Facilitating Growth: How Oxford Economics leverage Publish Interactive to scale content production and expand its global reach


Leading economic research firm Oxford Economics chose to partner with Content Catalyst and adopt Publish Interactive – its leading content delivery and subscriber management platform – to power the My Oxford portal. A global client base of cross-industry corporate entities now use the Publish Interactive-powered My Oxford portal to access subscription content and consulting deliverables.

Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics is the world’s foremost independent economic advisory firm. Starting as a commercial venture with Oxford University’s business college back in 1981, the firm soon spread to the four corners of the globe. Now covering over 200 countries, over 100 industrial sectors and 8,000 cities and regions, their international team of analysts deliver insights that enable businesses to make intelligent and responsible decisions faster.

Realigning organisational focus

To facilitate its wide-ranging coverage of international economic markets and ambitious growth targets, Oxford Economics needed a dependable, scalable content delivery solution to power the My Oxford insights portal.

Since the launch of the updated My Oxford portal, which, Ben Nicaudie, Chief Information Officer at Oxford Economics, described as the “smoothest deployment at this scale they [Oxford Economics] had seen”, the organisation has realigned focus back to its core principles: delivering exceptional economic insights and an innovative user experience for their over 2,500-strong worldwide client base, which includes household names like IBM, Visa, and Airbnb.

The solid foundation provided by the Publish Interactive platform enables efficient publishing workflow processes and reduces the previously heavy burden of website maintenance and general IT support on Oxford Economics’ development team. The firm now has a reliable, scalable technical infrastructure and more time to focus on innovative product development initiatives.

The My Oxford homepage – powered by Publish Interactive

“No longer focused on keeping the lights on”

Before adopting Publish Interactive, Oxford Economics had a high-maintenance content delivery system. Ben oversaw the launch of the new platform and explains how his team no longer require “dedicated support and admin staff to maintain the platform.” This new-found freedom from the shackles of repetitive maintenance work allowed his team to “spend a lot more time improving things as we’re not focused on keeping the lights on or other operational matters.”

For instance, updating content and their vast array of verticals was time-intensive. Oxford Economics provide analysis on a far more specified basis than their competitors and the new platform now helps them “achieve this coverage from a technical perspective.” Newly created verticals, including a ‘Global Climate Scenarios’ category, are configured quickly and easily, enabling Oxford Economics to scale its content offering.

In addition to the benefits of a more focused development team, Publish Interactive facilitates better connectivity across the business. With two key arms to their business: subscription content and consulting projects, the company previously experienced a degree of disconnect. “One of the success stories from the partnership has been our ability to integrate both sides of the business into one platform through the API connectivity,” says Ben.

A deep integration with Salesforce strengthened interconnectivity further. Linking the commercial operations of the organisation more closely with the research arm enabled all users, licenses, and purchases to be managed via the CRM.

Transformative HTML Content

Aside from improved organisational processes, “one of the biggest selling points was the ability to move to HTML”, asserts Ben. Oxford Economics’ emphasis on HTML content output hosted through Publish Interactive’s Interactive Docs feature, sets them apart from other market analysis firms publishing content in PowerPoint or static PDF format.

Leveraging an intelligent piece of custom development, Ben’s team developed a simpler process for authoring HTML documents and adding metadata direct from Word. This process has been well received by analysts and “switching to HTML has given a fresh, modernised look for all of our content – in fact, the ability to fully automate things like compendium reports has given us a new lease of life,” comments Ben.

This new lease of life benefits both analysts and Oxford Economics’ subscribers.

For analysts, automation has “saved a lot of time in the content production phase and allowed analyst teams to get more content out than before.” Ben has noticed the most significant benefits of automation with Oxford Economics’ data-driven ‘Cities’ content. The previous system converted analysts’ Excel worksheets into PDF format with no scope to deliver content as HTML or to include interactive data. Now, only one template is needed – leading to “virtually zero” tickets for IT support.

For subscribers, the HTML reading experience is far more engaging: “clients can now interact with the data and content to a much higher degree,” explains Ben. Given the complexity of Oxford Economics’ datasets and the prominence of data forecasts in their content, interactivity is a must. End-users can also compile pertinent sections of the content and export custom reports to the Microsoft Office suite.

“Switching to HTML has given a fresh, modernised look for all of our content – in fact, the ability to fully automate things like compendium reports has given us a new lease of life.”

