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

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

A Change of Mindset

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

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

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

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

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

We explore what tactics you can employ to increase PAV:

Sell Analyst Time

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

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

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

Offer Consulting Deliverables

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

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

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

Specialist Data Provisions

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

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

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

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

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

Workshops + Training

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

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

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

Increase PAV, Increase Value Prop

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

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

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

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

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

How analyst firms can use subscriber feedback and behavioural data to optimise information discovery journeys

Understanding how to include end-user feedback and behavioural data in the development of information discovery tools is vital for publishers looking to increase engagement and provide true value to subscribers.

Market analysis providers are waking up to the integral role customers play across content strategy and delivery formulation – particularly in relation to tools that aid efficient information discovery.

Discovery tools, such as taxonomy and category trees, workflow tools, and search, are designed to reduce time to discovery – a metric denoting the time it takes for readers to locate, gather, and re-use specific information.

So, where can market analysis providers find customer insight to improve these tools and reduce time to discovery?

  • The qualitative route: driven by Customer Success (CS) activity. CS teams should regularly check in with customers, inform them of new developments (and future releases planned on your product roadmap), and demo new developments to gauge feedback.
  • The quantitative route: data is gathered using analytics tools which track user behaviour. Taking the time to unpack and analyse data reveals true subscriber behaviour and uncovers areas of your information discovery system requiring improvement.

A blend of ‘human’ customer success-generated insights and data-driven analysis of subscriber behaviour provides a clear picture of the steps needed to create an efficient information discovery system within your content delivery platform.

Read on as we examine:

  • How to incorporate these two information sources into the development and configuration of your delivery system’s discovery tools
  • What metrics to keep an eye on to minimise time-to-discovery
  • The internal structures needed to ensure customer feedback plays a central role in discovery feature development.
Understanding subscriber usage is key to developing efficient information discovery tools

Taxonomy

Your category tree is the backbone of your content portfolio. Without it, your library would be an unnavigable jumble of reports and datasets, leaving subscribers with little option but to manually scroll through content and hope they come across the right title.

Taxonomies bring structure to content and improve the end-user experience, so their formation requires a significant level of feedback.

Andrew Woods, our in-house content expert at Content Catalyst, suggests that subscribers need practical use of your taxonomy to gather feedback. When they’re using your site, you can see how they discover content and what’s hindering their information discovery journeys.

“If searches are culminating in subscribers not finding content that’s useful to them, this indicates that your category tree needs tweaking. You may also need to educate end-users to ensure they know how to navigate your category tree correctly”, said Andrew.

Andrew is the creator of the ‘5 steps to taxonomy mastery’ (see right-hand box) – a collaborative framework he recommends to all new customers of Publish Interactive when mapping out their category tree:

5 steps to taxonomy mastery:

  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. Following this, you should analyse data embedded in your content delivery platform and conduct user research.
  5. Launch: amend taxonomy and go live. Book a second review point between 6 and 12 months after launch.

Key user metrics & behaviour to monitor:

  • Number of enquiries sent to Customer Success (CS) team from lost/dissatisfied customers (Help Desk/customer service line)
  • The average time it takes a user to locate a report (Usage analytics)
  • Number of user sessions that ended with no report access (Usage analytics)

Workflow

In contrast to the era of flat PDF delivery, market analysis providers can no longer serve up useful content and immediately produce satisfied subscribers. Content must also fit into a well-planned, thoroughly tested workflow process to provide true value.

When crafting a customer-centric workflow process, catch-up calls with your CS team are a crucial starting point. Use these calls to understand how subscribers access and repurpose content and where perceived inefficiencies lie.

If, for example, customers are struggling to create custom cuts of your reports to re-use in their PowerPoint presentations, this information should be fed back to your product development team, ready for implementation in later development cycles. If multiple accounts raise similar complaints, elevate the development’s urgency.

Careful analysis of usage data will also provide evidence of inefficiencies. Metrics like report reading time reveal whether your workflow tools allow readers to efficiently find information.

Your subscribers are busy, time-poor businesspeople. Internally, set a benchmark for the optimum time spent on a report. Then, with feedback from customers, identify the features causing delays and aim to fix these in later development cycles.

