To mark the end of one decade and in anticipation of the next (is it really 20 years since the Millennium!) we have highlighted trends that are likely to shape high-value business-to-business research publishing over the next 12 months and beyond.
Our seven trends that forward-thinking research publishers should consider as we move into 2020 are…
#1 Continued emphasis on subscriptions
Publishers will continue to try and persuade low value customers to become subscribers that provide recurring revenues. There are multiple routes to this goal, including the development of membership programmes with dynamic pricing, or planning an upgrade path from first interaction to fully-fledged high-value customer.
Technology enables this process to run more smoothly by personalising the user journey and establishing a upsell mechanism that encourages single copy customers to develop a deeper relationship with the publisher.
#2 The customer at the heart of decisions
The next 12 months will see greater emphasis on customer centricity and developing this mindset across the organisation. This will mean publishers spending as much time as possible with their customers to really understand the value they provide.
Customer centricity isn’t just about cementing external relationships: product teams will be working alongside customer-facing teams to ensure products are on point. We anticipate that those in customer-facing roles, such as sales, should become more involved in product design and development.
#3 Embedding interactive data
We expect publishers to really start tackling the technical challenge of how to allow users secure and seamless access to different content types. Specifically, we are thinking about how interactive data can be made securely available alongside written analysis – or embedded within.
By making use of single sign-on systems and/or technical integrations, users can be provided with access to the specific content they need even more quickly and easily.
#4 Making use of accessible AI
In 2020 artificial intelligence and the computing power needed to run advanced algorithms will become more accessible than ever before.
Publishers will have the potential to develop search that understands what is contained in a piece of content and the nature of its relationship to other content types. Deepening the quality of search can help users cut through content noise to specific information that answers their questions.
#5 Shortening time-to-publish workflows
Customers of syndicated market research will increasingly demand more timely data and insight. This puts pressure on publishers to reduce the time spent developing, producing and publishing content. A digital-first workflow – enter-once-distribute-anywhere – will be the goal.
In 2020, publishers will start to look harder for efficiencies in the authoring and production process. This could take the form of automated content reviews, in-platform authoring or on-the-fly design.
#6 Differentiation through content design
We anticipate high-value publishers will place greater emphasis on content design as a branding mechanism. This should help create a sense of authority, value and quality that will set them apart from less compelling sources that are either free or low cost.
We expect content to be more specifically designed for screen consumption, rather than print. As such, data and storytelling content is likely to become more visual with fewer words.
#7 Analytics at the heart of everything
Readership and content usage stats will be increasingly used by publishers to manage their business. Customer usage data will underpin subscription renewal discussions as perceived use of content will be challenged by data on actual use.
Taking cues from the B2C world, editors will use data on topic or article popularity to help with content commissioning.