Ben Nicaudie
Chief Information Officer
Oxford Economics

End-users are reaping the rewards

It’s not only increased interactivity that has improved the end-user reading experience, but also two key in-platform content engagement tools: search and translation.

Ben discusses a common headache for market analysis providers associated with building content delivery systems in-house: subscribers cannot always find the information they need in ways they expect. He admits that “it seems silly because we all just expect search to work but it is a very complex, technical area and getting it right is really difficult”. The firm previously worked with third-party organisations to hone and optimise their search system but to no avail; search returns were often “too smart” and came back with unintuitive results. Not the outcome an organisation with a content catalogue of over 50,000 technical, complex research products was hoping for.

“We used to get complaints from clients and from people internally that search was not functioning properly”, explains Ben, “but that’s completely gone away now.”

Given Oxford Economics’ global audience and workforce, in-platform translation tools have transformed engagement with content. “For the first time, clients can see a report in their chosen language – that was a big step forward,” comments Ben, who says further enhancements will follow, including the generation of email notifications in a client’s chosen language.

An innovation facilitator

Since the implementation of Publish Interactive, instead of dealing with support tickets, site maintenance issues, and complex publishing workflow processes the organisation is focused on what it does best: creating high-quality economic research and delivering a boundary-pushing reading experience for its international clientele.

Ben has ambitious plans for the My Oxford portal. Noticing the growing proliferation of AI-based technologies, he discusses his plans to train AI chatbots to improve accessibility of content using advanced natural language models. These intelligent bots will help answer client queries about content, further reducing the workload on account managers and analysts who no longer have to spend their time fielding simple subscriber questions. The shift from PDF to HTML-published content has facilitated this development. Content is now formulaically structured in the production phase, meaning AI can pinpoint recurring elements in each document and answer questions about specific sections of the document. This will “give us a huge advantage going forward”, explains Ben.

Leveraging the dependable infrastructure the Publish Interactive platform provides, Oxford Economics now has a strong environment in which to scale. No longer shackled by inefficient workflow processes, high-maintenance tech, and inflexible content formats, their international team of expert economists, developers, and commercial personnel can continue to forge the organisation’s innovative path.

“Having all the content in one place gives us the platform to make changes and we’ll be on that journey together with Content Catalyst as a managed service provider,” summarised Ben.


  • Analyst Workflow
  • Digital Transformation
  • End-user workflow

The Future Market Analyst: Six ways publishing technology equips analyst teams for future success

Download this whitepaper to discover the six ways digital publishing technology brings analysts closer to end-users and supports market insight providers as they keep pace with changing consumer expectations

Read the whitepaper now

Understand how to free your analysts from mundane tasks and arm them with the tools to help your organisation keep pace with ever-changing consumer expectations today.

According to McKinsey & Company, “COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point – and transformed businesses forever.” Their research shows that COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of digital technology by several years with distributed teams, remote working, and changes in employees’ perceptions of work-life balance forcing companies to adapt to new workplace trends.

Approaching three years since the start of the pandemic, these changes are undoubtedly here to stay.

Pandemic-fuelled advances in the quality, proliferation and accessibility of digital services have changed consumer expectations. We’ve now come to expect the same ease of use, convenience, and speed of service from all digital services, including from market analysis providers.

The Future Market Analyst explores why analyst firms must embrace digital publishing technology if they are to keep pace and meet the needs of the businesses they serve.

Access your copy of the whitepaper today and begin unleashing the potential of your analyst teams.


4 The pandemic has changed businesses forever

6 Breakaway from restrictive PDFs

8 Provide trusted, on-demand information for time-poor customers

10 Reclaim your most valuable assets – your analysts

12 Keep analysts informed on valuable topics

15 Make knowledge-sharing more efficient

16 Deliver research to a global audience with translation tools

17 What next?

Front Cover


Figure 1: Most effective sources of market intelligence for strategic decision-making

Figure 2: The shift from one-off reports sales to recurring revenue

Figure 3: The time and financial cost of manual re-formatting

Figure 4: How long does market analysis retain value for?

Figure 5: Maximise the value of your research through smarter updates

Figure 6: Example analyst activities that can grow per-account value

Ask the Analyst: Four reasons to make subscriber-to-analyst interaction a breeze

Analysts are your greatest asset, so why hide them away? You could deepen trust, increase revenue, and discover new customer insight by making it easier for subscribers to contact analysts via your content management platform.

