Flexible licensing technology is now crucial for publishers looking to create highly targeted, tailored user journeys
Managing customer access rights to high-value content used to be inflexible, insecure, and impersonal.
Broad ‘all or nothing’ packages were the sole purchasing option for prospective customers and publishers relied on the trustworthiness of their subscribers to abide by licence terms. However, technology now enables B2B publishers to offer secure, highly flexible licenses to help convert trialists to subscribers, drive upsell opportunities and create dynamic, tailored content bundles.
Fuelling this shift is the adoption of content delivery platforms and specialised licensing technology capable of delivering highly flexible, adaptable systems of access management. Advanced content licensing systems create seamless user journeys for customers – both prospective and existing – with clear upgrade paths to expanding the breadth of their licenses and subscriptions if implemented correctly.
Licenses can now be granted for content as granular as a single report section, function on a time-sensitive basis or control access to certain content formats, such as the often-sensitive underlying data behind charts and graphs.
The specificity available is transforming how publishers sell their content, revolutionising the way subscribers interact with market analysis and facilitating an automated, personalised user journey.
The first stage of the user journey is invariably the trial stage – a stage often possible, but with fewer options available, on outdated content delivery methods but now commonplace and highly adaptable to individual user requirements.
Time-limited trials can be created for new prospects visiting and browsing a publisher’s website for the first time or for existing customers looking to expand their current content packages. Consequently, publishers deploy trials as a form of lead gen for new prospects and as one facet of the customer success process.
Granting existing subscribers free access to content outside of their subscriptions is a powerful way of strengthening client relationships and demonstrates the value of a publisher’s content as the breadth of relevant analysis available to users is displayed. Aside from benefits related to customer success, there are also clear commercial benefits. Encouraging fee increases as subscribers become dependent on temporary trial-access content naturally leads to additional subscription module purchases.
Track & trace
Considering the new user journey again, it is important to note how trial accounts can be marketed to as they navigate through the platform.
Once new users have created an account and log in as part of their trial, they will browse through a publisher’s digital content offering, discover content from across their portfolio and have access restricted to any reports or datasets outside of their limited trial license . As this restriction of access occurs, user behaviour is tracked to create personalised marketing and unique special offers for these trial accounts, encouraging a full subscription purchase.
The dual forces of licensing and analytics, working together to manage accessible content, track user behaviour, and feed this behavioural data into marketing, is a powerful strategy for progressing triallists to paying subscribers.
How licensing and analytics work together to support trial progression
User-specific content packages
Once the trial is over, the triallist has a decision to make: to purchase a subscription or to look elsewhere for business-critical analysis.
If the decision is to purchase, this is where advanced licensing technology really comes to the fore.
Content delivery platforms and specialist licensing systems can now segment content and create highly tailored subscription packages based on the new subscriber’s exact requirements.
With the ability to grant access to individual chapters in reports or whole libraries of content and manage the length of time users have access to products, the possibilities for both publishers and subscribers to create customised content programmes are endless.
Futuresource Consulting, a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting firm, faced the challenge of working with a ten-year-old system, which made it ‘difficult to change licenses’. However, after adopting Publish Interactive with its advanced access management features, this changed. James Edwards, Marketing Executive at Futuresource, summarised the improvements to their access management capabilities by explaining, ‘the flexibility it offers, in terms of the ability to create different unique access rights, is game-changing’.
Following the integration of CRM or eCommerce software, licenses can be granted without any salesperson or account manager involvement. The journey from an initial website visit with limited access to freemium content to a fully-fledged subscriber can therefore be entirely automated if integrations are implemented correctly.
Find out more about Publish Interactive’s integration capabilities:
“Content delivery platforms and specialist licensing systems can now segment content and create highly tailored subscription packages based on the new subscriber’s exact requirements.”
Track usage and identify upgrade paths
As new subscribers explore and consume their tailored subscriptions, engagement will increase as content dependency grows. As the relationship becomes more robust, upgrade paths can be identified with the support of analytics and subscriber feedback. Again, technology can facilitate these upgrade paths with additional licenses added following conversations with account managers or as subscribers automatically add modules in-platform with the help of CRM and eCommerce systems.
Technology is enabling publishers to grant ever more personalised, granular licenses; the specificity now available and its ability to support seamless user journeys have rendered advanced licensing technology an invaluable asset for publishers of market analysis looking to grow revenues and improve subscriber relationships.
Key benefits of advanced licensing technology:
- Create time-limited trial access to drive upsell opportunities
- Personalise subscription packages by licensing disparate content from across the content portfolio
- Use analytics to monitor access and ensure license terms are enforced
- Facilitate a seamless, tailored user journey from triallist to paying subscriber
About the author
Director of Strategy
Edwin has over 20 years’ experience in commissioning, author relations, reselling, content licensing, publishing sales, marketing and commercial strategy in trade, professional and business publishing.