Retention trumps acquisition: how (and why) you should focus internal resources on increasing per account value, not account numbers

While many market analysis firms pursue a growth strategy centred around customer acquisition, firms that focus on the retention of existing customers will reap the most rewards…

A Change of Mindset

When asked, “what is the best way to grow your market analysis business?”, most leaders’ default answer is: “by acquiring more customers, obviously.”

Despite this, acquiring customers is a resource drain. It costs up to 5x more to acquire a customer than retain an existing one.

Many market analysis publishers still believe that the path to sustained growth lies in increasing customer numbers. Growth is integral to any subscription business, but retention is frequently neglected as firms allocate disproportionate resources to prospecting and attracting new customers.

The best way to ensure retention? Increase the value of not just your content but also the perceived value of your company as an entity. To do this, analyst firms must start growing per-account value (PAV) by offering membership services outside their business-as-usual sales of reports and subscription plans.

Once you realise the value of your customers, you will see increased ROI, less subscriber churn, and fewer commercial overheads.

We explore what tactics you can employ to increase PAV:

Sell Analyst Time

Selling analyst time is a commonly under-utilised asset. Consider your customer journey: a subscriber purchases a report or subscription plan and then consumes the relevant information. After that, they may use key findings in their research or presentation. But that’s it – the account’s value creation ends there.

Offering analyst time alongside the sales of reports opens a new revenue stream. It may be a half-hour call to discuss the intricacies of the analyst’s conclusions or to get more insight into a particular chart or dataset. Either way, this time is billable.

Billable analyst time not only increases revenue, it also enhances the authority of your analyst team and, consequently, your company in the eyes of your subscribers. In today’s complex world, consumers crave validation that their digital information is genuine and trustworthy. In fact, 58% worry about misinformation. Assuage these fears by putting a face to the analyst’s name (and the information) and increase chances of retention.

Offer Consulting Deliverables

A consequence of selling analyst time is increased commissions for bespoke consulting projects. Informative discussions with expert analysts improve the chances of new advisory opportunities arising. For example, a Publish Interactive customer once secured a $300,000 consulting project following an ‘Ask the Analyst’ enquiry through the platform.

Consultancy projects are a hugely effective way of increasing PAV. Due to their bespoke nature, high prices are considered the norm. Of course, compared to offering short analyst sessions over the phone, it is more labour-intensive as your team must conduct research and compile an accompanying document or presentation. However, the increase in PAV makes it well worthwhile.

Again, offering bespoke, personal deliverables enhances content authority. Demonstrating your ability to understand your subscriber’s world naturally increases the value they see in your services and helps you transition from content seller to trusted knowledge-sharing partner.

Specialist Data Provisions

Data visualisation tools offer huge potential to grow PAV. The global market is predicted to double by 2027; eventually reaching $19.2 billion in total value. Its projected growth highlights strong appetite for this content format amongst information consumers.

Data visualisation products can be sold as additional modules outside of subscribers’ standard subscription packages, making it an easy upsell opportunity that increases PAV.

In addition, this data format creates a more compelling value proposition. Risk Leadership Network has incorporated Power BI into their instance of the Publish Interactive platform, which, their Head of Product Tom Byford explains, has overcome the challenge of selling networking as a core concept of their membership proposition: “As a concept, it’s not very tangible, which can make it challenging for people to justify funding.”

“If you can present to your superiors that as part of this package you get access to tools that will save time and money, it’s a far more tangible benefit. Although it’s a relatively small part of what we do, in terms of the pitch, it adds an element that makes it easier for people to justify membership.”

Information providers that offer a more varied, multifaceted service strengthen their value proposition. By providing consumers with high-value, easily understandable data alongside other services, you will see increased retention rates, revenue, and PAV.

Workshops + Training

While your events strategy may already include webinars, a great way of further strengthening your value proposition and increasing PAV is by offering interactive, ‘in-house’ events. By only inviting customers, these aim to foster a sense of community within your membership rather than increasing new business opportunities and lead gen.

Offering paid workshops or training days that focus on a specific issue or niche is a great way to engage and introduce like-minded customers to one another. These could be held virtually or in person depending on client geographical bases. If, for example, your clients bond over the workshop you have run and this develops into a strong business or personal relationship, they will attribute this connection to the activity of your company.

PAV growth strategies boost revenues and improve the perception of your company’s value among your subscribers – not just because of your informative content but also due to the wide range of valuable membership services you provide.

Increase PAV, Increase Value Prop

As we have seen, PAV is a powerful metric. It denotes the value you extract from your existing customer base and demonstrates growth is not only achieved via costly acquisition strategies.

Another consequence of growing PAV is not as simple as growing revenues: it also increases the value subscribers see in the service you provide. This, in turn, ensures continued retention.

Shifting mindset from simply selling reports and subscriptions to offering a human element to your analysis with personalised deliverables, 1-on-1 conversations, and, most importantly, creating a sense of community among your subscribers and analysts transforms your value proposition.

Think of this concept within the context of sports clubs: people join to play their favourite sport but stay because of the people they meet there.

If subscribers feel a personal attachment or involvement with your company and its membership, they will be certain to continue choosing your services over other ‘traditional’ content providers.

Video content: 5 actionable use cases for modern market analysis providers

With more people than ever consuming video online, B2B market research publishers can no longer afford to ignore this valuable content and subscriber engagement tool.

Online video consumption has doubled

It’s estimated that consumption of online video has almost doubled since 2018. The pandemic fuelled rapid growth in all digital trends, with 96 per cent of consumers saying it increased the amount of video they consumed online.

People watch an average of 19 hours of online video per week and are twice as likely to share video content. 96 per cent of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.