Easy Communication

Information consumers have little patience with digital services that don’t meet their needs. A slow-loading website, overly long forms, or multiple window journeys cause frustration and prevent users from completing the task they set out to do.­

When a subscriber consumes your content, they may have questions. It may occur to them that an analyst could answer this question for them. But, to access an analyst, they must first find the contact page, perhaps complete a form, or worse: navigate a company switchboard.

Hunting for contact details takes effort and time that they may not have or are unwilling to commit to at that moment. Your subscriber will move on to another task, perhaps feeling frustrated or disappointed.

Now imagine the same subscriber opening a chat window or clicking on an analyst’s profile and sending them a direct, instant message. The analyst can answer questions more quickly, leaving the subscriber feeling that they are a valued customer and satisfied that their question has been answered.

Analyst enquiries are the starting point for relationship-building and revenue-generating opportunities. But they come at a cost, so they should not become a substitution for poor site search or organisation.  The aim is to open conversations that strengthen the relationship and subsequently increase the chance of retention – not for your analysts to be inundated with mundane questions.

Here are four key reasons why you can’t afford to have inefficient subscriber-to-analyst communication:

1. Busy businesspeople seek information from analysts they can trust

Direct contact between analyst and subscriber is essential for developing trust. Consumers of market intelligence are often time-poor senior business leaders who need reliable data and opinions at their fingertips.

Yet, ironically, the proliferation of content has made finding quality information harder, not easier. Add to this the growing volume of content written by Artificial Intelligence, and it’s becoming ever more difficult to identify research produced by genuine industry experts.

Analysts, therefore, are highly valued and effective sources of information. According to Financial Times research, analysts are the most effective source of market intelligence for strategic decision-making by Directors (57%), C-suite (54%), and Chairman (51%). They are considered more important than other sources of information, including global media outlets and own-commissioned research.

As trust in the analyst increases, confidence in the organisation also increases, potentially resulting in additional revenue-generating opportunities.

2. Increase revenue outside of business-as-usual subscription services

One-off queries are the ideal opportunity to investigate a subscriber’s exact content requirements. This could include selling more of an analyst’s time, a commonly under-utilised asset.

For instance, one enquiry could lead to a paid-for 30-minute discussion that provides more insight into report findings. It could also pave the way for analysts to offer briefings alongside and to support new report sales.

From an initial enquiry, more considerable revenue opportunities can be generated, including commissioned consulting work, training, or membership events. One Publish Interactive customer, for example, secured a $300,000 consulting project following an ‘Ask the Analyst’ query through the platform.

3. Grow Per-Account Value

The additional revenue generated from the sales of services, such as analysts’ time and consulting commissions, increases the value of each account.

Many market analysis publishers believe the path to sustained growth lies in increasing customer numbers. Yet, by improving Per Account Value (PAV), publishers can reduce their reliance on costly acquisition tactics to maintain growth.

Creating a smooth subscriber-to-analyst communication pipeline allows market analysis publishers to take advantage of these PAV-growing activities. After all, if subscribers can engage with your content on a human level beyond the words on a page, the value they see in your service will grow. This, in turn, will ensure retention and help you stand out from other content providers.

4. Unlock customer insight

To stand out and grow PAV, publishers must provide a dynamic content service to customers by understanding the topics, trends, and content formats that deliver value to their subscribers.

Customer insight is essential for developing new products that meet the needs of today’s fast-paced organisations. Combined with platform analytics data, you can gain powerful insight into how your customers use your service.

These insights can inform future content commissions or even lead to improvements to your overall service, such as the optimisation of information discovery journeys.

Smooth the Subscription Curve

Facilitating smooth communication between subscriber and analyst requires little effort from the publisher but generates value for both.

Subscribers can extract more value from their subscriptions, leading to increased trust in and reliance on your services. Content dependence moves subscriptions from a ‘nice to have’ to an essential tool your customers can’t do without, which in turn smooths renewals and reduces churn.

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. 

Mastering a subscriber-first approach to content categorisation

Supermarkets are masters of categorisation because they think like their customers. Putting yourself into the shoes of your subscribers is the key to creating a robust and relevant taxonomy.

Supermarkets understand how to group items so customers can easily find what they need (and don’t need). Whilst perusing grocery shelves you might notice that most products have logical positions. Eggs in the baking aisle, fruit and veg grouped together, bin bags placed alongside cleaning products… the list goes on.

