Many Advantage features are born from the minds of marketers---not only from our clients, but also from our internal experts. One simple reason is the need for publishers to stay competitive in today’s market by implementing increasingly sophisticated marketing campaigns. One area guided by marketers that has seen quite a bit of development in the last several years is product bundling (known in the Advantage software context as packages). Advantage has supported bundling for 15+ years, but today there are about 10 different flavors available. You might be thinking: isn’t a bundle just a bunch of products? What could distinguish one from the other? Consider the following three use cases:
- The customer can choose from the print version of a magazine, the digital version, or a bundle including both.
- The customer can build his own bundle by selecting five of the available eight digital newsletters.
- The customer can choose the silver or gold membership. The memberships contain a mixture of print, digital, and one-off products. The customer can migrate from one membership to another.
Each of these scenarios reflects a very different marketing strategy, which may or may not work for your business. Fortunately, Advantage supports these models (and others)… and it's easy to test them. We encourage our clients to try out new ideas to see what sticks, to try a few bundles and see what combinations work for them. Our clients have found that bundle offerings on renewal notices improve renewal rates.
Other bundle opportunities worthy of note include:
- Bundling across product lines
- Creating membership levels to highlight content value (e.g., most people value gold over silver)
- Including slow-moving products in bundles to clear inventory
- Offering bundles as alternatives to single products (e.g., on a product detail page on your website)
Most marketers would agree that bundling is a winning strategy and we have helped our clients with those strategies. However, defining a bundling strategy can be a challenge as there is no magic formula. Questions you might want to consider as part of a strategy include:
- Where does the product revenue go?
- How do I communicate the bundle to the customer? Do I communicate it differently depending on the source (invoice, web, order acknowledgement, promotion offer, etc.)?
- Where is the best way to promote the bundle – renewal, billing, email, web, etc.?
- Can customers break the bundle (i.e., cancel part of it)? What are the terms and conditions?
- How is the pricing for the bundle set? How much does each product add to the total value? Is it a fixed value or a component percentage?
- Can customers change bundles? Are they allowed to migrate from the silver membership to the gold membership? What about the other way around?
You can see from the scenarios and questions posed in this article that bundles can be extremely beneficial in driving revenue and diversifying product offerings. However, they also require careful planning and exploration to find the right type to fit your organization. Depending on the complexity of the bundling strategy, you could get something to market within a matter of days in Advantage. If the results are less than desirable, try a different flavor – don’t be discouraged! We’d be happy to explore the options available to you and assist in defining your marketing strategy---just reach out to AdvantageCS business development to find out how you can make bundles in Advantage work for you.