delivering greater clarity, and informing strategic and tactical decisions

Physical Addresses in a Digital World
It is absolutely critical in any business to have an accurate address for each customer. In a business to business context it is vital from a legal and financial perspective. In a residential context not only does it enable us to deliver to the door – it also enables us to look at interactions at an individual, household, postcode, street and area level. It is the bedrock for analysis, planning and insight.

Complete But Not Duplicated!
To get a single view you need to drive out and then prevent the creation of duplicate records – a perennial problem! A key to achieving this is a full, accurate address record.

We measure staff on the completeness of the data they enter. Anything we can do that makes it faster and more accurate to enter data saves on staff time, makes us more responsive, minimises operational errors and makes our operation more efficient.”

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