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.

Promote content like an E-commerce expert: how to boost revenues as a B2B publisher

Online retailers promote products in prime locations on their websites to encourage customers to make other purchases. Publishers using a content management platform can also use this tactic to increase revenue from single copy report and subscription sales.

The role of content promotion in revenue growth

Online retailers like Amazon use strategically placed product promotions on their websites to nudge customers into making additional purchases. Using tools such as promotional banners and sidebar widgets, they promote items on sale, popular products, and goods related to a customer’s initial search.

Market research publishers can implement this tactic using a content management platform such as Publish Interactive. Whether your licensing model is broad all-access subscriptions, personalised content packages, or single copy purchases, promoting your content encourages subscribers to explore more of your portfolio.

Promoting your content has the following benefits:

  • Grows readership and engagement, which is particularly important for renewals
  • Prompts subscribers to buy more one-off reports
  • Encourages upgrades to existing subscription plans

Promoting content also exposes the depth and quality of your portfolio and helps deepen trust with your organisation and its analysts. As a trusted source of quality information, subscribers will be more likely to make additional requests for analyst support, generating additional consulting revenue.

Ways B2B publishers can promote content in Publish Interactive like a leading online retailer

Customisable widgets and tabs

Customisable homepage banners, sidebar widgets and HTML tabs are prime website real estate for content promotions. Advertise your latest reports, trial offers, or programme your banners to display locked content to certain subscriber groups or target accounts.

Publish Interactive homepage layout showing customisable promotional areas with header banner (solid line) and custom HTML tabs (dashed line) outlined

Other users also viewed

The platform will automatically generate links based on other users’ behaviour to other relevant reports or keywords, providing social proof to users that a report may be worth reading based on their activity.

Related Research

When a user searches your portfolio and clicks on a report, the system will recommend other reports that relate to that item based on your category tree as well as any tags or keywords associated with the report.

A report landing page displaying a widget suggesting related research reports

Other content promotion methods

Email Notifications

Alert subscribers when new products are released with email notifications. Integrations with mailing tools like MailChimp are an effective way of keeping readers aware of new releases.

Instant Access Technology

Send direct access links to subscribers via email using Publish Interactive’s Instant Access technology. With this link, they can view content without logging into the platform. Leading pharmaceutical advisory firm TGaS Insights use this feature to transform engagement across their library of life science reports. 

Customer Success Calls

Notify account management teams of key content they should promote/upsell in sales and customer care calls. Position these suggestions as ways of increasing the value subscribers receive from your service rather than a hard sell.

What content should I promote?

The content you promote should support your business goals, such as improving customer service, selling more reports, or upgrading customer subscriptions. There are different types of content you could promote to help reach these goals:

  • New research or series of reports
  • Updated evergreen research
  • Locked items outside of a subscriber’s license
  • Content related to a user’s search history
  • Special offers including timed access to reports and trials

P is for promotion

Promotion is a crucial step in the publishing process and needs to be more than an afterthought. Publishers who think like online retailers and adopt a strategic approach to promoting content can increase revenue from reports, license upgrades, and queries to analysts.

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

Closing the deal: The life science market analysis firm harnessing Publish Interactive to grow sales

ScienceandMedicine

Science and Medicine Group’s sales team rely on Publish Interactive’s customer intelligence features to understand subscriber behaviour and content engagement

SMG

Science and Medicine Group, Inc. is a leading research and advisory firm serving the life science and diagnostic industries. It owns a proprietary, international community of more than 55,000 scientists and biomedical researchers to provide insights that grow businesses and move markets.

Revenue-generating insight

Science and Medicine Group uses the Publish Interactive platform to publish and deliver between 50 and 100 market reports a year which account for around 30% of the firm’s revenue. The market analysis firm benefits from a software system that not only enables it to attract new customers but also for the commercial team to have solid insight into customers and their use of high-value content.

Devin Holland, Science and Medicine Group’s Director of Business Development, finds that the Publish Interactive system successfully helps drive customer growth and create 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. “The strong usage reporting abilities of Publish Interactive are probably one of the most useful elements harnessed by the sales team to both cross and up-sell customers to additional products in our research portfolio,” he said. “The site enables us to monitor and identify the number of overall reports accessed, to see which content areas are of most interest and who is requesting access to them. The more insight we have, the easier the conversation is with our client,” added Devin.

“Understanding customer research trends using Publish Interactive’s enhanced analytics capabilities means we can continually fine tune our offering to build trust and reliability, to further reinforce our position as one of the leading research resources in the life science industry.”

Simon Hodson
Devin Holland
Director of Business Development
Science and Medicine Group, Inc.

High returns & reaping value

The usage stats reporting is also something the sales team leans on heavily for leveraging the value a customer has gained from using the platform. This is particularly effective when approaching clients regarding subscription upgrades or renewals. Even during the 2020 pandemic, Science and Medicine Group had over a 90% subscriber retention rate.

