Congratulations to Judy Cooper, Community Care who is winner of Digital Editor of the Year 2018
In 2016 Community Care’s recruitment revenue had fallen 28% and was forecasting a further 23% drop. Retention rates on the subscriptions business had declined 12% over the previous two years.
Customer feedback showed the products needed to be transformed to become more valuable to customers in order to secure revenue growth.
Editor, Judy Cooper devised, researched and delivered a wide-ranging product innovation programme that supported increases in average order values - 260% on subscription products and 300% on recruitment products- maintaining retention rates and growing recruitment revenue 135% in the last six months.
Set the Scene
The Community Care group serves the social care market. It includes:
communitycare.co.uk: a free-to-access news and jobs website carrying jobs and display advertising
Community Care Inform: two subscription-based data products for children’s and adults social work services
Recruitment revenue, which was more than half of the group’s overall revenue, fell dramatically at the end of 2016/early 2017 while retention rates on the subscriptions business were also dropping as local authority customers, facing deep austerity cuts, began to regard Community Care Inform as a luxury not a necessity.
Tell us the story
Judy transformed the product offering of Community Care to make it more essential to customers, supporting higher average order values. Changes included:
Overseeing three major website redesigns for the jobs site and two subscription products
Creating new recruitment propositions, including evidence-based sponsored feature content templates
Developing a new product, an innovative social worker retention risk tool
Researching, devising and launching a new learning tool using cutting-edge software
Undertaking a training and coaching programme with the content team to upskill them and help them on a journey away from traditional journalism to more innovative multi-media product innovators and data/information experts
Managing both internal and external software developers closely to improve functionality, data visualisation and ensure a seamless user experience
Working closely with marketing and the sales team to ensure a more sophisticated sales technique focused on those in senior positions
Judy’s approach to this transformation agenda was based on product management principles – embarking on extensive research and interrogation of the data metrics on all three websites to gain a clear understanding of how, when and why customers and readers used information and the extent of its value to them.
Along with wider academic research this was the basis to build two new tools which were tested in the market and received a strong response. This enabled a new and more sustainable sales approach with regards to ambitious pricing and longer-term contract propositions.
Recruitment revenue has grown 135% in the last six months and average order values have more than doubled. Reader engagement with sponsored content has almost quadrupled with customers indicating they were seeing an improved number and higher quality of applicants.
On the subscription side retention rates have been maintained and 20% of customers have been moved onto higher-value contracts with a 260% increase in average order value. The vast majority of these customers only gained access to the new tools in January 2018 showing the strength of customer demand.
Reader feedback scores are consistently above 65 (as measured by the net promoter system), significantly higher than the industry average for the media sector of 45¹ on all three websites.
Customers have praised the bold new approach from Community Care, which now looks to find solutions to some of the sector’s most entrenched problems in partnership with them.
¹As measured by NPS Benchmarks on 28 March, 2018
Best Use of Video 2018 sponsored by Unruly