How smart licencing helps research firms evolve commercial models
Developments in digital technology have altered the way information is delivered and, perhaps more importantly, shifted how the customer wants to engage with that content.
These changes are fundamental for the future of the research industry – and those firms that want to be tomorrow’s leaders are already adapting to suit this new reality.
How are they changing?
By adopting a flexible sales model. This new approach is based around improved content delivery and seamlessly meeting the changing expectations and needs of the end-user.
Developing account journeys
This new reality of report publishing means firms need the flexibility to serve various customer groups – each of which has a very different requirement.
Some customers will only want to buy a single report, while others want to subscribe to one of many different content packages.
The goal for the publisher should be to service each of these groups distinctly while also encouraging single-report buyers to become subscribers and basic subscribers to become more reliant on their content.
Good publishing technology should offer end-users several
routes to access content and encourage them to deepen the relationship with the publisher.
So, it should manage subscriptions, but it should allow publishers to give content away for free, perhaps on a trial basis, and allow transactional sales too.
Flexible licencing is the ability to tailor packages of content to suit different customer groups and manage the access rights around those packages – so, for example, how long is access available? Which people can view what content?
All customers are different, but once customers are into the account journey process, a publisher can then develop the relationship, build a unique offering, sell further packages and access, and move them to the point where a full subscription is both necessary and vital.
Not just all you can eat
The offering shouldn’t be a choice between simply blocking access or offering a whole portfolio.
Instead, a technology should offer the chance to develop the relationship – with the volume and period over which content access is granted changeable to suit the needs of the customer.
Upgrades and multiple users
Once a relationship is established it then becomes easier to find out what else they, and their employer, may need. Often, an individual will act as an advocate to help publishers win greater trust within their organisation and increase the number of subscriptions.
This is when the quality of a subscription software can really make a difference. It can help develop a lasting partnership with a client business as it will allow a publisher to offer upgrades to related content categories, create targeted packages to a budget, and to add and remove users at the touch of a button.
Building on trust
A good publishing platform should be an environment where additional services can be provided if they are need by the end-user.
For example, if an end-user is unable to find the information they need – or if they have questions – they might need to engage with an expert. If they can talk to a report’s author, this is likely to lead to up- and cross-sell consultancy opportunities.
A good publishing system should make it as easy to build on the trust that has already been established. It should allow users to access new services with the same simplicity with which it allows them to unearth content from within a portfolio.
A typical scenario:
A subscriber working in the technical department of a Financial Services company accesses all content on the developing FinTech market in the UK. This content is valuable to them, and they want to share it. The publisher can use their smart publishing system to offer six colleagues in that firm’s operations department time-limited access to the same content. At the end of this period, three of these people want to maintain this access and become annual subscribers. Through smart licensing a new department has been accessed with an existing customer and at renewal time comes the opportunity to grow everyone’s licenced access or to offer a content bundle to the whole of the operations department.