A new INMA report turns to the revenue opportunities of B2B subscriptions, a new opportunity for publishers looking to diversify reader revenue business models.
The Growing Promise of B2B in Media’s Reader Revenue Model looks at the differences in consumer vs. B2B subscription strategies, steps to selling B2B subscriptions, and how newsmedia companies are catering their subscription offers to corporations.
“Selling to a consumer is about persuasion, which is not how you approach a business,” says researcher-in-residence Greg Piechota. “You need to educate them about the product and what value it offers. You may need to be sort of an advisor, teaching them the best ways to use it.”
Paula Felps, Ideas Blog editor at INMA and lead author on the report, talked to Piechota, as well as B2B leads at the UK-based Financial Times, Insider, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times in the US, Schibsted in Norway and Sweden, and Nikkei in Japan.
Among the report’s takeaways are that B2B subscription campaigns must be created to factor in the way businesses buy, which is vastly different from consumer purchases.
-Engagement-based pricing structures can be successful.
-The sales funnel for B2B customers differs dramatically from the business-to-consumer (B2C) funnel, so publishers must develop strategies for each one.
-Partnerships with the right companies can yield a win for the company, the publisher, and the reader — if structured properly.
-Tailoring subscriptions to the needs of the individual organisation is an effective way to encourage engagement and renewals.
-Using existing core strengths, whether they are for a local or international audience, can be a successful starting point.
-Positioning the subscription as an employee benefit — like a gym membership or insurance — can be a successful model.
-Webinars directed toward the business community is another way to attract new customers.
The Growing Promise of B2B in Media’s Reader Revenue Model is free to INMA members and can be purchased by non-members. For complete information and to download or purchase, click here.
“B2B has huge uncovered potential,” Siri Holstad Johannessen, head of sales and marketing at Schibsted, told INMA for the report. Piechota agrees: “I think this is about diversifying and using the opportunities (publishers) have available to them,” he says.
“For general news publishers, there might not be any other way for them to scale than to go after bulk acquisitions.”