R.R. Bowker last week launched a business intelligence tool for its publishing industry clients. PubTrack Consumer will serve as a source of marketing information publishers have always struggled to find. The new product provides data on consumer book purchases as well as demographic and behavior profiles of the purchasers.

PubTrack Consumer's database is comprised of information Bowker collects from a group of men and women (aged 13 and older) on a weekly basis. These individuals are asked, in a survey, a list of 60 core questions and as many as 15 proprietary questions submitted by PubTrack Consumer clients. Bowker has outsourced the panel and survey functions to a couple of U.S.-based market research firms.

PubTrack Consumer fits neatly into R.R. Bowker's suite of tools geared toward the information needs of the publishing industry. It also meets an ever-increasing demand for sales and marketing analytics tools that enable publishers to more easily and efficiently analyze their own sales data and adjust their strategies accordingly. Targeted customer data is typically difficult to obtain, so publishers will surely benefit from the in-depth look PubTrack Consumer promises to provide. Bowker has already signed on Random House as a subscriber to the new service and other prominent publishing houses are sure to follow.