Devin explains: “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’ (now more limited) budgets and means that, if required, we can use this data to justify the price they pay for access. For example, we are seeing the same scenario across many clients where a department has purchased Science and Medicine Group’s content but it is actually being used by their whole organisation. Usage data is vital in justifying an acceptable fee increase for company-wide licenses.”

Devin added: “We find that using the platform for our own internal use not only generates revenue but also gives us a significant competitor advantage. Customer intelligence really is pivotal for the purpose of driving our future growth. Understanding customer research trends using Publish Interactive’s enhanced analytics capabilities means we can continually fine-tune our offering to build trust and reliability, to further reinforce our position as one of the leading research resources in the industries we serve”.

Success benefits

  1. Successfully help drive customer growth and create cross-selling opportunities
  2. Enable the sales team to glean invaluable client insight through user analytics
  3. Quickly transform customer engagements into further revenue
  4. Use analytics data to justify the price paid for access
  5. Using the platform for internal benefits also gives a significant competitor advantage

Tags

  • Content Licensing
  • Sales
  • Upsell

Build or buy? Why in-house development of B2B publishing platforms rarely meets expectations

One of the key questions for B2B publishers is whether to build proprietary content platforms in-house or work with an experienced supplier. Edwin Bailey, Director of Marketing, assesses the risks associated of in-house development versus outsourcing.

In a competitive digital marketplace, efficiency is king. The right publishing solution is about timely access to authoritative research, data, and analysis to ensure that, as a research or an analysis firm, you’ve got the winning edge.

Add the invaluable ingredient of high-quality content as well as a suite of intuitive, user-friendly tools for simple and quick interactions, and that edge grows further still.

However, the critical question is, do you develop in-house or outsource? With so many variables to consider, we explore why building a proprietary system might not offer a feasible solution for anyone looking to gain competitive advantage.

The C Factor

Perhaps the biggest factor of all is cost. A publishing platform – in-house or otherwise – is in continual development, so surely removing the burden of developing a proprietary system while trying to constantly keep pace with the rapid progression of technology is a no-brainer?

Outsourcing not only removes initial capital expenditure and externalises the costs associated with development risks, updates, and over-runs but also ensures the availability of best quality technology at a fixed price. Outsourcing also paves the way for cost certainty, accurate budgeting, and the freeing-up of capital for use on other opportunities.

Streamline

In short: focus on what you’re good at. As a research or an analysis organisation, use your resources wisely and do not sway from your core competencies. Running a large internal development team solely for your publishing platform is, let’s face it, a costly distraction from your main business.

Outsourcing your publishing platform also offers you the flexibility and agility to respond to critical opportunities.

“It doesn’t matter how good your content is – if technology compromises its ease of access, both customer experience and competitive edge will dissipate.”

Time to market

Building a bespoke in-house system to match your business’ exact requirements and customers’ expectations is a bit like the holy grail. For one, your end-users may already be familiar with high-quality publishing platforms used by other providers and the high benchmark is therefore already set. In short, you are setting yourself up for a fall, perpetually stuck in development hell with technology that is fast becoming outdated.

‘Basic’ in-house amendments could routinely take four to six months and all those coding ‘tweaks’ will become increasingly difficult to manage, allowing your competitors to eclipse you. Any system that can’t rapidly implement new features made necessary by the wider technological ecosystem will quickly become obsolete.

This level of development and creativity demands big responsibility – as is managing the constant investment needed to fund the enterprise. Does your firm have the time and energy for this?

An outsourced solution will reduce implementation time and ensure industry-leading user and publisher experiences, as well as allowing research and analysis firms to publish reports quickly and easily.

And it doesn’t matter how good your content is – if technology compromises its ease of access, both customer experience and competitive edge will dissipate. A research or analysis firm’s platform should enhance content, as well as make it easy to find, understand and export in various user-friendly ways.

Sales impact

Creating a system that can actively help publishers improve sales can take years of development. Content Catalyst has been developing its content platform, Publish Interactive, for more than 12 years to the point where new partners can see tangible sales benefits within weeks. How long would that take if they were developing their own systems? The time frames are incomparable.

Furthermore, a publisher’s entire portfolio is also made instantly available, enabling researchers to find required information quickly and easily, leading to greater and prolonged use. Content analysis can help firms quickly identify popular content with great revenue potential, pinpoint any content gaps, and target content at specific users. Upselling and cross-selling opportunities are also enhanced, including the encouragement of ad-hoc buyers to become subscribers.

Freedom to thrive

Business information providers should ask themselves: do they want to invest time, money, energy, and focus equipping themselves with technology for tomorrow, or should they leave those tasks to the experts and concentrate on making their research the best it can be?

