In the same way that it’s not a good idea to use your CRM to manage your products or your ERP to store customer interactions, in most instances storing customer data or financial data in a Subscription Product Catalogue is unnecessary. However, a Subscription Product Catalogue is not merely a Product Information Management (PIM) tool adapted to subscriptions. Just like a PIM, you should be able to store subscription product descriptions, images, attributes… But as mentioned in previous chapters, subscriptions are different in that typically you don’t have multiple products.
Whether you are selling mobile data subscriptions, streaming services, media content or energy supply, you fundamentally have one product to package, bundle or discount in myriads of ways. Therefore, if a Subscription Product Catalogue was only a PIM tool, it wouldn’t be very useful.
Here we introduce the concept of Campaigns and Offers. A campaign is an effort which marketers use to acquire and convert prospects or retain, cross-sell or upsell subscribers with a combination of standard and promotional offers.
Campaigns and offers are the ‘how' of what you sell. A campaign may be evergreen, for example, a default campaign with a set of standard offers permanently available across channels - in other words, the list price. A campaign may also be a time-bound, channel-specific, segment-discrete offer. For example, a promotional campaign for lapsed subscribers which will be retargeted via email and social media channels especially for the Easter period.
Again, sorting your offers within a hierarchy of evergreen and temporary campaigns will help you to remain organised. This is a core concept of a subscription catalogue as it enables marketers to continue to experiment with new offers to maximise subscriber acquisition, retention and value.
Data-driven, personalised marketing
Other concepts which are useful to include in a subscription product catalogue are Segments and Tracking:
- Segments are the target audience of your offers. These will be particularly useful in order to achieve personalised pricing for certain customer segments as well as managing channel-specific or lifecycle-dependent. A segment could be Regions > Asia > China > Shanghai or Customer Type > Paying Subscriber > Low Engagement.
- Tracking are codes used to track how customers get to your offers. For example, a digital channel coming through a Twitter ad. Tracking will be get you in front of data-driven subscription marketing, which may look like a ‘FacebookAd’ or ’NewsletterWeek51’. These should be hierarchies too, so you can be really granular in your reporting. For instance, a Tracking code could be FacebookAd > AudienceStudent > 2019.
We will cover subscription personalisation and data-driven marketing in later chapters.
A note on customer data
We previously stated that you probably shouldn’t bring in customer data in your subscription product catalogue as this would spare yourself some responsibilities under GDPR compliance. However, there are a few advanced use cases where customer data could be useful. One of these is in the area of analytics. For example reporting on the subscriber’s customer lifetime value (CLV). In this use case, you will need to use a unique customer identifier to track how a specific subscriber switches between different offers and consumes multiple products.
Other use case would be ‘next best offer.’ ‘personalised pricing.’ or ’suggested cross-sell' recommendations using a combination of your offer data and customer data, such as behavioural and demographics data. These are exciting possibilities which we’ll explore in later chapters.
Catalog data with Limio
Limio Catalog provides an optimised workflow to easily create and manage catalogue data, including product information, campaign and offer details, tracking codes, and segments. No two subscription businesses have the same data format or hierarchies, so data attributes and hierarchies are fully customisable - you don't have to work in someone else's business logic. Limio also allows you to bring in order data to define campaign performance for acquisition, churn and more.