As an example of a fluid, end-user-oriented workflow process, the framework below shows how Publish Interactive users find and repurpose information.

Implement a fluid workflow model – underpinned by intuitive workflow and information discovery tools – and your subscribers will achieve their tasks in record time.

Key user metrics & behaviour to monitor:

  • Average time spent reading reports – adjust depending on report length. This could be as simple an equation as 5 minutes of reading time per 1000 words. (Usage analytics)
  • Average session length – once you implement the new workflow process, is there a marked reduction in time spent in-platform? (Usage analytics)
  • Customer satisfaction compared to the previous workflow system. (Customer survey / feedback in CS catch up calls)

Search

Underpinning any successful workflow process is powerful search. Search functionality is so highly valued that clients have cancelled entire global subscriptions if employees cannot quickly and intuitively find the information they need, meaning subscriber feedback on search quality and the structuring of returns is integral.

Search configuration and UX can lead you down a rabbit hole as the value of filters, weighting, and exact terms/phrases are highly subjective.

Before launching new search UX/functionality, task key subscriber accounts with sense checking the results a few example queries return. This could, for example, be the account’s most regular search. Identify the differences between the new returns and the old. Is the new structuring of returns more useful?

If your previous search functionality only searched by report title, rather than a granular sweeping of every word of your content portfolio, have confidence that the increased specificity will benefit your subscribers. If you’re fine-tuning or testing a new search configuration, be more cautious and receptive to feedback.

Once live, usage data is key for determining the effectiveness of your search functionality.

Key search metrics & behaviour to monitor:

  • Number of searches culminating in no result returns (Usage analytics)
  • Number of reports clicked through to upon running a search (Usage analytics)
  • Average user session length (Usage analytics)
  • Number of enquiries sent to the CS team from lost customers (Help Desk/customer service line)
  • Feedback from customer demos / example search tasks set to clients (CS team)

Analyse and Listen

Like in any healthy relationship, communication is key. Listen carefully to your customers’ opinions and feedback. Combine this with careful analysis of user behaviour and your information discovery tools will soon significantly reduce that all important metric: time to discovery.

Reduce time to discovery of business-critical information and you will soon see a return in improved engagement, renewals, and revenue.

Tags

  • Analytics
  • End-user workflow
  • User Journey

Related Content

How MarketResearch.com grew user numbers after implementing SSO for enterprise customers

MRDC

MarketResearch.com (MRDC) activated Single Sign-on (SSO) for a corporate client, doubling the account’s active users, increasing the value of their service, and significantly boosting customer engagement.

MarketResearch.com (MRDC) is a distribution service for over 400 publishers and a publisher of market research insights. They leverage Publish Interactive technology in their publishing division to offer subscription access to their various brands, including Freedonia Group, Freedonia Focus Reports, Packaged Facts, and Simba Information. Their clients are corporate entities, generally with a broad interest in the overall collection from one of the brands.

Password prompts prevent easy access to content

Username and password prompts interrupt the user journey and present a potential barrier to accessing services. While modern browsers help the user by saving log-in credentials, passwords are inevitably forgotten or expire.

If subscribers successfully enter their password the first time, they will complete their task unimpeded. However, if they forget their password, it may take several attempts, and even a password reset to access an application.

“Any time there is a barrier to accessing something, it reduces the likelihood that we use it,” says Ned Zimmerman, Director, Technical Publishing Operations & Analytical Support at MRDC. “Most of our clients’ users are not in our platform on a daily basis, so remembering their username/password becomes more of an issue.”

SSO reduces the likelihood of a user forgetting their log-in credentials and abandoning their task. For publishers like MRDC, SSO diminishes the barriers users face when researching and collating information, resulting in their content becoming increasingly embedded in end-user workflows and integral to the completion of business-critical tasks.

MRDC SSO
How MRDC customers access content before and after SSO implementation

Simplified password management with SSO

With SSO enabled, employees of an organisation need just one username and password to access all applications for which they have permission.

For example, an employee who needs access to four applications during their working day must go through four separate log-in sequences. With SSO, they need just one set of log-in credentials to access all four services.