There’s no doubt that video is a medium that publishers of market research and analysis can no longer ignore. Video is an interactive and immersive way of sharing information, and researchers believe it also improves our ability to retain and recall information.

Vimeo Report
An embedded video exhibit in the Publish Interactive platform

Here are five ways market research publishers can use video to deliver content and engage subscribers:

1. Report Summaries

A report summary is your chance to sell the unique benefits of a new report or series of reports. It’s also an opportunity to reinforce the relationship between subscribers and analysts.

Video increases subscribers’ engagement with content and showcases your team’s personality and expertise. Research shows that a massive 88 per cent of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video, highlighting the opportunity market analysis publishers have to follow suit and see significant commercial rewards.

2. Live and Pre-Recorded Webinars

Support the launch of your new report or explore a hot topic via live or pre-recorded webinars. Make time after your webinar for a Q&A session, as this is the most attractive part of a live webinar, according to 92 per cent of webinar attendees.

Use Q&As to address questions and inform participants of related products and services. Then, follow up with a recording of your session to attendees and offer the chance to book time with an analyst.

The ideal length for a webinar is between 30 and 45 minutes. Embed live and pre-recorded webinars directly into reports or on a separate webinar marketing page.

3. Break up Text-Heavy Reports

Breaking up your reports with short videos could increase engagement with your content. Use video to support essential points, explain data exhibits, or provide supporting analysis.

In 2022, 82 per cent of marketers said video helped them to increase dwell time – a metric that indicates how long someone spends on a webpage before heading back to search results. Combined with time on page, it can demonstrate how engaged a visitor is with your content.

4. Bitesize Emailable Updates

Short-form content up to two minutes long can help to engage subscribers between report releases. Provide topic updates, analysis, opinion, or new data points that direct subscribers to your website or encourages them to book time with an analyst.

Short-form video is well-suited for distribution via social media or email. Sales teams that use videos in their emails get a 16% higher open rate and a 26% increase in replies.

5. Personalised Videos

Personalised videos are 35% more likely to retain viewers than non-personalised videos. By tailoring videos to the interests of subscribers based on usage data, you could increase readership and subscriber retention.

Publishing technology such as Publish Interactive provides usage stats based on individual subscribers and accounts. Analyse the most popular topics, keywords, and reports for personalised video inspiration.

Unlock the full value of content with video

Video provides a more interactive and immersive learning experience and can therefore increase subscriber engagement. Video also showcases the expertise of your analysts and can deepen their relationship with subscribers, which smooths the path to renewals.

Publish Interactive customers can directly embed summary videos, webinars, and analyst commentary into research reports using the recently released Vimeo integration.

Use video to unlock the full value of your market analysis content today.

5 ways Life Science market analysis providers can strengthen subscriber trust and content authority

Rapid advances in the treatment of Covid-19, medical supply chain constrictions, revolutionary MedTech developments… there’s a mountain of life science market information to stay updated on. Your subscribers need information on these developments and industry-defining events – and they need it from a technologically reliable and trustworthy source.

While many industries have undergone rapid change in recent years, there are arguably none that have seen such a defining and multifaceted shift as the life science industry. As we pass the two-year anniversary of the Covid pandemic, the world has witnessed the power the pharmaceutical, healthcare, and biotechnology sectors have had on every facet of human society. The pandemic placed immense pressure and reliance on all life science markets as the industry naturally took the lead in developing Covid treatments, research, and advising government bodies on public health policy.

During times of crisis and transition, markets, particularly those on the front line of a crisis, undergo rapid innovation and change. And, with change, comes increased demand for information.

To sate this demand, your life science research business needs publishing, distribution, and content creation technology that delivers highly engaging, timely insights when your subscribers need them which require minimal effort for your production and analyst teams to create.

Your life science research business can enlist the help of an experienced, market-leading research delivery platform to transform your relationship with subscribers.

Here are five ways that Publish Interactive can secure your position as the trusted authority in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, or biotechnology sectors and help your research firm develop long-standing relationships with readers by cementing your position as the leading source of industry information.

1. Extensive industry experience

Publish Interactive has extensive experience partnering with leading life science intelligence firms, including TGaS Advisors, The Science & Medicine Group (SMG), and FirstWord.

When we spoke with SMG’s Director of Business Development, Devin Holland, he described how the platform allows his team to ‘fine-tune our offering, build trust and reliability, and further reinforce our position as one of the leading research resources in the life science industry.”

Devin Holland, Director of Business Development, The Science & Medicine Group

For SMG, the Publish Interactive system drives customer growth and creates cross-selling opportunities. The platform enables the sales team to glean invaluable client insight through user analytics, allowing them to quickly transform their customer engagements into further revenue.

Devin, commenting on the impact Publish Interactive has had on SMG’s sales efforts said: “Having the usage stats to show clients the value they receive from Science and Medicine Group’s content – which is usually between four and five-fold their spend – as a resource for their work is incredibly valuable and often makes a potentially tricky sales conversation pretty easy. We are able to make data-driven arguments that buying our content is a necessary part of our clients’ budgets”.

You can watch Devin explain how his sales team at SMG used content usage data drawn from the Publish Interactive platform to grow subscription renewals, in this webinar.

2. Build trust and account-wide buy-in

If there’s one quality readers look for in life science market analysis content above all else, it’s trust. In a space as complex and specialised as the Life Science arena, positioning yourself as a trusted source of information is essential.

When you first sign a new client or account and trust is still being fostered across the organisation, content usage may initially be focused among a small set of ‘power users’, who may be members of the same department, or all have specific content requirements. Once these users become reliant on your content they will act as advocates and evangelists to help you win greater trust and promote wider usage within their business.

