For publishers of B2B market analysis, creating high-quality content is no longer enough – they must also save their subscribers that most valuable of assets – time.
Time is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity across the board, and the world of B2B publishing is no exception.
Consequently, immediate access to highly targeted, pertinent information and an intuitive, frictionless process to access and re-purpose this information are now key concerns for consumers of market analysis. Publishers can no longer expect to serve up useful content and immediately produce satisfied subscribers – their content must also fit into a well-planned, thoroughly-tested workflow process designed to streamline their subscribers’ time if it is to provide true value.
Here are just a few reasons why publishers should be considering the role their content plays in their subscribers’ day-to-day tasks and we provide an overview of the workflow tools required to streamline these end-user workflows.
Maximising content value in the subscription age
The rise of subscription packages has led to a reciprocal increase in the number of reports users have access to as content becomes more concise and tailored to individual user needs. This trend has meant that ad-hoc purchases of lengthy PDF-authored reports delivered over email and the limited functionality necessary with this delivery method no longer applies to the needs or buying habits of most end-users.
Edwin Bailey, Director of Marketing at Publish Interactive elaborates: “If a subscriber has access to more than one hundred PDF reports, they’re going to need an efficient means of extracting what they need and make all that content work in their favour in a consistent, quick and accurate manner, enabling them to maximise the value of their subscription”.
Large, increasingly diverse libraries of content have made efficient extraction of relevant information a must for publishers and poses a headache for those who have not picked up on this aspect of the end-user journey.
This poses the question: what workflow features can be incorporated into content delivery platforms to streamline the end-user experience?
Search is key
Central to the effectiveness of workflow tools is the quality of search, followed by the structuring of returns. Search functionality is so highly valued that clients have been known to cancel entire global subscriptions if they feel as though their employees cannot quickly and intuitively find the information they need.
The content produced may be valuable, but if it can’t be located what purpose does it serve?
Allowing end-users to search for key terms across an entire library of content, displaying these terms within the context of the report it is found in, and having the ability to filter terms by content type transforms the search-based workflow experience and ensures end-users can quickly find the information they need.
“Search functionality is so highly valued that clients have been known to cancel entire global subscriptions if their employees cannot quickly and intuitively find the information they need.”
Collate and Export
The purpose of workflow tools is to accomplish complex processes with minimal user intervention in as short a time period as possible.
For instance, end-users do not want to compare data or analysis across multiple reports by manually opening and navigating between individual documents. Saving relevant sections, viewing relevant returns for all reports, or viewing corresponding sections side-by-side in report series creates a dynamic, intuitive reading experience free from laborious, manual navigation. Once relevant information is located, it should then be easily saveable to a custom content library for later use.
Allowing subscribers to collate pertinent information in-platform is useful, but publishers have often sought ways to fully immerse themselves into their end-user workflows. In-platform functionality allowing these multi-formatted content snippets to be exported and integrated into a single Office document is a powerful way of achieving this.
Creating an intuitive, integrated user journey such as the example above maximises the value and impact of high-quality, informative analysis.
Boosting renewal rates
Following a subscription purchase, the capabilities offered by a content delivery system to streamline workflows and enable the consumer to easily collate bespoke reports could be the overriding factor driving positive renewal discussions. A user-friendly solution will also act as the catalyst for wider use amongst colleagues, expanding the subscriber base within that company and providing further growth opportunities.
From streamlining and automating repeatable tasks and effectively pulling together analysis to increasing overall efficiency and empowering your customers to work more productively, the benefits of having a workflow system in place as part of a subscription model are clear and should be a natural counterpoint to a publishers’ high-quality analysis.
Four questions publishers of B2B information should ask about their subscribers’ work:
1. What tasks does the subscriber use my content for?
2. What (specific) tasks does the user need to perform to get the job done?
3. To perform these tasks what steps does a user need to take?
4. What workflow tools can we provide to reduce friction or speed task completion?
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.