Having customers access your Market Intelligence content via a subscription is a great way for your firm to maintain a predictable income, but running this model means contract renewal time is an even more vital piece of the business jigsaw.

If you can’t make a good case for renewal, then a significant chunk of next year’s income can disappear in a flash.

The key to keeping churn rate low is to provide high-level service to customers, but getting them to actually sign for another year means providing solid evidence of an effective and useful service.

The representative tasked with negotiating a renewal on your customer’s behalf is unlikely to be a daily user of the service. If they don’t have first-hand knowledge of how great you are, you’ll need to convince them of it. Supplying rich information showing how much value their colleagues extract from the service account will go a long way to ensuring a renewal and/or an upgrade.

In this article, we’re going to look at seven ways that key bits of behavioural data can help you maintain and develop your subscriptions at renewal time.

1. Getting the content mix right

If your publishing technology is good, it should provide worthwhile data on the type of content customers are accessing. Getting right the package of topics available to account holders is the route to a happy customer.

So, what patterns can you discern from behavioural data extracted from your publishing technology? Can you use this information to tailor a better service to your customers?

Can you establish what topics and categories are accessed most? Are any subjects underused or ignored? If so, what about tweaking the subscription licence to include topics related to more popular subjects and ending access to those that are little-used or less well-reviewed?

Offering more relevant content will lead to greater engagement and enable your client to maximise the value of their subscription.

2. Number of visits/Time spent in platform

If you can use data to show how reliant account users are on your content and publishing system, this will go a long way toward proving your worth to the customer. Evidence of lots of visits, and long spells interacting with the publishing platform demonstrate how good the experience is for all those who use it.

If you can also demonstrate a growing frequency of visits and increasingly longer sessions over the course of the subscription, that’s powerful evidence to show that users found both the content and that the platform increasingly compelling and vital as they grew familiar with its use.

We’re not saying you should encourage users to stay on your site just for the sake of it, but as the more value they find the more productive they become through use, the more their session times and frequency of visits are likely to increase.

3. Type of activity

Of course, your customers aren’t likely just to be accessing information; they’ll be sharing it with colleagues, leaving comments, downloading key sections, exporting to PowerPoint, Word, and Excel, as well as cutting bespoke reports as they interlace your information with their own proprietary insights.

Quantifying this level of activity can provide compelling evidence that a) your content is worth re-using and b) that your publishing system can facilitate all these essential tasks and make your customers more efficient and productive as a result.

4. What type of content are they using?

In addition to understanding the type of activity in which the users are engaged, knowing what type of content they’re using can be equally useful.

If half are permanently downloading text-based analysis and the other half only care for data tables, the sales representative should be able to configure the new subscription package to empower these groups with access to appropriate topics and content types.

If you can also demonstrate a growing frequency of visits and increasingly longer sessions over the course of the subscription, that’s powerful evidence to show that users found both the content and that the platform increasingly compelling and vital as they grew familiar with its use.”

Edwin Bailey

Director of Marketing

5. Moving licences around

Presumably, the subscriptions you sell will cover a certain number of licences; but how do you know the customer is getting value from all of them? When it comes to renewal time, you should have sufficient behavioural information to tell your client about the individuals that are using the platform regularly (and those that aren’t), and/or the job titles that get the most value from their access.

You can help your customer be more efficient by empowering them to move allotted subscriptions to individuals who will be able to make the most of the access. In fact, if this happens ahead of renewal time you’ll be able to demonstrate how much more usage is being extracted as a result.

6. Dealing with non-engagement

It isn’t always about using data reactively to justify a renewal; customer usage data (or a lack of it) can be just as usefully applied to ensure each user benefits from their access to your information.

If, several months into a new contract, your data shows several users are engaging infrequently, or using little content, or even not logging in at all, you can be proactive.

These individuals can be contacted to find out what is limiting their involvement. Perhaps they need different content or some training to help them access information?

By monitoring users who are not responding to content – and then getting in touch to see what’s wrong – you could help improve the look of your stats and make life that little bit easier when the time comes to discuss the renewal of the service agreement.

7. Evidence of time saved

If the combination of content you provide means your customers don’t have to wade through reams of reports to get the information they need, that represents a time-saving. Equally, each time a user takes a piece of content and exports it – at the click of a button –  to Excel, PPT, or Word for use elsewhere instead of laboriously copying it all out manually, that’s another huge time-saving.

Multiply that time saving by the number of exports your users perform, and you have a really compelling and tangible number to show your customers to help them understand how much time they are saving by subscribing.

Recap: 7 behavioural data points to understand

  1. Getting the content mix right
  2. Number of visits/Time spent in platform
  3. Type of activity
  4. What type of content are subscribers using?
  5. Moving licences around
  6. Dealing with non-engagement
  7. Evidence of time saved