“We need more repeatable revenues.” Practically every media owner I speak to is focussed on driving higher ticket, subscription propositions, as advertising continues to be volatile.
And most are exploring data-driven, digitally delivered intelligence products, sold into organisations that want multiple logins for their team.
But this is a very different discipline to providing industry news and comment and running events and conferences.
If you are contemplating building an intelligence product here’s what I have learned from speaking to dozens of leading media businesses who are developing premium subscription propositions.
1. Collaborate with customers from the start
Smart organisations gather a group of customers when their new product is just an idea, interview them to identify pain points and needs, and then produce a prototype. Then they get feedback and iterate until they know they have a product that adds value.
2. User experience is as important as the content
Intelligence products have to be easy and intuitive to use, and match subscriber’s workflow and view of the world.
3. Media brands add value by making sense of data
If you don’t launch an intelligence product, there is a risk that a competitor will. It is remarkably easy to gather data-sets and build a digital product. But the gold dust added by an experienced and insightful editorial team is the interpretation and insight that makes sense of data.
4. Add personalisation to prompt usage and multiple users
Finding ways for users to personalise their dashboard, via filters, to do lists, calendars, starts to get the product into their workflow and means they are more reluctant to share logins.
5. Encourage exports of content and sharing to spread the word
Make it easy for users to export content and share with colleagues and clients. So long as the source is labelled it can only encourage greater use.
6. Peer networking is a crucial part of value
Interviews, profiles, Q&As and directories of movers and shakers in the industry are always appealing. And media businesses can add on events and networking for subscribers that facilitate face to face contacts.
7. Keep customers involved in product enhancements
Create an advisory board of your best customers and let them lead your product development.
8. Offer demos, training, support as usage drives renewals
Provide plenty of online demos, personalised training and support for all users. The more they understand the platform the more they will use it, which builds the case for renewals.
9. Monitor analytics to spot low usage and tackle it early
Low usage is an early warning of risk on renewals. Spotting it a few months in advance through analytics means you have time to offer more training and support to get it back on track.
10. Arm sales teams with testimonials
Direct quotes from competitors, or better still, video testimonials, will make your sales teams task so much easier.
If you are in the process of planning, developing or enhancing a premium data and intelligence product and would like to learn more about best practice in this field, please get in touch for an initial conversation.
About the author:
Carolyn Morgan has over twenty years experience launching, growing, buying and selling specialist media businesses across print, digital and live events. Carolyn now advises publishers large and small on their digital strategy and writes and speaks on digital publishing strategy.