For further information, access our guide to choosing a publishing system:

Choosing the right research publishing software

Download

Tags

  • Digital Transformation
  • Management
  • Sales

How publishers can efficiently run multiple brands from a single platform

A publisher running several digital brands on a number of different systems risks workflow inefficiencies and higher production costs

Simplify client management

Running multiple digital publishing brands through a single content and client management platform simplifies and speeds up administrative tasks, freeing up time and valuable resources.

The pain points associated with running multiple clients across disparate systems is removed as the same managerial tools are applied to all clients. Publishers are empowered to manage each client equally well and run operations with greater efficiency and oversight.

Offer service consistency

A platform delivering the same content formats and workflow tools across multiple digital brands enables the publisher to offer a common standard to all its customers. Useful functionality, familiar products, valuable tools and high service levels across all brands helps bring service consistency to a publisher’s portfolio.

“Making it easier for clients to understand our entire Power & Renewables content portfolio – and to find and access content for themselves – contributed to growing ‘per user’ engagement levels”.

Matt DaPrato

Product Suite Director, Wood Mackenzie

Create sales opportunities

Using a single platform to power multiple publishing brands enables a publisher to make new content available to subscribers. Through search results and appropriate marketing, a client of Brand A can be made aware of relevant content available via Brand B. Enabling subscribers to access relevant content outside their licence can help generate additional revenues, improve subscriber satisfaction and helps build engagement across a portfolio.

For example, energy market analysts Wood Mackenzie used Publish Interactive to pull together a number of research offerings. Matthew DaPrato, a Product Suite Director at Wood Mackenzie points out: “Making it easier for clients to understand our entire Power & Renewables content portfolio – and to find and access content for themselves – contributed to growing ‘per user’ engagement levels”.

See how the Publish Interactive platform can help your publishing company run multiple brands from a single platform, book a product tour to be guided by an expert.

Read the customer story:

How an energy industry consultancy merged three research products into a single platform

 

Optimising High-Value Subscription Renewals: How market analyst publishers can use technology to retain subscribers

Your job as a publisher is to ensure your subscriber gets excellent value from your content. Prove this and your customer will be eager to renew.

Email me the handbook

This guide is for market analysis publishers and high-value business information providers. Our best practice guide looks at how publishers can:

  • Use usage stats play a vital role in renewals,
  • Demonstrate content value to clients,
  • Build and maintain close user relationships,
  • Offer a point of marketplace differentiation.

The 1,800-word guide includes real-life examples of how research publishers have applied technology to make content more accessible and improve renewal rates.

Contents

  • It’s no longer about individual sales, it’s about relationships…
  • Make annual renewal meetings procedural
  • Run multiple brands from a single platform
  • Build closer customer relationships
  • Be the point of differentiation in competitive markets

If you sell information to a business audience, then this free best practice overview is for you.

How moving to a subscription model helps research firms fix costs, remove revenue fluctuation, and then grow big…

The great benefit of a research business shifting from a transactional model to one based on subscriptions is that it helps the firm know its basic monthly income and be reassured that revenue will reoccur in the months to come, but often the cost-saving benefit and positive effect this can have on future revenues is overlooked.

Fixed costs = no headaches

The move to a subscriptions model usually means the adoption of a new piece of software through which the process, along with many other client-friendly functions, can be managed.

The selection of this new technology can be a vital decision and, often, can be the difference between a research firm’s new business model thriving or floundering. Use of the right SaaS system can keep your client relationships bubbling along nicely and help you know your costs into perpetuity.

How does it do this? By removing all the uncertainty associated with building an in-house solution.

An established serviced solution doesn’t have to be developed, tested, then managed and upgraded as it becomes old fashioned. A high-quality system will be in constant evolution; with upgrades and fixes applied each month, with no extra cost, with no downtime, and without the publisher having to build an expensive in-house team to support the technology.

Licencing a serviced software solution to manage research subscriptions takes all the risk out of this investment – and more importantly, it helps refocus research businesses around their core tasks of creating and selling research.

In fact, the challenge of running a research business is simplified; it no longer has to be about managing the technical elements to provide research, it instead becomes refocused on increasing the value of the research publisher’s relationship with its clients.

Know your income, build on that income…

With all clients on subscriptions, and all costs known upfront, a research publisher can begin to accurately forecast its minimum monthly income.

What this does is bring assurance, and with it comes a shift in focus. If your sales team isn’t worried each month about meeting report sales quotas, naturally attention will shift to the cross- and upsell opportunities, as these are now the avenues to build on those monthly revenue subs.

Once customers are into that ‘account journey’ process, publishers can then develop the relationship, build a unique offering for the customer, sell them further packages and access, and move them to the point where a full subscription is both necessary and vital.

The long term in salesrooms therefore becomes: what can I do to improve the offering to this client? How can I deepen this relationship in a way that will only make the service we offer them better than last month?