This is where the quality of publishing and subscription software really tells and ensures your content achieves company-wide trust and buy-in. If new users can easily access, find information, and buy new products quickly and seamlessly, usage – and dependence – will naturally increase.

3. Deliver personalised content

Specialist technology gives publishers the flexibility to serve various customer groups, each with different requirements – for instance, some of your subscribers may require analysis on the increasing digitisation of the healthcare sector, while others may need live data on pharmaceutical product supply chains. They do not want access to whole swathes of information and products that are not relevant to them or their business. In a sector as broad but also specialised as the life sciences, the need for user-specific experiences is particularly pressing.

Your subscribers need personalised, tailored content packages.

Personalisation is underpinned by flexible licensing technology, enabling publishers to manage subscriptions on a granular level and grant access to individual sections of reports or datasets. The specificity now available is transforming how publishers sell their content, revolutionising subscriber interactions with market analysis, and facilitating automated, personalised user journeys.

“Having the usage stats to show clients the value they receive from our content is incredibly valuable and makes a potentially tricky sales conversation pretty easy”

Devin Holland

Director of Business Development, The Science & Medicine Group

4. Deliver timely insights

In a market that covers the most advanced human developments, information is complex and new data is constantly on offer. Pharmaceutical markets in particular shift and evolve continually – with Publish Interactive’s Instant Insights technology, you can deliver the content your subscribers need, when they need it. Instant Insights are short-form content pieces that, when combined with Instant Access Links, allow your subscribers to frictionlessly access research content on the go.

With Instant Access Links, content can be accessed by your subscribers without the need to log in – meaning you can unlock your research library to subscribers, without compromising security.

Read how one of our life science analyst partners used this feature to transform engagement: Instant Access, Instant Results – how TGaS transformed engagement across their industry reports

5. Understand your subscribers

The most valuable aspect of adopting a powerful subscription platform is its ability to provide analysis providers with a powerful new understanding of subscriber behaviour. Understanding and clearly determining individual users’ subjects of interest is vital for future commissioning and upselling. For example, if you can see one user is only accessing data on government spending on healthcare, your account management teams can use this data to offer similar reports and perhaps suggest reports covering related, but distinct fields.

Usage analytics underpin every aspect of an intelligent publishing platform. It enables a subscription model to exist, but more importantly, it adds value to that subscription or alerts the sales team to declining renewals.

In a market as competitive and specialised as the life sciences, these insights keep you ahead of the competition.

If you would like to learn more about how the Publish Interactive platform can transform your life science research business, please get in touch today.

How market analysis firms can prevent insider content leaks in the hybrid working era

We take a look at the growing issue of insider content leaks, the workplace trends causing their growth, and what features you should include in your content delivery system to reduce the severity and regularity of leaks once they occur.

The two phrases most synonymous with the post-pandemic workplace zeitgeist – hybrid working and ‘The Great Resignation’ – which have come to symbolise increasing worker autonomy to decide how, when, and where we work, are simultaneously raising concerns among many businesses for a different reason: the loss of intellectual property.

This concern is felt acutely amongst providers of high-value market analysis. With content selling for thousands of dollars, any sharing of information with competitors from former employees or those working outside of the controlled office environment is costly.

As employees working from home need access to more information with conventional information-sharing networks eroded outside an office setting, the democratisation of corporate information has become a necessity. This newly granted openness, combined with high staff turnover is understandably causing concern.

If left unchecked, the combination of high employee churn and hybrid working can create a perfect storm of accidental leaks of high-value data and content as well as more nefarious dissemination caused by ‘insider attacks’, where employees purposely share reports and data with new employers, friends at other analyst firms, or rivals.

What is the information industry saying?

Various research reports should read as warning signs for business information firms. A report from the Ponemon Institute documenting data breaches found that 75% of employees say they have access to data they shouldn’t and 25% of employees are willing to sell data to a competitor for less than $8,000. Ponemon also found that insider incidents have grown 47% in just two years.

In its 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, Verizon found that a massive 44% of all breaches in organisations of less than 1,000 employees were insider jobs. They also discovered that 93% of breaches were driven by profit, while ‘pure fun’ was another top motivation.

In our recent article, Securing high-value content: How to ensure the right content doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, we looked at the three types of external intellectual property thieves analyst firms are vulnerable to, but the same behaviour can be committed in a similar fashion by internal employees.

Three personas of ‘insider’ information sharers:

The internal sharer –  occurs (often accidentally) when an employee distributes high-value information into an unauthorised area of the internal knowledge centre or sends it to colleagues who don’t have permission to view the content. This results in a higher likelihood of valuable information leaks.

The external distributor – this offence arises (often maliciously) when a user shares content with friends outside of their organisation or with members of their new organisation. Commonly caused by corporate accounts not being fully closed once employees have left the company.

The home driver saver – involves fewer people and is a less immediate threat but still takes the content out of the publisher’s possession and could evolve into the other two distributors in the future.

75% of employees say they have access to data they shouldn’t and 25% of employees are willing to sell data to a competitor for less than $8,000. Insider incidents have grown 47% in just two years.

Research from the Ponemon Institute

Reducing the likelihood of insider content leaks

The question for analysis providers operating in the hybrid working age therefore is: how can ‘insider attacks’ and accidental leaks be stopped in practice without disrupting analysts’ ability to produce reports or find critical information?

Here are four features you should ensure are present in your content repository to reduce the regularity and impact of these leaks on your valuable intellectual property:

1. Prevent full download

This is a helpful preventative measure that limits the amount of data internal users can take offline and disseminate among friends and colleagues at other organisations. This measure, combined with workflow tools that allow for the creation of custom deliverables, means that users – both internal and customer accounts – will not need to download whole reports and will only export the sections they need. Accidental shares of full-length reports will become less common and purposeful dissemination more difficult and time-consuming to commit.