MRDC implemented SSO for a corporate client to simplify password administration and improve security while making it easier for subscribers to access research products. In the first months after activation, active user figures doubled. They also significantly boosted the client’s engagement with the platform and increased the value the client receives.

SSO Graph
Graph showing the number of users accessing MRDC's Knowledge Center before and after SSO implementation

“Not only did we make it easier for new users to gain access to the service, but we also made it easier for existing users to reach the content as well,” reveals Ned. “For us, we have an additional value proposition we can offer our clients when they consider our services, and we have more client engagement, which then smooths the renewal process.”

 “We now have an additional value proposition we can offer our clients when they consider our services, and we have more client engagement, which then smooths the renewal process.”

 

Ned Zimmerman
Director, Technical Publishing Operations & Analytical Support
MarketResearch.com

SSO Integration

To integrate SSO with Publish Interactive technology, the client must already use this service within their organisation. We support OAuth SSO via Okta and Azure Active Directory. Ned concludes: “We have other services where we have also implemented SSO and working with the Publish Interactive team we were able to add this without too much difficulty.”

Some of the benefits of SSO for publishers of market analysis include:

  • Frictionless account access allows users to get more value from subscriptions by embedding content seamlessly into end-user workflows.
  • Provides a superior sign-in experience for subscribers by reducing or eliminating sign-in prompts.
  • Strengthens publishers’ value propositions, resulting in improved client engagement and renewal rates.
  • Limits the reuse of usernames and passwords across apps to reduce the risk of security breaches.

Tags

  • End-user workflow
  • Technology
  • User Journey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Extensive industry experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Build trust and account-wide buy-in

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

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

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

3. Deliver personalised content

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

Your subscribers need personalised, tailored content packages.

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

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

Devin Holland

Director of Business Development, The Science & Medicine Group

4. Deliver timely insights

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

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

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

5. Understand your subscribers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Extensive industry experience

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

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

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

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

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

Read customer stories with our other tech analyst partners here:

2. Build trust and account-wide buy-in

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

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

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

3. Deliver personalised content

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

VR Headset

Your subscribers need personalised, tailored content packages.

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

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

Kiran Shah

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

4. Deliver timely insights

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

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

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

5. Understand your subscribers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Extensive industry experience

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

Matt DaPrato

Matt DaPrato, Product Suite Director, Wood Mackenzie

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

2. Build trust and account-wide buy-in

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

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

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

3. Deliver personalised content

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

They need personalised, tailored content packages.Wind Turbines

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

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

Matt DaPrato

Product Suite Director, Wood Mackenzie

4. Deliver timely insights

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

Cooling Tower

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

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

5. Understand your subscribers

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

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

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

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

Instant Access, Instant Results – how TGaS transformed engagement across their life science industry reports

Using Publish Interactive’s Instant Access links, TGaS Advisors offers their member network frictionless access to the latest research, increasing user engagement and sales opportunities.

TGAS

TGaS Advisors, a division of Trinity Life Sciences, is the leading benchmarking and advisory services firm for commercial organizations in the life sciences industry. With a roster of top 50, emerging and precommercial life sciences companies, TGaS provides robust comparative intelligence and collaborative network membership services. The team includes more than 60 experienced professionals, most with senior-level experience in the life sciences and related industries.
TGaS provides research and surveying advice through market analysis reports called ‘Landscape Studies’ and ‘VHows’– short-form content pieces that deliver critical insight through survey data.

TGaS Advisors compiles business-critical content covering key life sciences issues by aggregating data taken from surveys of their international member network of industry professionals. Members suggest ideas for studies to TGaS who then “build and create a short survey with clients,” explains Jill Campanella, Associate Product Manager of Executive Commercial Operations at TGaS.

The member network then anonymously partakes in the surveys for access to the results, known as VHows. It is a decidedly communal method of content creation and the firm’s former method of content delivery reflected this collective mindset.

Until recently, VHows were emailed to members by TGaS analysts as PDFs. This process was key for survey participants as they expected ungated access to the content they contributed to.

Despite the minimal barrier to end-users accessing VHows, TGaS discovered the limitations of PDF delivery meant that it was impossible to track content usage, and due to a login barrier, members were less likely to enter the Insights Portal which contains all of TGaS’ published member content.