That’s no longer a salesperson and a target; that’s a working relationship with the aim of growing the customer offering in the knowledge that, thanks to the fixed costs of the business, every additional bit of income created is additional profit.

Trends in High-Value Research Publishing

Beyond transactions – how understanding user behaviour creates competitive advantage

Email me the handbook

From knowing how content is used to understanding its value and context, publishers of high-value research face a number of varied challenges as they look evolve their businesses for the digital economy.

Reduced customer budgets, new and alternative content types and increasing competition from lower cost producers all contribute to an increasingly difficult trading environment through which publisher need to navigate.

In our Trends in High-Value Research Publishing 2019 whitepaper, we explore how B2B publishers should respond to ensure they remain relevant to customers.

We look at the ‘Three Kings’ of research publishing: data, content and context – and examine how publishers should consider each of these from their customers’ viewpoint as part of their move to create the stronger and long-lasting relationships needed to deliver reoccurring revenues and future value.

How a SaaS publishing platform helps research and analysis firms retain clients and increase revenue

The basic way business information firms win trust and turn prospects into customers is through the provision of high-quality research and analysis – but beyond this win, what steps can they take to ensure customers retain their enthusiasm and belief in the service they are being provided?

To put it simply, how does a research and analysis business keep surprising and delighting its customers beyond simply supplying good quality information?

Here at Publish Interactive we work in collaborative partnerships with our research and analysis clients on this very issue. The solution, we’ve found, isn’t complicated – it’s simply a matter of pairing our unique, highly-customizable technology with consultancy tailored to the specific needs of our individual customers.

Improved technology = happier customers

If we look solely at how retention rates can be improved and revenue encouraged upward from your existing customer base, then a technological solution starts to look all the more inviting. Getting more from your existing customers could be as simple as enhancing the way you supply them with information.

Instead of supplying your customers with a PDF report that is time-consuming to read and difficult to extract information from, why not integrate that content into their workflow?

A smart publishing system can turn a whole report into a series of chapters and content snippets that researchers can search through easily. Finding data or analysis only then takes as long as entering a term and clicking the button for the results. Once the researcher has all the necessary information at hand, a smart publishing technology should allow them to compile this content, then author and export their own bespoke reports – all without having to go through lots of tiresome copying and pasting into traditional authoring tools.

Once technology is engrained into a researcher’s workflow in this way, it encourages greater use and further engagement with a publisher’s content. Then, if your technology is good, customers can add comments and share those with colleagues as well as creating quick, custom reports on-the-fly that help fuel day-to-day discussion.

Happier customers = sales potential

When greater engagement (as demonstrated above) is coupled with good search, it can make a publisher’s whole portfolio more visible and useful to customers. Imagine also a search engine that allows you to highlight key, related, or recently published content – that’s a great cross- and up-sell opportunity right there.

Instead of focusing solely on single sales, features like this can encourage multiple report purchases and even makes it easier to introduce a subscription-based model for those researchers that find your platform integral to their day-to-day tasks.

Gaining end user info

The more you’re able to understand about your end users’ interests, the greater your ability to guide them to relevant content – which raises the question: what kind of actionable information can they provide you?

  • Account health – have they logged in recently? Have they left? Who are your ‘at risk’ users?
  • Engagement – what’s their access pattern over time? How much time do they spend on the platform?
    What kind of bounce rate do you get from users? Or from different content sets or formats?
  • What kind of content are they searching for, accessing and downloading?
  • What haven’t they already viewed that could be relevant?
  • How many users have you converted from single sales into subscribers?

Additional publisher benefits

A good publishing system makes life easier for your customers by embedding the content and various access tools they’ll need into the heart of their working day – but benefits of a system like this aren’t exclusively the preserve of your customers.

A high-quality publishing platform should allow easy editing of published content, freeing the author’s time so they can focus on improving quality and generating additional material.

In addition, usage stats should provide valuable information that can be used in customer analysis to further improve content production and marketing promotions.

What about buying-in a solution or in-house development?

It’s likely any business information provider who developed their own publishing system or bought-in software could find improvements to their customer retention and satisfaction rates, but we think they might quickly run into a whole new set of problems.

Here at Content Catalyst we have been developing the Publish Interactive platform for more than 12 years. In fact, that’s all we do! Our every effort is spent constantly refining and improving the way the publishing platform works for our customers, and their users too. But this only really works because of our close collaborative approach. By working directly with our clients we can customize our technology to their specific requirements.

This process of continual refinement comes as part of the package to help keep our customers supplied with the most up-to-date technology possible; but if you were to buy software, or develop it, your firm would continually be managing upgrade projects to stay relevant. That’s expensive, and so is employing a tech team to run it all.

A serviced software solution lets you know your long-term costs, helps you stay at the cutting-edge of technology, and ensures you can win new business.

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

Guide