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

  • March 8th, 2016

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 Publish Interactive we have been developing the iReports 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.

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