However, you don’t expect to find seasoning packets in the meat aisle, for instance. They’re not in the same category. But the clever people running the store know that a customer buying chicken may also buy Fajita seasoning on impulse.

Supermarkets have a deep understanding of their customers and there are complex psychological considerations behind the placement of every product. They study consumers continually so they can respond to even the slightest change in behaviour. Supermarkets even monitor the weather.

Who are your subscribers?

The weather may not affect how your subscribers search for content, but the time of year could. There may be other factors that influence how they search for content, such as their job roles and external market conditions. Just like supermarkets, publishers of market analysis should be acutely aware of these behavioural and contextual factors and categorise their content accordingly.

Andrew Woods, Content Analyst at Publish Interactive, explains that different subscribers have different levels of engagement.

“At one end of the spectrum are subscribers who are time precious. They just want to find what they need quickly and will become impatient with a complex category tree,” he explains.

“At the other end are those subscribers who spend a lot of time on your site looking for information. They may find a complex category tree more valuable.” Consider how engaged your customers are and how they prefer to discover information.

Which sector your organisation operates in can also influence how complex your category tree needs to be. “Subscribers of a well-established, broad pharmaceutical publisher would expect the category tree to be organised in a certain way. These organisations are almost forced to have a more complex category tree,” says Andrew.

“In contrast, niche publishers tend to have smaller category trees. When deciding on categories, consider whether you are baked into an industry and need to follow convention so as not to confuse subscribers. Or are you a niche publisher that can have a smaller and simpler category tree?”

Internal and external analysts are also a good source of information about your content and subscribers. They can provide insight into the current and future publishing strategy, and how subscribers search and use your content.

Taxonomy Definitions


  • Categories are used to collect similar reports into logical groups that resonate with subscribers’ interests and reading habits
  • They help users filter report lists and understand what topics are covered in the report library
  • Categories define a report either in terms of its content or the type of report
  • Categories determine the structure of the content portfolio.


  • Tags are labels used to describe the specific details contained within a report.
  • They help users find individual reports rather than groups of reports
  • Tags help users with keyword search and identify notable mentions.

Tag Sets

  • Tag sets allow you organise tags into distinct themes and contextualise individual tags.

“The full value of your content can only be realised when subscribers can easily find relevant information via categories or site search. Make it easy for subscribers, and they’ll be better engaged and more likely to become advocates and long-term loyal customers.”

Andrew Woods

Content Analyst, Publish Interactive

Test & Learn

We recommend that publishers don’t get too bogged down in the detail of their category tree during the design stage. Because ultimately, you won’t know if it’s effective until it’s been tested with subscribers. Like the supermarkets, you can continually tweak and change your categories once live, using subscriber feedback.

“You need subscribers to be using your taxonomy to gather feedback. When they’re using your site, you can see how they discover content and what’s affecting them getting to content,” adds Andrew.  “If searches are culminating in subscribers not finding content that’s useful to them, this is an indication that your category tree needs tweaking. It may also be necessary to carry out end-user education to ensure they know how to use search parameters correctly.”

“The full value of your content can only be realised when subscribers can easily find relevant information via categories or site search. Make it easy for subscribers, and they’ll be better engaged and more likely to become advocates and long-term loyal customers.”

5 steps to category mastery

A top-level category is the general master group into which all other categories fall. Sub-categories flow out of top-level groups, delivering an increasingly specific set of subjects to form a category tree.

No two category trees are the same so there are no rules to follow. But to give your category tree strong roots, Andrew recommends taking a subscriber-first approach and following these five steps:

  1. First draft: create a first draft based on what you know about your subscribers, their expectations of your organisation, and how they interact with your content.
  2. Sense check: share with stakeholders, and invite some of your customers to review it.
  3. Gather feedback: revise your categories based on feedback from internal stakeholders, including analysts.
  4. Soft launch: put your category tree live for a test period to gather feedback. This should include analysing data embedded in your content delivery platform, and conducting user research.
  5. Launch: amend taxonomy and go live. Book a second review point between 6 and 12 months after launch.

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

Market research reports: How short-form is increasingly overtaking long-form content

Why frequency of publication and short, more targeted content is changing publishers’ workflow

With the introduction of digital platforms there has been increased interest in content subscription services as more consumers find them to be convenient, as well as time- and money-saving, allowing the subscriber to buy access to the content they need, with ongoing access to future additions or revisions.