The TGaS team wanted to monitor reader analytics but was reluctant to force members to log in to access the VHows, so continued to rely on email delivery. This resulted in a clunky reading experience for end-users and reduced engagement with the wider library of content.

Screenshot of TGaS Advisors insights portal

The TGaS Insights Reports Platform Homepage

Unlocking the gate to expose the full breadth of content

This posed the challenge: how could TGaS implement a system capable of replicating the ungated access email delivery affords while also driving users to their Insights Portal? The solution lay in Publish Interactive’s Instant Access technology which, as Ms. Campanella and her team discovered, meant “there was no barrier to the portal anymore.” With a small amount of custom coding TGaS streamlined the distribution of instant access links which allows recipients “to hop over” the password.

Bypassing this initial log-in has created the frictionless VHow distribution experience that TGaS has been striving for; one where content usage is clear without sacrificing any accessibility and where TGaS’ industry expertise is demonstrated by giving users exposure to the portal.

As the central repository of TGaS’ research content, exposure to the Insights Portal is vital for maximising the client’s value. Sending standalone, siloed content out to members was not exhibiting their full breadth of research. “Now, clients are getting more value because not only are they getting a link to that VHow, but then they are in the portal and can easily log in to browse around, so it’s elevating the visibility of the TGaS Insights Portal and enhancing the value our clients get from that technology,” says Ms. Campanella.

“Now, clients are getting more value because they are in the portal and can easily login to browse around, so it’s elevating the visibility of the TGaS Insights Portal and enhancing the value our clients get from that technology”

Jill Campanella
Jill Campanella
Associate Product Manager of Executive Commercial Operations
TGaS Advisors

Proactive membership building

Improved accessibility also led to increasing numbers of users in the portal itself. TGaS is proactively adding new users who are in the professional network but not active portal members. Ms. Campanella explains: “Previously our workflow didn’t identify people that weren’t portal users. We were just sending the VHows out and then we had the self-registration process, so there was a gap. Now we’re getting and building more of a user base in the portal which is helping more people get value from the membership.”

In addition to exposure to TGaS’ full content portfolio, added value comes in the form of the enhanced reading experience. Users now take advantage of powerful in-platform workflow tools and search, allowing them to find and re-purpose pertinent information quickly and easily – tools that are unavailable with standard PDF delivery.

Summarising TGaS’ experience with Instant Access technology, Ms. Campanella concludes: “it’s really a win-win for us – it’s good for our clients and it’s good for us.”

Key benefits of TGaS’ use of Instant Access technology

  1. Improved content engagement due to the superior reading experience on the TGaS Insights Portal compared to standard PDF delivery.
  2. More members accessing the Insights Portal due to the improved accessibility of the VHows.
  3. Easier for members to discover the full breadth of TGaS content, which boosts client engagement.

Tags

  • Content Management
  • Subscription Renewals
  • User Journey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

User-Oriented Solution

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

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

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

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

Adaptable pricing and packaging strategy

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

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

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

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

Mitali Mookerjee

Managing Director at Publish Interactive

Think monthly, not annually

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

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

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

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

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

Five SaaS management techniques for publishers

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

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

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

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

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

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

How publishers can create personalised user journeys using flexible licensing technology

Flexible licensing technology is now crucial for publishers looking to create highly targeted, tailored user journeys.

Managing customer access rights to high-value content used to be inflexible, insecure, and impersonal.

Broad ‘all or nothing’ packages were the sole purchasing option for prospective customers and publishers relied on the trustworthiness of their subscribers to abide by licence terms. However, technology now enables B2B publishers to offer secure, highly flexible licenses to help convert trialists to subscribers, drive upsell opportunities and create dynamic, tailored content bundles.

Fuelling this shift is the adoption of content delivery platforms and specialised licensing technology capable of delivering highly flexible, adaptable systems of access management. Advanced content licensing systems create seamless user journeys for customers – both prospective and existing – with clear upgrade paths to expanding the breadth of their licenses and subscriptions if implemented correctly.