2. View online only

In a similar vein to preventing full downloads (although this method prevents even partial downloads!), setting your content in ‘View Only’ mode means your information and data are safely secured in your content repository and can’t be moved into an unmonitored offline space. A workable middle ground is to set certain content as ‘View Only’ and others as downloadable, depending on the user and what level of access they need to certain information.

3. Licensing

The ability to set different access management rights depending on individual user requirements is underpinned by a flexible licensing system and is critical to the wider issue of protecting internal assets. Licensing systems are now highly flexible and allow administrators to set tailored licenses based on the user’s exact needs and requirements. Administrators can regularly audit and review usage and set personalised access rights depending on seniority, department, or individual need.

4. Content Usage analytics

This can be a difficult concept to convey to employees as you don’t want to create an atmosphere of surveillance and suspicion. However, the ability to track user behaviour and analyse what content has been downloaded from your content library is invaluable when identifying a breach’s origin if you do suspect a data leak.

Finding the balance in the hybrid working era

Publishers of market analysis must be particularly aware of the risks associated with our increasingly hybrid, fluid working world due to the high value and sensitivity of their digital content.

Analyst firms can, of course, completely lockdown their internal content repositories and only allow a select number of system administrators or lead analysts to access resources. But what purpose would this serve? It would plague your employees with inefficiencies, leading to frustration with the lack of information at their disposal.

Instead, investment in a full-stack content repository and delivery system that possesses the threat-mitigating features listed above, when combined with regular reviews and audits of access permissions will reduce the severity and frequency of accidental content leaks and purposeful insider attacks.

5 ways tech market analysis providers can strengthen subscriber trust and content authority

Ever more sophisticated cybersecurity threats, seismic pandemic-driven swings in tech consumption, revolutionary AI developments, the metaverse…there’s a mountain of tech market information to stay updated on. Your subscribers need information on these developments and industry-defining events – and they need it from a technologically reliable and trustworthy source.

Data CentreWhile many industries have undergone rapid change in recent years, there are arguably none that have seen such a defining and multifaceted shift as the tech industry. As we pass the two-year anniversary of the covid pandemic, the world has witnessed the integral and ubiquitous role tech plays in our private and professional lives. While the pandemic forced everyone to live increasingly digital lives, technological developments kept pace with our increased reliance on personal devices, cloud services, and virtual experiences.

During times of crisis and transition, markets, particularly those on the front line of a crisis undergo rapid innovation and change. And, with change, comes increased demand for information.

To sate this demand, your technology research business needs publishing, distribution, and content creation technology that delivers highly engaging, timely insights when your subscribers need them which require minimal effort for your production and analyst teams to create.

Your tech research business can enlist the help of an experienced, market-leading research delivery platform to transform your relationship with subscribers.

Here are five ways that Publish Interactive can secure your position as the trusted authority in the tech sector and help your research firm develop long-standing relationships with readers by cementing your position as the leading source of industry information.

1. Extensive industry experience

Publish Interactive has extensive experience partnering with leading tech intelligence firms, including 451 Research (part of S&P Global), Everest Group, and CCS Insight.

When we spoke with 451’s CIO Kiran Shah and Chief Research Officer Brett Azuma, they described how the platform is ‘mission-critical to the development of the business.’

Kiran Shah, former Chief Information Officer, 451 Research (2010-2021)

Possessing powerful content creation and distribution capabilities, workflow tools, as well as comprehensive access management, commercial and administrative functionality, 451 Research’s Publish Interactive-powered delivery platform allowed them to go to market quickly and transform how subscribers interacted with and navigated through their content portfolio.

Kiran, commenting on their motivation for partnering with PI rather than building in-house said: “Publish Interactive was built by people who come from the research world. We were migrating from a homegrown platform that served us well for nearly two decades. We looked at so many different systems over the years, and really none of them addressed the needs of the research industry as comprehensively as this platform does. Publish Interactive fundamentally knows our world, and all that knowledge is built into the platform’s capabilities.”

Read customer stories with our other tech analyst partners here:

2. Build trust and account-wide buy-in

If there’s one quality readers look for in tech market analysis content above all else, it’s trust. In a space as diverse and crowded as tech, positioning yourself as a trusted source of information is essential.

When you first sign a new client or account and trust is still being fostered across the organisation, content usage may initially be focused among a small set of ‘power users’, who may be members of the same department, or all have specific content requirements. Once these users become reliant on your content they will act as advocates and evangelists to help you win greater trust and promote wider usage within their business.

This is where the quality of publishing and subscription software really tells and ensures your content achieves company-wide trust and buy-in. If new users can easily access, find information, and buy new products quickly and seamlessly, usage – and dependence – will naturally increase.

3. Deliver personalised content

Specialist technology gives publishers the flexibility to serve various customer groups, each with different requirements – for instance, some of your subscribers may require analysis on the rise of cloud-native platforms, while others may need data on the latest cybersecurity threats. They do not want access to whole swathes of information and products that are not relevant to them or their business. In a sector as broad but also specialised as tech, the need for user-specific experiences is particularly pressing.

VR Headset

Your subscribers need personalised, tailored content packages.

Personalisation is underpinned by flexible licensing technology, enabling publishers to manage subscriptions on a granular level and grant access to individual sections of reports or datasets. The specificity now available is transforming how publishers sell their content, revolutionising subscriber interactions with market analysis, and facilitating automated, personalised user journeys.

“Publish Interactive fundamentally knows our world, and all that knowledge is built into the platform’s capabilities.”