We predict this is a trend that is set to continue with the market continuing to move towards consumption on an ongoing basis rather than through outright purchases. This trend will require publishers of research to embrace another stage of the digital transformation: short-formism. But what is it and what does it mean for research, editorial and production workflow?

The move to short-form content

Short-form content is a type of content that is characterised by shorter reports that are published more frequently.

Wider access to digital information has now led consumers to make quicker decisions, increasing the requirement for ‘on-demand’ information. Publishers have capitalised on the speed at which they can deliver content in this digital format, with shorter and more regular reports being produced to feed this demand. This now means publishers can react quickly in response to events through more real-time content.

In contrast to longer content which involved curation of comprehensive reports by a large team of analysts, short-form content focuses more on singular answers to specific questions. This focused content may be produced by just one analyst, with the creation of multiple different short-form reports on the same topic drastically cutting time between content creation and delivery.

Multiple documents can be stored in a digital content repository to be used on demand to compare and contrast different analyses for different markets, or at different times when new information arises. This allows the subscriber to collect the information they need exactly when they need it, with content being continuously created and constantly evolving.

The goldfish effect

The digital era has radically shortened attention spans (sometimes termed the goldfish effect) and information providers need to adapt to this trend.

Improved search capability is a major factor for consumers and therefore short-form content is ideal and negates the need to trawl through a 500-page report to find the answer. It is specific content that is relevant to their niche or question, saving time collating multiple pieces of content from many articles.

Short-form content has also paved the way for the subscription of information feeds, offering consumers the ability to adjust forecasts and pivot their decisions when new information on market trends is released.

The digital era’s influence on analytics

Nowadays, digital documents provide deep analytical insights, enabling a publisher to understand who is consuming the content and how much is being consumed. This knowledge feeds more interesting content in future and proves the value of the content at the point of subscription renewal.

Read the whitepaper The evolution of B2B content and the era of short-formism

See how Publish Interactive’s feature Instant Insights can help publishers deliver time-sensitive content quickly to subscribers.

The evolution of B2B content and the era of short-formism

Embracing the shift to shorter publishing cycles while improving customer functionality

Understand the context behind short-form content’s increasing popularity and gain insight into the workflow processes publishers are implementing to ensure a smooth short-form content creation process

Email me the handbook

The adoption of digital publishing platforms over the last ten to 20 years has enabled publishers to expand their services due to increased capabilities, such as report bundling and through offering subscription packages. Publishers of B2B research are now at yet another stage of the digital transformation: we call it short-formism – the publication of shorter reports more frequently.

This whitepaper explores how publishers of high-value market analysis are increasingly embracing this change and what this means for research, editorial and production workflow. We also introduce a simple framework for managing a continuous feedback loop within workflow to ensure the reader is served with compelling and useful content.


The move to short-form content
The impact on workflow
The goldfish effect
Purchasing content: the subscription model
Analytics benefits from digital transformation
Four reasons to incorporate usage data into publishing workflow
Optimised data visualisation


Figure 1: From print to digital – 20 years of B2B content delivery
Figure 2: Increase in the search term “infographic”
Figure 3: A continuous feedback loop for publishers’ workflow

Analysts: The new Bowies of business?

Market analysis firms can boost profiles by championing their best hidden asset

Arguably, in terms of success, analysts are to research businesses what David Bowie is to music. This may raise a few eyebrows, but there are more parallels to be drawn than you might first think. Ziggy Stardust’s creator was heralded as a skilled visionary who influenced many through presenting a defining image that was enhanced by the intricate lines of his lyrics that were as random as they were complex. In a similar fashion (bear with me), analysts have the skill and expert insight to cut through billions of lines of data and deliver a clear vision of various business sectors. But unlike Bowie, they are the unsung heroes of their world.

And in the same way Bowie used instruments and collaborated with others to further leverage his genius to become a trailblazer, so the gurus of data knowledge must empower themselves further through boosting their business intelligence. We know that one way for a research business to reinforce the expertise of its analysts is through the use of smart publishing technology.

In the public eye

Through default rather than design, analysts tended to remain in the background. Historically, there has been reticence with market analysis firms to promote them as a key selling point. However, in this digital era openness and visibility is crucial – even for analysts. It’s not just about skillset or experience anymore; a company’s credentials now also depend on voice and personality through social media. Analysts no longer need hide their talents under a bushel – it’s time to celebrate these Trojans of number crunching and champion their public value.