Licenses can now be granted for content as granular as a single report section, function on a time-sensitive basis or control access to certain content formats, such as the often-sensitive underlying data behind charts and graphs.

The specificity available is transforming how publishers sell their content, revolutionising the way subscribers interact with market analysis and facilitating an automated, personalised user journey.

Trial access

The first stage of the user journey is invariably the trial stage – a stage often possible, but with fewer options available, on outdated content delivery methods but now commonplace and highly adaptable to individual user requirements.

Time-limited trials can be created for new prospects visiting and browsing a publisher’s website for the first time or for existing customers looking to expand their current content packages. Consequently, publishers deploy trials as a form of lead gen for new prospects and as one facet of the customer success process.

Granting existing subscribers free access to content outside of their subscriptions is a powerful way of strengthening client relationships and demonstrates the value of a publisher’s content as the breadth of relevant analysis available to users is displayed. Aside from benefits related to customer success, there are also clear commercial benefits. Encouraging fee increases as subscribers become dependent on temporary trial-access content naturally leads to additional subscription module purchases.

Track & trace

Considering the new user journey again, it is important to note how trial accounts can be marketed to as they navigate through the platform.

Once new users have created an account and log in as part of their trial, they will browse through a publisher’s digital content offering, discover content from across their portfolio and have access restricted to any reports or datasets outside of their limited trial license . As this restriction of access occurs, user behaviour is tracked to create personalised marketing and unique special offers for these trial accounts, encouraging a full subscription purchase.

The dual forces of licensing and analytics, working together to manage accessible content, track user behaviour, and feed this behavioural data into marketing, is a powerful strategy for progressing triallists to paying subscribers.

 

How licensing and analytics work together to support trial progression

User-specific content packages

Once the trial is over, the triallist has a decision to make: to purchase a subscription or to look elsewhere for business-critical analysis.

If the decision is to purchase, this is where advanced licensing technology really comes to the fore.

Content delivery platforms and specialist licensing systems can now segment content and create highly tailored subscription packages based on the new subscriber’s exact requirements.

With the ability to grant access to individual chapters in reports or whole libraries of content and manage the length of time users have access to products, the possibilities for both publishers and subscribers to create customised content programmes are endless.

Futuresource Consulting, a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting firm, faced the challenge of working with a ten-year-old system, which made it ‘difficult to change licenses’. However, after adopting Publish Interactive with its advanced access management features, this changed. James Edwards, Marketing Executive at Futuresource, summarised the improvements to their access management capabilities by explaining, ‘the flexibility it offers, in terms of the ability to create different unique access rights, is game-changing’.

Following the integration of CRM or eCommerce software, licenses can be granted without any salesperson or account manager involvement.  The journey from an initial website visit with limited access to freemium content to a fully-fledged subscriber can therefore be entirely automated if integrations are implemented correctly.

“The flexibility Publish Interactive offers, in terms of the ability to create different unique access rights, is game-changing”

James Edwards

Marketing Executive at Futuresource Consulting

How B2B publishers use software integrations to enhance customer experience

Integrations are essential for B2B publishers wanting to deliver information to their subscribers in a timely, coherent manner.

How do we define integration? Fundamentally, it is the process of bringing together two pieces of software into a single, holistic system to solve issues with siloed data and isolated platforms.

It is a process present in almost all digital platforms, websites, and applications – and the world of B2B publishing is, of course, no exception.

For publishers, the rewards associated with 3rd party (often SaaS) integrations include richer engagement and simpler interactions with subscribers, a seamless user journey between platforms and the streamlining of authoring, editorial and commercial processes. Essentially, it is a process designed to enhance the quality and usability of a publisher’s digital offering and make life easier for both the publisher and their subscribers.

But in practice, what integrations can B2B publishers implement and in what ways can these enrich the customer experience and meet business goals?

Phased approach

The simplest, quickest, and most cost-effective form of integration is the addition of a link or button that connects a publisher’s marketing website to their research library and gives customers access to the informative content, intuitive workflow tools and interactive features available in their portal.

The flexibility of integration affords the option of quickly launching a content portal with a simple integration. Later, connections with the marketing website can be deepened as business conditions permit.

