Will you prioritize upgrading the tools that will save you time, money, and your future?
“You live and die by your ability to prioritize. You must focus on the most important, mission-critical tasks each day and night, and then share, delegate, delay or skip the rest.” Those are the wise words of Jessica Jackley, co-founder of the successful micro-loan startup, Kiva. And Eli Broad, 185th wealthiest person in the world, and the only person we know of who has built two Fortune 500 companies in two different industries confirms prioritizing and delegating simply isn’t done enough. “The inability to delegate is one of the biggest problems I see with managers at all levels,” says Broad.
When a publisher comes to us, they’re most often looking for a blueprint and a plan for turning their single print publication into a multiplatform website and suite of products. A big part of this process is prioritization, and determining what can be delegated.
But a huge part that legacy publishers tend to forget, because they’re sinking in the quicksand of the janky old content management systems, is that automation can cost-effectively remove much of your delegation woes. And what needs to be delegated can be streamlined using less man hours by simply upgrading old tools.
Let’s take a look back. When we launched the Mequoda CXMS for a craft magazine publisher several years ago, their circulation had been in a slow decline for almost a decade. At their height they had 100k paid circulation, but by the time they came to us they were down to 85k. They were profitable still, but clearly heading in the wrong direction.
It’s the same old story we always hear. Newsstand sales were down, which lead to a decrease in insert cards in the newsstands, and their direct mail program had been reduced by about 60% from 10 years earlier.
They weren’t clueless though, in fact far from it. They knew that they were willing to spend $35 to get a new subscriber to a $35 product. They would spend first-year profitability and on a spend of $320,000 over the course of five years, they were making money on user revenues around $385,000. So they were profitable. It’s not unusual for a publisher to use this cutoff on spending to make back what you’ll earn in renewals.
Now enter the Mequoda System built with our Haven Nexus CXMS, and 5 years later they’re not doing direct mail at all. In fact, they’re now generating more than 20,000 new subscriptions annually at less than what they were spending on direct mail in the past. Over that same 5 year period it reversed the decline and circulation is now at 125,000, an all time high, which is higher than their 110,000 from before. Marketing spend has been reduced in half to $180,000, while user revenues doubled to $735,000. So costs are down and profits are up.
The only major change they made was moving to a Mequoda System. The system gave them and their team the structure, while consulting with us gave them the roadmap and discipline to use their system to its fullest. With their cost savings on direct mail, our craft publisher allocated 40% of their savings to a new product line, and now 39% of their revenue is magazine subscriptions, while the rest is diversified into other products like events, books and sponsorships. They’re generating 1.1 million in product and sponsorship sales when neither revenue stream even existed before. All in, they’re generating about $1.8 million on a $450,000 spend.
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How to build a CXMS
The modern customer experience management system typically includes dozens of components or subsystems. For a legacy business, many of these components already exist and must be integrated into a larger system that consolidates all content, customer information and marketing programs into a single platform where data is shared in real time.
To benefit not only the user, but also your team, a CXMS should intend to be the singular portal you use to manage publishing, promotion, and products and payments. Instead of managing dozens of software components with multiple logins, users, and interfaces, a CXMS should provide your team with a singular user experience.
While each customer experience management system is unique, most stop at web, email and social media as the primary platforms for marketing and communications. These platforms are highly cost-effective and relatively easy to integrate with each other. However we think a true CXMS should proceed to connect other existing system components such as payment processing, customer service and logistics. In total, a customer experience management system encompasses:
- Customer databases
- Content databases
- Customer experience databases (UX databases)
Communication and gateway components
- Web servers and gateways
- Email servers and gateways
- Social gateways
- Advertising servers and networks
Commerce and fulfillment components
- Payment processing systems and gateways
- Entitlement systems and gateways
- Logistics systems and gateways
- Customer service systems and gateways
- Transaction tables and databases
- Financial reports
- Marketing reports
- Management dashboards
- Customer profiles
Over the past two decades, the Mequoda consulting team has worked with more than 300 niche media brands to help them grow their audience, revenue and profits. It all starts with a no obligation phone call with my partner Kim Mateus and I to talk about your marketplace and your publication to see if the Mequoda CXMS is a good fit for you. There’s no obligation and no cost.