Kiran Shah

Former Chief Information Officer, 451 Research (2010-2021)

4. Deliver timely insights

In a market that covers the most advanced human developments, information is complex and new data is constantly on offer. Technology markets shift and evolve continually – with Publish Interactive’s Instant Insights technology, you can deliver the content your subscribers need, when they need it. Instant Insights are short-form content pieces that, when combined with Instant Access Links, allow your subscribers to frictionlessly access research content on the go.

Cloud + IoTWith Instant Access Links, content can be accessed by your subscribers without the need to log in – meaning you can unlock your research library to subscribers, without compromising security.

Read how one of our analyst partners used this feature to transform engagement: Instant Access, Instant Results – how TGaS transformed engagement across their industry reports

5. Understand your subscribers

The most valuable aspect of adopting a powerful subscription platform is its ability to provide analysis providers with a powerful new understanding of subscriber behaviour. Understanding and clearly determining individual users’ subjects of interest is vital for future commissioning and upselling. For example, if you can see one user is only accessing data on the sale of IoT devices, your account management teams can use this data to offer similar reports and perhaps suggest reports covering related, but distinct fields, such as connectivity or AI.

Usage analytics underpin every aspect of an intelligent publishing platform. It enables a subscription model to exist, but more importantly, it adds value to that subscription or alerts the sales team to declining renewals.

In a market as competitive and specialised as technology, these insights keep you ahead of the competition.

If you would like to learn more about how the Publish Interactive platform can transform your energy research business, please get in touch today.

5 ways energy market analysis providers can strengthen subscriber trust and content authority

Use market-leading, industry-specific technology to position your research firm as one of the energy sector’s most trusted information sources

Solar PanelThe energy industry is in flux. Renewables, rising prices, new regulation, decarbonisation…there’s a mountain of change your subscribers need the latest updates on. Your subscribers need information on these developments and industry-defining events – and they need it from a technologically reliable and trustworthy source.

While many industries have undergone rapid change in recent years, there are arguably none that have undergone such a seismic, multifaceted transformation as the energy industry. From shifting energy sources to new methods of distribution to novel energy consumption trends, energy is undoubtedly in a state of transition.

During times of crisis and transition, markets, particularly those on the front line of a crisis undergo rapid innovation and change. And, with change, comes increased demand for information.

To sate this demand, your energy research business needs publishing, distribution, and content creation technology that delivers highly engaging, timely insights when your subscribers need them which require minimal effort for your production and analyst teams to create.

Your energy research business can enlist the help of an experienced, market-leading research delivery platform to transform your relationship with subscribers.

Here are 5 ways that Publish Interactive can secure your position as the trusted authority in the energy sector and help your research firm develop long-standing relationships with readers by cementing your position as a trusted source of industry information.

1. Extensive industry experience

Since 2018, Publish Interactive has partnered with leading energy intelligence firm, Wood Mackenzie. With powerful content creation and distribution capabilities, workflow tools, as well as comprehensive access management, commercial and administrative functionality, WoodMac’s new Publish Interactive-powered delivery platform allowed them to go-to-market quickly and transform how subscribers interacted with and navigated through their content portfolio.

Matt DaPrato

Matt DaPrato, Product Suite Director, Wood Mackenzie

Matt daPrato, WoodMac’s Product Suite Director, commented on the adoption: “The Publish Interactive system is intuitive and it’s simple to use. The platform has elegant features; particularly its search, which has really helped our engagement, both internally and externally. We have also been able to align our structures and add consistency across our Power & Renewables content”.

2. Build trust and account-wide buy-in

If there’s one quality readers look for in market analysis content above all else, it’s trust. In a space as diverse and crowded as energy, positioning yourself as a trusted source of information is essential.

When you first sign a new client or account, content usage may initially be focused among a small set of ‘power users’, who may be members of the same department, or all have specific content requirements. Once these users become reliant on your content they will act as advocates and evangelists to help you win greater trust and promote wider usage within their organisation.

This is where the quality of publishing and subscription software really tells and ensures your content achieves company-wide trust and buy-in. If new users can easily access, find information, and buy new products quickly and seamlessly, usage – and dependence – will naturally increase.

3. Deliver personalised content

Technology gives publishers the flexibility to serve various customer groups, each with different requirements – for instance, some subscribers may be interested in the electric vehicle market while others may need live data on gas prices. They do not want access to whole swathes of information that are not relevant to them or their business.

They need personalised, tailored content packages.Wind Turbines

Personalisation is underpinned by flexible licensing technology, enabling publishers to manage subscriptions on a granular level and grant access to individual sections of reports or datasets. The specificity now available is transforming how publishers sell their content, revolutionising subscriber interactions with market analysis, and facilitating automated, personalised user journeys.

“The Publish Interactive system is intuitive and it’s simple to use. The platform has elegant features; particularly its search, which has really helped our engagement, both internally and externally”

Matt DaPrato

Product Suite Director, Wood Mackenzie

4. Deliver timely insights

In such a volatile market, information is complex and new data is constantly on offer. Energy markets shift and evolve constantly – with Publish Interactive’s Instant Insights technology, you can deliver the content your subscribers need, when they need it. Instant Insights are short-form content pieces that, when combined with Instant Access Links, allow your subscribers to frictionlessly access research content.

Cooling Tower

With Instant Access Links, content can be accessed by your subscribers without the need to log in – meaning you can unlock your research library to subscribers, without compromising security.

Read how one of our analyst partners used this feature to transform engagement: Instant Access, Instant Results – how TGaS transformed engagement across their industry reports

5. Understand your subscribers

The most valuable aspect of adopting a powerful subscription platform is its ability to provide analysis providers with a powerful new understanding of subscriber behaviour. Being able to clearly determine individual users’ subjects of interest is vital for future commissioning and upselling. For example, if you can see one user is only accessing data on renewable energy sources, your sales teams can use this data to offer similar reports and not suggest products relating to the gas or non-renewable markets.

