Collective Wisdom: Piano’s Strategic Services – Your Future, Faster

To be able to accelerate their opportunities in today's fast-paced media arena, publishers need to be able to rely on expert industry-leading support to get ahead of the competition. By working with publishers of all shapes and sizes from across the globe, we have seen that our clients often need help to jumpstart their subscription programs.

From foundational strategy, to product launch, to ongoing optimization, Piano’s deeply experienced Strategic Services team will work with you to uncover and implement the best conversion and monetization strategies for your needs, whether you’re driving revenue by booking flights, selling subscriptions or improving memberships.

With a proven rating of boosting customer subscriptions by 2200% within 24 months of launch, Piano’s strategy and marketing experts help our clients go from an idea to a fully optimized revenue machine.

To drive your go-to-market subscription strategy, we focus on:

  • Building insight into your unique user profile, values, competitors and market dynamics.
  • Creating a clear definition of the best approach for your brand and audience.
  • Establishing an understanding of your business opportunity and the path to market, with concrete data to inform decisions on target audience, pricing and expected conversions.
  • Developing a solid plan for a successful user-centered revenue and conversion strategy – and a roadmap to bring it to market.

Learn more about how Piano clients across the globe are leveraging the Strategic Services team to energize their subscription programs.

The digital-first news publisher reinforced to reach new audiences

The challenge:

A 15 year-old digital-only media company was already established as a major player providing high-value news and content for professionals across dozens of industries. It launched its first subscription product on Piano in 2017 to drive its conversion and subscription rates and move towards new audiences.

As the publisher’s subscription product matured, the brand needed to ensure it could rapidly update its offers and messaging while gaining better insight into the users who were most likely to convert to a paid subscription. They also sought deeper knowledge about creating successful subscription offers through A/B testing methodologies, from defining tests to advanced results analysis.

The solution:

The publisher engaged Piano’s Strategic Services for expert guidance around testing, launching and analyzing user behaviors to get better insight into the content, messages and pricing structures that lead to conversion. They also collaborated to test subscription offer construction, pricing, registration sequencing and other touchpoints. This resulted in 1640% growth in revenue per month, 2069% growth in active subscribers and 1459% growth in new subscribers per month.

The takeaway:

Expert accompaniment helps you get the most out of Piano.

The Piano Strategic Services team helped the publisher with design resources, optimization solutions & pricing structures and smarter ways to target user segments. This included:

  • Bespoke analysis performed by Piano’s strategists, data scientists and analysts
    to identify trends and behavioral patterns and evaluate results with statistical
    significance to make informed decisions around use cases, prioritization, pace
    and value per test.
  • Continuous split testing on CTAs, pricing, design and UX, modifying variants for
    subsequent tests based on specific outcomes.
  • Paywall management to help make transactions seamless across their site.
  • LtS and LtC propensity modeling within Piano Composer to predictively understand users likely to subscribe or churn.

They subsequently shifted their premium offering based on best practices and strategic solutions offered by Piano. Rather than maintaining the status quo with the original paid offer—exclusive business stories at $1 for the first month and $12.95 every month thereafter—they expanded to monthly, annual and ad-free, two-year memberships, driving significant revenue growth.

The legacy newspaper driving digital subscriptions with audience research and testing

The challenge:

A national newspaper with wide print circulation saw a significant spike in digital subscriptions at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. When this demand-driven acquisition rate normalized in 2021, the publication needed to reevaluate its strategy to continue driving new subscriptions.

The solution:

Fundamental to the publisher’s success was audience research and ongoing testing conducted in partnership with Piano Strategic Services. The insights they uncovered led to the following strategic opportunities:

  • Annual subscription offer – although many existing subscribers paid monthly, pricing research revealed an appetite for an annual subscription option. They decided to offer an annual option, and drove a near-immediate increase in conversion rates.
  • Dynamic paywall – initial testing showed that tightening their existing paywall didn’t move the needle on conversions. Instead, because readers were very loyal, a large segment of the audience simply hit the paywall repeatedly.

Based on these findings, the publication introduced a dynamic paywall based on Piano’s Likelihood to Subscribe (LtS) machine learning models to predict which readers had the highest propensity to subscribe and opened the door to provide personalized offers to different user segments.

The takeaway:

It pays to take an active approach to experimenting and A/B testing new strategies

Thanks to its Piano-powered strategy, the publisher became the first national newspaper to achieve widespread success with a digital product—reaching a total of 384,000 digital subscribers.

In addition, its parent media company topped revenues of 610 million in 2021, an increase of 24% compared to the same period of 2020, with digital revenues representing 23% of that total.

The digital news outlet powered to launch a new revenue stream

The challenge:

Already one of the widest-reaching national digital news outlets, the publisher
began looking for ways to add to their monetization efforts. The digital team’s goals were to implement a contribution-based revenue stream while maintaining site traffic to avoid compromising advertising revenue.

Given this initiative was at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, they also wanted to ensure a quick launch to take advantage of the traffic surge many digital publishers were experiencing.

The solution:

Diving into the UX, they needed a better way to see what messaging worked and what didn’t—and to put the right message in front of the right user. This meant implementing a system that was strong at dialogue with their readers and allowed them to test, iterate and improve quickly.

The digital team chose Piano Composer to fuel the new initiative, combined with Piano’s Strategic Services to get results as quickly as possible. Piano guided the publisher’s strategy and improved their plans at every iteration, analyzing the results and making optimization suggestions to accelerate success.

As a result, the digital news outlet reduced the launch plan time for its new monetization strategy from six months to a few weeks.

The takeaway:

With the right partner, you can significantly accelerate your time to revenue

By working with Piano, the publisher had surpassed its annual 2020 contributions revenue goal by the end of the second quarter. They saw a 10x increase in contributions within the first full month, after go-to-market with Piano, compared to the 2019 test period. The digital team also experienced a 23x increase in contributions and 7.5 times more contributors over the first half of 2020 compared to the test period.

How Piano’s Strategic Services can drive your business

Simply put, Piano’s Strategic Services are here to help you gain a better understanding of your audience and refine your product-marketing fit. Based on Piano’s global database of real-world user behavior aggregated across thousands of sites worldwide, we define best practices that enable you to contextualize your performance and accelerate growth.

Our team of experts works with you to nail down the product and go-to-market strategy, delivering audience and content insights, product workshops, pricing research and revenue modeling.

After guiding you through the launch of your subscription model, we provide ongoing optimization services as well as quarterly and annual checkups. This allows us to evaluate your strategy and Piano product adoption as well as an assessment of KPIs.
By establishing clear revenue and audience goals, we provide recommended tactics and improvements to achieve these goals to create monetization scenarios that work.

Interested in finding out how to optimize your operations and boost revenue?

Contact us today to discover how Piano’s Strategic Services team can help your organization better understand and activate your user data to drive long-term engagement.

Piano empowers organizations to understand and influence customer behavior. By unifying customer data, analyzing behavior metrics, and creating personalized customer journeys, Piano helps brands launch campaigns and products faster, strengthen customer engagement, and drive personalization at scale—all on a single platform.