In analysts we trust

Intuitive technology allows customers to discover more about individual analysts and enables quick access to the content they produce. As the old adage goes, people buy people. If a user gleans value in the work of an analyst, technology can be harnessed to empower the reader to find even more of their output.

“David Bowie, R.I.P.” by Ronald Douglas Frazier

Rock star reporting

In a recent report, the Financial Times* interviewed over 500 subscribed companies which were either responsible for, involved in, or knowledgeable about their organisation’s use of market
intelligence to support strategic decision-making. The results showed that 51% thought industry analysts were the most effective sources, the highest percentage in fact – second were media outlets at just 33%.

Liam Rogers, Associate Research Analyst at 451 Research, a global research and advisory firm explains the possible reasons behind this: “Truthfully, sometimes analysts are like rock stars – they’re this figure that knows a certain sector really well and people know that they do. They’re a trusted source of informed information. A big part of the job as an analyst is building trust and maintaining relationships and so I think the way we have to do that is changing.”


Most effective sources of market intelligence for strategic decision making

Source:  Financial Times, The edge of intelligence report (2020)

Unleash your assets

A smart publishing system should give analysts the means to brand themselves as the saviours of their subject matter, and, through a series of relatively small measures, we’ve given our customers the capabilities to make their analysts the pillar of their digital marketing pursuits.

For us it’s really a no-brainer – both in arriving at this truth and also for firms to implement. When a research provider marries up with the right kind of publishing technology, it can unleash not just analysts’ potential but also that of the firm’s, with the opportunity to create a lasting impact with audiences for years to come.

*Source: Financial Times: The edge of intelligence report

Find out how the Publish Interactive system can raise the profile of your analysts and built trust with your subscribers by speaking with an expert


  • Analyst Workflow
  • Editorial
  • Management

Driving efficiency to deliver timely market forecasting in the automotive aftermarket sector

Astutus Research reaps the benefits of Publish Interactive’s system which allows data interrogation and the collation of tailored content in one place to create its market reports


Leading tyre market data analyst Astutus Research has over 25 years of experience in researching and analysing the tyre industry and automotive aftermarket globally. Covering the entire supply chain, it provides companies with sector insight and areas of growth potential encompassing detailed competitive intelligence, market sizing, pricing and channel analysis.

Streamlining content collation

For the past three years, Astutus Research has harnessed Publish Interactive’s smart content management and publishing system for its own internal purposes, and to combine it with its own in-depth understanding of the market to synthesise information into accurate data. This helps inform clients on the latest industry and competitor developments in the tyre sector, which is used for comparison and benchmarking.

“The beauty of the system is the ability for us to easily access and pull out pertinent data into one report – the effortless streamlining of high-value content collation in one place”

Simon Hodson
Simon Hodson
Astutus Research

“The bespoke aspect means that we can easily extract graphics and analysis to quickly create our own presentation or tailored report, including language translation tools. It also enables the team to easily search for information as the system draws together hundreds of thousands of data points from disparate databases in record time, while offering the capability to really interrogate the data.”

This is mostly down to DataViewer, part of Publish Interactive’s offering that makes production more efficient and gives secure in-platform access to users to collate and update data at any point, allowing them to save their own views in order to easily regularly check key data points. The viewer includes simple exploratory data analysis features that can help understand numbers as they are manipulated. When raw data is initially transferred and analysed, it can then be interrogated which involves combining data residing in different sources to create customised data models and other exhibits, which can then be embedded in reports, with the inclusion of expert narrative if required.

Delivering game-changing benefits

Serving as a repository for data and analysis, the shared system allows live documents and reports to be created and regularly updated by the firm’s analysts before being published to the site for external consumption. The key benefits of having such easy access to a broad range of custom content has afforded Astutus more flexibility and improved efficiency to completely transform its work processes, something the company acknowledges as being a game changer.

Simon added: “It wasn’t too long ago that we were writing and printing out reports, before photocopying and despatching to clients, and this was in the days prior to the PDF format we since used, which by today’s standards is now considered cumbersome. Publish Interactive’s system gives us the means to the simple creation and distribution of our reports to clients in a timely manner, completely stripping the complexity out of the process.”

Success benefits

  1. The ability to combine in-depth understanding with accurate data
  2. Easily extract graphics and analysis to quickly create a presentation or tailored report
  3. A shared system allows live documents and reports to be created and regularly updated by analysts before being published


  • Analyst Workflow
  • Delivering Data
  • Search

The Future Market Analyst

Six ways publishing technology equips analyst teams for future success