Analytics underpin every aspect of an intelligent publishing platform. It enables a subscription model to exist, but more importantly, it adds value to that subscription or alerts the sales team to declining renewals.

In a market as competitive as energy, these insights keep you ahead of the competition.

If you would like to learn more about how the Publish Interactive platform can transform your energy research business, please get in touch today.

3 reasons why data visualisation tools are the future of market analysis content

The days of delivering market forecast data in static bar charts embedded in reports are waning as providers invest in data visualisation techniques to bring their proprietary data to life. We identify three ways that publishers can embrace this change.

Data is about to ‘explode’.

You may think that we already inhabit a meticulously detailed, comprehensively tracked world where every human, economic, mechanical, and natural interaction or event is tracked and collated into an endless world of clouds, servers, and databases – but we’ve seen nothing yet.

Market and consumer data firm Statista predicts that data creation will increase exponentially over the next 15 years, eventually reaching 2,142 zettabytes per year in 2035 – for context, that is the storage capacity of 2.1 billion human brains put together.

A new information epoch

All of us absorb information in different ways. We’re often categorised into one of four types of learners: visual, auditory, kinaesthetic (physical learner), or readers/writers – a handy way of compartmentalising basic learning processes but a method that becomes redundant in the face of the tsunami of data now collected around the world every second of every day.

This ‘tsunami’ of data is beyond the realms of human comprehension and existing forms of displaying information. New ways of presenting this mass of information are vital for market analysis providers looking to keep their audiences informed on current trends.

Data visualisation tools, such as Power BI, Tableau, and Google Charts – although not exactly new – have improved greatly in terms of accessibility and functionality recently, making them a vital asset for rationalising and displaying these huge datasets simply and clearly.

How is data visualisation incorporated into market analysis content?

Data visualisation is the graphical or visual representation of data and information. Conventional formats include charts and graphs, often created in Excel using data pulled from static tables. In the world of B2B publishing, these data exhibits are often placed within reports alongside textual analysis.

In recent years, data visualisation tools have improved significantly. Subscribers to market analysis services can now interrogate complex datasets and discover their own insights and stories from highly interactive exhibits, rather than relying on the analyst to serve the narrative up to them.

This will benefit consumers of market analysis and forward-thinking analyst firms looking to diversify, personalise, and future-proof their content offering in 3 key ways:

1. Speed up critical decision making in business

Your market analysis should empower your readers with the information they need to execute business-critical decisions and it should be served as clearly as possible to reduce time spent searching for information.

Barriers restricting the ability to make these decisions include the sheer volume of data available and inappropriate forms of displaying this data. For example, publishing endless data entry points as an Excel file makes it difficult for readers to extract the information of most relevance to them. Similarly, tasking one of your analysts to trawl through an extensive dataset and summarise their findings in a report is an inefficient use of their time.

Converting this complex data into a visual format – using a tool such as Power BI, for example – reduces friction in the production stage as large datasets can be inputted and translated into visuals with the press of a button. For the reader, they can easily locate, visualise, and reuse the information they need with greater efficiency.

“While conventional data exhibits may expire within a week, a day or maybe even an hour, live visualisation tools refresh and update as information becomes available, making them a vital component of market analysis content strategy”

Edwin Bailey

Director of Marketing, Publish Interactive

2. Create a personalised subscriber experience

The power of data visualisation tools goes beyond simply converting datasets into a visual format. Formatting the data into flat charts or graphs still leaves room for improvement as data points of little interest to the reader may remain.

For example, if a subscriber is interested in US motor car production but only in the last 6 months while your dataset goes back 10 years, an interactive data visualisation tool allows the subscriber to isolate the period of interest and remove any redundant data from their view. Following this, users can interrogate, create, and export custom cuts of data exhibits to be used in their own work.

End-users are essentially allowed to explore the data rather than having exhibits served in a pre-formatted, impersonal way. Individual insights are subsequently gleaned from your content – creating a concierge, highly targeted reading experience.

Personalisation is now a must-have for B2B information consumers; provide this experience with data visualisation tools.

An example of a PowerBI exhibit in the Publish Interactive platform
An example of a PowerBI exhibit in the Publish Interactive platform.

3. Keep readers up-to-date with ‘evergreen’ content and live dashboards

Referring to continually updated content designed to keep readers informed and engaged, ‘evergreen’ content is becoming an ever more popular content strategy for market analysis providers.

Evergreen content’s growing popularity is fuelled by ever-fluctuating pandemic (and post pandemic) market landscapes that analyst firms keep their subscribers updated on. Markets, in general, have been characterised by uncertainty and improvisation since March 2020 and there were very few information providers who escaped having to start their 2020 forecasts and predictions from scratch – a trend that continued as variants and inconsistent government directives caused markets to lurch unpredictably.

For instance, how were tech analyst firms meant to predict the huge, almost overnight shift to home working and the impact this would have on technology sales, distribution, and use? The same could be said for those operating in retail as shops closed and digital sales exploded. How could analysts in the travel industry possibly account for the international-wide collapse of travel when making forecasts in February 2020 or indeed in December 2021 when Omicron ground Christmas plans to a juddering halt?

Market analysis content had to adapt to these unprecedented changes.

An example of a DataViewer exhibit in the Publish Interactive platform.
An example of a DataViewer exhibit in the Publish Interactive platform.

Data visualisation tools became key to this shift as they are often ‘live’ rather than snapshots of a certain period – exhibits can pull information from live databases and update the information accordingly.

