In High-Value B2B Research Publishing, Understanding User Behavior Creates Competitive Advantage

This is a guest blog post from Edwin Bailey, director of strategy, at Publish Interactive.

Increased competition from lower cost producers, reduced customer budgets and new and alternative content types all contribute to an increasingly difficult trading environment for publishers of high-value B2B research.

The high-value market research industry has been slow to embrace the opportunity presented by new technology and is only just waking up to the possibilities presented by digital publishing – so, how should they respond to ensure they stay relevant to customers?

The digital shift

Some firms have already shifted away from a traditional ‘transactional’ model based around single copy sales and adopt new technology to power subscriptions. The reason they have done this is because for those businesses keen to prosper in the digital world, change is necessary.

The biggest opportunity open to publishers is the potential application of new technology to create convenient, new services that deliver exactly what their customers need. However, Creating and delivering services of this kind will require publishers to first establish a much better understanding of their customers.

So, how do they do that?

Data, content and context

In its whitepaper Beyond transactions – How understanding user behaviour creates competitive advantage, Publish Interactive explains why publishers need to look hard the ‘three kings’ of research publishing: data, content and context – and consider each from the point of view of the customer.

Publish Interactive helps deliver and monetise content through a software platform that offers authoring and workflow tools, licensing and subscriber management and usage analytics. As such, it’s well placed to help high-value B2B research publishers understand the challenges facing their industry, remain relevant and excel.

The whitepaper suggest how publishers can ask questions about their own businesses – and those of their customers – to create competitive advantage for each. Every high-value B2B research publisher looking to understand its customers better, it says, needs to ask itself key five questions:

1.       Where is my content, how are my customers using it, and why?

2.       Are we really providing original opinion or insight?

3.       What is the user experience (UX) of our customers?

4.       How can our content be intermeshed with technology and consumer workflows?

5.       Can we unify our multiple content sources?

Gain understanding

Once it has gathered its responses, a publisher will know its business far more thoroughly. Establishing a better level of user understanding will, in turn, help the publisher create a competitive advantage by knowing what customers need and how and when they need it.

From here, a publisher can create services and delivery systems that respond to changes in the way customers want to access, engage and consume research content. This will help them establish long-lasting relationships and continue to deliver reoccurring revenues and future value to customers.


To find out more about how Publish Interactive is helping innovate the research publishing sector, please click here.

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