These deeper connections include integrations with CRM systems, eCommerce plugins, analytics dashboards, and marketing automation software, which, if done right, will work together to create a frictionless, seamless reading experience for the end-user and an intuitive administrative process for the publisher.

Mark Chadwick, Product Manager at Publish Interactive elaborates, “Integrations help to remove time-consuming manual tasks that often cause a delay in users getting the information they need. For example, an integration that automatically applies a license to a report or subscription as the customer makes a purchase means the customer can access the data and insights straight away. Or, if usage data is integrated into a CRM account, managers can understand a customer’s engagement level, without having to look elsewhere”.

One customer that successfully integrated its CRM system with Publish Interactive is Everest Group. The IT and engineering services research firm seamlessly integrates with Salesforce to ensure individual users were provided with relevant content access in an efficient manner.

Open, easily navigable content

Implementing a cohesive suite of software integrations also provides a flexible content delivery framework for both the end-user and the publisher.

For example, deeper integration between the marketing and content delivery platforms enables users to search for content on either site. Depending on the publisher requirements, the search functionality can then either direct users to product landing pages on their content portal or to product pages on their website. Metadata for individual products can be stored on a secured content platform and extracted with an API to populate product pages on an SEO-optimised marketing website.

“Integrations help to remove time-consuming manual tasks that often cause a delay in users getting the information they need.”

Mark Chadwick

Product Owner at Publish Interactive

Publishers can also provide access to their research library without the need for registration. Gated, premium content can be created and uploaded within a framework for those without a subscription so prospective customers can understand the depth and complexity of the publisher’s offering. This open site model gives publishers two options: allow new users to search first then ask for registration once they have found relevant content available for purchase or take prospective customers to their registration page prior to enabling search.

If CRM or eCommerce systems are integrated into this process, the user journey from an initial website visit with limited access to ‘freemium’ content to a fully-fledged subscriber should be a seamless one without the need for either sales personnel or account managers to manually grant access to these new users.

This flexibility creates fluidity between these integrated platforms, allowing publishers to test different content delivery processes and decide on the most suitable one for their business needs.

SSO access

As users move between these two interconnected platforms, there must be an integrated, unified identification tool ensuring users are securely and seamlessly travelling between the two sites.

Single sign-on (SSO) is a user authentication service that enables customers to access related, yet still independent web applications using just one set of login credentials and allows for frictionless navigation across an organisation’s digital offering. If a publisher has more than one website, or already uses a CRM system as the single point of customer truth, then SSO is recommended.

Tom Gibbs, Director of Operations at Publish Interactive expands on this point: “SSO ensures ease of access, whilst Publish Interactive’s extensive suite of APIs allow publishers to create, manage, market and provision content through specialist CRMs, marketing automation platforms and CMS”.

The key benefits of integration:

  • Branding continuity across all online assets
  • Cross and upsell opportunities within the platform
  • A seamless user journey across websites
  • A platform for premium content
  • Quick and simple functionality for new content
  • Offers a phased development approach

Examples of Publish Interactive’s API integrations

INTEGRATION WITHOBJECTIVE
ILLUSTRATIVE BENEFITSEXAMPLE 3RD PARTY INTEGRATION
EDITORIAL & RESEARCH
Survey dataDisplay survey data & charts alongside textual analysis.Diversify content offeringMarketsight
Content Management SystemEasily manage, access, & publish web-based content.Streamline the authoring, production and editorial workflowKentico
MANAGEMENT/IT
Login systemsProvide a seamless user journey between different platforms.Enhance the user experienceOkta
Analytics DashboardsTrack content usage.Understand subscriber usage
Data-driven planning of future publications
Google Analytics
MARKETING & SALES
eCommerceAllow customers to make purchases of reports or datasets without having to contact a salesperson or account manager.Increase new business opportunitiesWordpress
CRM systemEnable sales & account management teams to manage customer access.Manage subscriber licensing
Work on upsell / cross sell opportunities
Hubspot
Salesforce
MarketingAutomate marketing operations & connect with existing marketing site.Promote published content
Drive new business opportunities
Marketo

Becoming a subscriber-first market analysis provider

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

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