Commenting on the growing presence of evergreen market analysis content, Edwin Bailey, Publish Interactive’s Director of Marketing, said; “While conventional data exhibits may expire within a week, a day or maybe even an hour with the volume of new data readily available and the volatility of markets, live visualisation tools refresh and update as information becomes available, making them a vital component of evergreen content strategy.”

This concept of ‘research as a service’ is a fundamental shift in thinking from the transactional mindset of the past and will allow market analysis providers to keep pace with the increasingly data-saturated, unpredictable world we now live in.

Data visualisation options in Publish Interactive

The Publish Interactive platform fully supports data visualisation tools. Exhibits can be embedded directly into reports allowing you to position your detailed textual analysis alongside interactive, visual charts.

Two options are available: DataViewer, our in-house developed data visualisation tool as well as a new integration with Microsoft Power BI. This integration allows users to embed interactive data products seamlessly alongside textual research content and configure these as fully searchable datasets.

Keep your audience on the right side of the data ‘explosion’ soon to be with us with the help of data visualisation tools.

If you would like to learn more, please get in touch today. 

Evergreen content: providing market analysis for the modern B2B information consumer

Publishers are regularly updating analysis reports to reflect unpredictable market changes and meet the expectations of B2B content and data consumers

While it may conjure up images of pine, cypress, or cedar trees displaying life in otherwise barren landscapes, the term ‘evergreen’, when applied to content, has been banded around digital marketing circles for years with little connection to its dendrological roots.

The evergreen descriptor conventionally refers to content that retains relevance over time, often by repurposing existing materials into new packages and formats. This model allows previously used topics and marketing messaging to drive continued product queries and maintain strong website SEO.

Recently, the term has emerged from the realm of marketing and immersed itself into the lexicon of business information and market analysis publishers to describe content that is continually updated to keep readers informed and engaged.

This trend has been driven by external and internal factors; externally, by ever-fluctuating market landscapes publishers must keep their subscribers updated on, and internally, by a change of mindset from publishers who are re-evaluating the role their content plays and the very nature of the service they provide.

A changing landscape

Unsurprisingly, the last 18 months have transformed the information industry, consumers of business information, and the markets that publishers document. Information and data that might have been relevant for days or even weeks in the past may only have a shelf life of a few hours as uncertainty, improvisation, and rapid innovation have been the predominant market characteristics in this unfamiliar period.

Some markets, such as the travel and airline industries, weren’t simply plagued by uncertainty but completely ground to a halt, making attempts to forecast airline passenger numbers, for instance, a near impossibility.

Continual Subscriber Engagement

Publishers now need to understand what information customers require, anticipate how this information might change, and foresee how their readers will use this data next. This mindset has been precipitated by the pandemic and feeds naturally into an evergreen content strategy.

Research and analysis products are still typically packaged and sold as individual, static reports, which are either bundled into a subscription package or by selling single copies on a transactional basis. PDFs, by their inherently undynamic nature lock data in the document, meaning new information is only released when the next edition of the report is published.

However, publishers are increasingly sensitive to rapidly changing market information and the entire user workflow from information consumption to what readers do with information next. The introduction of continually updated, evergreen content therefore becomes crucial for those publishers looking to provide consistently valuable, dynamic content to their subscribers and increase content engagement by embedding themselves into their subscriber workflows.

Steve Budd – Co-Founder of Substribe

Steve Budd, co-Founder of Substribe, a UK-based firm specialising in B2B subscription strategy discussed this process: ‘We speak to hundreds of b2b consumers of information services and it’s clear that their world is now more changeable and complex than ever…B2B customers need to decipher complexity fast and seek context more than content. It is critical to understand what information and data customers need, how it’s changing, and what they do with it next.’

Examples of evergreen content include real-time databases and dashboards as well as targeted analyst reporting. Already published reports can also be continually updated when new information and data is released. Content subsequently becomes an on-demand, reactive, ‘evergreen’ service, rather than a series of static, discreet reports, which become quickly outdated.

“B2B customers need to decipher complexity fast and seek context more than content. It is critical to understand what information and data customers need, how it’s changing, and what they do with it next”

Steve Budd

Co-Founder of Substribe

Substribe’s Steve Budd elaborated on this idea: “Information publishers can rethink their approach with an ‘as a service’ mindset to really impact their customer’s workflow and help them succeed. Research companies can play a vital role in helping their customers navigate a new path to success, and those that crack it will be rewarded with deeper and longer-term relationships”.

The concept of research being a service is a fundamental shift in thinking from the transactional mindset of the past and will allow the information industry to keep pace with the increasingly on-demand digital world we now live in and ensure continued subscriber engagement.

Evergreen Content Delivery

Developments in content delivery technology now enable B2B publishers to plan, produce and execute evergreen content strategies. Traditional content delivery methods, such as delivering PDFs to end-users over email, are not conducive to evergreen content creation.

Once reports are delivered this way, there is no going back. Updates cannot be made due to the PDF’s fixed nature, and instead, consumers must wait until the next edition of the report before receiving the information and data they need.

Publishers must adopt new technology, such as specialist content delivery platforms capable of supporting dynamic, multi-formatted content if they want to ensure engagement and produce the content B2B information consumers increasingly demand.

The future of market analysis lies in its ability to accurately represent the complex and changeable business world we now find ourselves in and an evergreen content strategy is a powerful approach to achieve this.

Benefits of adopting an ‘evergreen’ content strategy

1. Ensure engagement by arming your subscribers with the latest information and data
2. Accurately reflect rapidly changing environments by incorporating the latest market data
3. Keep pace with the increasingly on-demand digital and subscription industries
4. Position your research as a service not simply a content library
5. Use technology to deliver content in dynamic, editable formats

Think like a SaaS business: the new mindset for publishers of market analysis

The business information and SaaS industries have a lot they can learn from each other. We take a look at how publishers of high-value subscription content can adopt SaaS ways of doing business.

