Five on Friday: Paywalls, Personalization and Top Jobs
Featuring Quartz, Digital River, Ad Exchanger and LinkedIn
Anxious for the Olympics to kick off? Ease your angst with some super subscription ideas and advice. In this week’s edition of Five on Friday, tech giants like Apple and Google are trading licensing revenue for recurring revenue, big brands are slashing advertising budgets in favor of personalization, Digital River explains why customer-centric subscription companies are the most successful, Ad Exchange tells us why paywall strategies are about much more than the bottom line, and LinkedIn shares top subscription jobs.
Tech Giants Trade Licensing Revenue for Recurring Revenue
Thanks to the subscription model, tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google are making their money in new ways – recurring subscription revenue – trading licensing revenue for long-term financial sustainability. According to Quartz, these companies are ‘turning single-time customers into cash cows to be milked all year long.’ That’s a dramatic way to state the reality of this very smart business move.
Rather than counting on one-time product sales or licensing agreements, these tech companies are collecting monthly or yearly revenue to level out the fluctuation of revenue and to create some more predictable revenue that can be leveraged to support future growth.
This is a great deal for companies like Amazon and Google, but it is good for the customer too. In particular, the subscription model for SaaS, IaaS and PaaS affords access to small and medium-sized businesses by reducing the risk and lowering the barriers to entry.
Read more in by Dave Gershgorn and Mike Murphy in ‘Pay As You Go: Tech Companies Are Finding Big Money in Smaller Payments’ on Quartz.com.
Brands Find Personalization More Effective Than Online Ads
Big brands like Chase and Proct3r & Gamble are slashing their digital ad budgets in favor of personalization. According to a recent article by Martech Series, marketers have found that reaching consumers in the right place at the right time with personalized, relevant messages is much more effective.
In a recent article for Martech Series, Mark Smith said that JPMorgan Chase cut its ad budget in 2017 by close to 90 percent and got the same results. In the second quarter of last year, Procter & Gamble reduced its digital ad budget by $100 million to reduce its ineffective ads and said its growth was not impacted.
‘At the end of the day, marketers (like brands) want results, and it’s becoming clear that personalization – not scale – is the best way to get there,’ Smith wrote.
Smith said that results-oriented marketing is a better approach, and brands are still spending on advertising, but they are doing it in different ways. He suggested that publishers pay attention to what consumers are telling them (we don’t want to be marketed to via digital ads) and identify and adapt to consumer preferences instead.
Read more in ‘When it Comes to Ad Blocking, Personalization is the New Scale’ on Martech Series.
Successful Subscription Companies Focus on the Customer
Successful subscription companies focus on the customer, making them their top priority and tailoring their products and services to meet their customers’ needs and desires, said Digital River. In fact, Digital River said, the most effective subscription companies approach things from a customer-centric perspective, tailoring their offerings to match what the customer wants. They offer the following tips for building subscriptions that focus on the customer:
- Subscription products and services must be convenient – easy to find, purchase and use.
- Make your product or service affordable with deals and promotions. In addition to competitive pricing, brands should offer deals and promotions to customers, passing on some of the savings they make by reducing their customer acquisition costs through retention.
- Communicate the benefits of their products and services to customers, so subscribers understand the value they’re receiving.
- Delivery of products and services must be consistent, so employ strong technology solutions to keep things running smoothly.
For more tips like this, read ‘A Customer-Centric Approach to Subscriptions’ by Tim Haycocks at Digital River.
Publishers Should Focus on Identity and Value, Not Paywall, for Long-Term Strategies
For more than a decade, publishers have been grappling with the loss of advertising revenue – print and digital – trying to find a sustainable business model. Many hoped that the growth of digital advertising would make up for the loss of print revenue, but that assumption turned out to be false. To remain afloat, many publishers have gone with a paywall.
Some like the Wall Street Journal have gone with a hard paywall, offering little if any free content, while others like the Washington Post and the New York Times have opted for metered paywalls instead. Alessandro de Zanche believes that paywall strategies are about much more than the bottom line. He explains his theory in a recent article on Ad Exchanger.
De Zanche said many publishers have lost their self-awareness and identity, so they are often focused on the bottom line than they are on who they are, what they provide and their unique selling proposition. To be truly successful, de Zanche said publishers must have a strong identity and a solid strategy to engage and bond with their audiences. Publishers also can’t just take someone else’s model and assume it is going to work. They need to really test what will work for them in terms of audience, content, etc.
Read more in ‘A Publisher’s Paywall Strategy is about More than the Bottom Line’ on Ad Exchanger.
LinkedIn: Top Subscription Jobs
Manager, Subscription Growth Strategy
The New York Times
New York City, NY
You will shape the next phase of our growth. As Manager, Subscription Growth Strategy, you will master the underlying drivers of the business to identify strategic opportunities that increase our subscriber base and consumer revenue. Given your analytical capabilities, you will make data-driven decisions to: determine our bundling and merchandising strategy; identify key audience groups, set growth targets and track our progress; and identify and develop business cases for other new initiatives across digital and home delivery. Read more.
SaaS Account Executive
We are seeking a dynamic and goal oriented Account Executive with proven new business development experience to join our growing, collaborative POLITICO Pro team. The ideal candidate is comfortable conducting meetings and demonstrations with senior-level executives, while managing a robust pipeline. This person will meet and exceed revenue goals to help our team drive growth and expansion for POLITICO Pro. Read more.
Analytics Manager, Business & Marketing
In this role, you are responsible for developing the direction of business and marketing analytics for Apple Music. You will manage the priorities, goals, and delivery for a team of data product managers and analysts. The team provides reporting and insights to drive action across Apple Music subscriber growth, commercial programs, and marketing. Read more.
Senior Director of Marketing & Demand Generation
EVERFI is seeking a strong marketing leader with a proven track record of building and managing multi-channel marketing teams. The Senior Director of Marketing will be responsible for leading the financial services lead generation team, and play a critical role across digital marketing -- SEO, content marketing, email, and paid advertising -- as well as field, direct mail, and outbound marketing strategies. Read more.
Product Marketing Specialist
Los Angeles, CA
As a Product Marketing Specialist, you’ll develop, implement and manage initiatives that help us acquire new customers as well as provide maximum value to existing users. This position plays a crucial role, fully owning end-to-end campaign management of various lifecycle marketing programs across multiple channels from pre-production to development, execution, testing and reporting. We’re a lean team that operate in a rapidly evolving industry. As such, we pride ourselves on building a culture made up of motivated individuals who aren’t set in their ways and always find themselves asking “What else can I do?” rather than simply settling. We’re looking for someone who knows how to strike the perfect blend of creativity and data-driven marketing. Read more.