It is no secret that cloud computing services have transformed the world of software and given rise to the booming Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry. What might comes as a surprise, however, is the sheer size of this burgeoning sector: Gartner forecasts that software-as-a-service solutions will generate revenue close to $141 billion in 2022 – a 25% increase on the 2020 figure1.

SaaS negates the need for physical distribution of the software and customers typically pay a subscription fee – often monthly – to access a continually updated application.

A similar revolution has taken place in the business information and market analysis sector. Technology has changed the way information is consumed beyond recognition in a relatively short space of time; a hard copy printed document or PDF now seems antiquated compared with today’s digital experiences.

Subscription propositions to high-value content and data are now completely entwined with technology.

This got us thinking. If publishers can harness technology to better serve their customers, can some of the management techniques prevalent in SaaS businesses similarly be adopted to drive better business outcomes?

We see convergences in the way that SaaS and high-value content businesses are managed and have identified five SaaS management techniques that publishers should use.

User-Oriented Solution

The iterative nature of software means components can be added in chunks and the software seamlessly updated. At each iteration, design modifications are made, and new functional capabilities are added.

With this process in mind, it is best to think of published, paid-for content as a portfolio of components that may require regular updating so the end-user can view the content in its entirety, rather than adopting the concept that content is made up of discreet reports.

When viewed from a subscription perspective and as an opportunity to upgrade the customer, service becomes a golden opportunity to engage with customers and increase profitability.

“Flexible subscription models pave the way for stronger customer relationships and are the most reliable way to continue adding value. If customers continually see the value a company provides for them, they will continue to pay for it,” explains Mitali Mookerjee, Managing Director of Publish Interactive.

Adaptable pricing and packaging strategy

The SaaS delivery model affords businesses more control over how they package, deploy and manage their offerings while also giving customers more flexible pricing models.

Flexibility in packaging is the secret to subscription pricing. Any credible SaaS business is product and customer-centric, offering a broad range of options to meet customers’ bespoke needs.

Market analysis publishers can similarly offer highly personalised subscriptions based on their subscribers’ exact requirements, providing them with the content of most value for their business, whilst identifying upgrade paths for future upselling opportunities.

“Flexible subscription models pave the way for stronger customer relationships and are the most reliable way to continue adding value. If customers continually see the value a company provides for them, they will continue to pay for it”

Mitali Mookerjee

Managing Director at Publish Interactive

Think monthly, not annually

Publishers have seen a boom in digital subscription revenues during the pandemic, as users spent more time online and sought out new, easily accessible content sources. The convenience of digital subscriptions is now evident and consumers of business information have discovered their appeal over the past 18 months.

This is why publishing businesses are starting to consider using Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) as a measure. As perhaps the most important financial metric of any SaaS subscription model, MRR helps make accurate financial forecasts based on user subscriptions.

It is a KPI that gives accurate information on whether a publishing business is developing and gaining momentum or plateauing.

A publishing company that thinks like a SaaS provider places more focus on the value of a customer relationship over time as the business model is one of recurring revenue with the opportunity for increased yield (spend/customer). The difference is the switch in focus to recurring revenue rather than an annual target – through offering a recurring service on either a monthly or quarterly basis rather than annually.

When implemented correctly, SaaS is a business model that provides customers with an intuitive, tailored experience and arms the publisher with a business model that encourages upgrades, concise revenue forecasting and a customer-centric mindset.

Five SaaS management techniques for publishers

1. Use MRR to measure success
Monthly recurring revenues (MRR) is a SaaS businesses’ mantra as the accumulation of existing and current business will drive an upward MRR trajectory.
Contrast the MRR approach to the annual subs number that most publishers use. The key difference is to remember that your customers are engaging with you all the time and not to be forgotten until the next annual renewal.

Top tip: Think about how your customers interact with your service on a monthly basis
2. Your research is a service
Once upon a time the tech industry used to sell a CD / download with an annual user licence (remember all those MS Office disks?) and sales were expressed as units. The move to selling software-as-a-service on a monthly / annual term with continuous updates and (no more versions!) has created different business models. The same approach can be taken with market analysis and research. Rather than selling individual reports and then bundling into a subscription, why not think about a continuous service with regular updates to constantly engage your customer.

Top tip: Think about what your customer wants from content on a daily basis
3. Bake in dependency
The best SaaS products become so embedded within the user’s business and workflow that customers cannot contemplate leaving. This makes renewals procedural and revenue forecasting straightforward. Can a content business achieve the same? Design your product to be essential and need-to-have, rather than nice-to-have.

Top tip: Ensure customers never have a reason to leave
4. Use Roadmaps
All software companies have a roadmap outlining their proposed improvements and new features. Typical roadmaps, which are often public, evolve on a quarterly and annual cycle as customer feedback drives product development. New features (and enhancements) are rolled out regularly which in turn gives the customer a feeling of great value as they are getting more for their money.

Top tip: Give your customers an idea of how the product will evolve
5. Develop an upgrade path
Most SaaS products have a clear upgrade path for customers, where users will pay for advanced features or increased storage limits for things like data or projects. Over time it is hoped the adoption of more features or higher limits will increase recurring revenue and users have a compelling reason to buy.

Top tip: Give customers a compelling reason to increase their spend

How publishers of market analysis are using technology to streamline subscriber workflows

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.

End-user workflow framework- png

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?

Tags

  • End-user workflow
  • Search
  • Subscribers

Becoming a subscriber-first market analysis provider

Understand how niche research firms can use technology to successfully shift from a transactional model to recurring revenues

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