Customer engagement platform icon

Customer engagement platform for major US media companies

Driving engagement and revenue, delivering insights and analysis
We built a customer engagement platform for digital publishers and media companies, enabling collection and analysis of customer data. Our client was the leading US marketing and sales automation corporation, with more than 15 years of experience. Their clientele included the largest media companies in the USA.

Why a customer engagement platform?

To facilitate transition to the digital market by media companies, and to deliver an effective solution for attracting, acquiring and retaining readers in the new market, media companies require customer engagement tools.

The customer engagement platform is a full-cycle, large-scale tool designed to engage readers at every stage of the user journey, at scale and programmatically.

Empowering users, informing business decisions

The platform lets users manage their own relationship with publishers, while simultaneously collecting customer data, automating billing and more.
Self-service icon
Self-service
Users can upgrade, downgrade, and manage their own subscription through a subscriber’s portal.
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Payments
Invoices and payments can be controlled through a central dashboard or managed programmatically.
Subscription at point of sale icon
Subscription at point of sale
Users can subscribe at multiple points throughout the user journey, increasing conversions and generating valuable data.
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Targeted marketing
Match demographic, behavioral and other data with single customer view and use it to target and inform email and other marketing.

Digital publishing needs a customer engagement solution

Whether transitioning from print or building a new business entirely in digital, media companies need user engagement to solve their most pressing and enduring challenges.

The space faces difficulties including:

1
Data collection and analysis
Data often isn’t collected comprehensively. Where it is collected, it’s often siloed instead of being analysed, distributed around an integrated stack and used to plan.
2
User engagement
Beyond the newsstand, publishers lack experience, skills and tools for effective user engagement. Knowing which content and marketing is effective requires complex data analytics.
3
Advertising attribution
Advertisers are a key income stream for publishers, and attribution is among their greatest concerns. Publishers need to be able show advertisers their ads are working.
4
Campaign management and data analytics
Review content engagement and performance, manage campaigns centrally and track and analyze engagement and conversions.
5
Billing and revenue recapture
Publishers must work to gain subscribers and build a revenue model based on paying customers, and they need the new digital tools to do so.
6
Subscriber self-service portal
Subscribers expect to be able to manage their own subscriptions, upgrading and downgrading them and choosing bundles and options from easy-to-use portals.
Publishers require a platform for acquiring, processing and leveraging customer data to validate advertising, convert visitors and retain readers to build sustainable profitability at scale.

The development story

The client had begun building their own customer engagement tool before reaching out to us, but when Lightpoint engineers began working on the project the product was only 30% developed

Starting with task-based engagement in 2015, Lightpoint’s team gradually transitioned to take ownership of the project and began creating modules of the solution.

A modular, comprehensive solution

To match the critical functions required of a customer engagement platform, Lightpoint built a number of large modules, all managed from the Central module.
Subscription Panel module icon
Subscription Panel module
Showcase module displays the publications users can subscribe to. Allows users to register, input their delivery and billing data, attach a card and make payments.
Security is top of mind: we created a fraud detection and blocking system to protect users’ credit card, email and other data.
  • Secure payments with top-rated providers like Stripe and Edgil
  • Unique logic and UI configuration for each client
  • Fraud detection and defence
Proposal Generation module icon
Proposal Generation module
Allows publishers to build sets of subscription offerings to match user demographics and behavioral data, then present them programmatically to potential subscribers, maximizing likelihood of subscription.
Multi-tenancy system offers support for different clients with different business logic, utilizing the same algorithm.
  • Configurable application logic without reload
  • Generate batched offers, yet retain the flexibility to set up the product differently for different newspapers
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Subscription self-service module
Self-service portal where users can manage their own subscriptions, including pausing and resuming, changing delivery and billing information, lodge complaints and select different subscription packages.
Multitenancy system supports different clients’ business logic with the same algorithm.
  • Configurable, no reload required
  • Only subscribers can log in with identity provided by Publisher
  • Secure payments with top-rated payment providers like Stripe, Edgil, etc)
Subscription customer service module icon
Subscription customer service module
This module allows newspaper call centers to help subscribers resolve issues with their subscriptions over the phone. Support employees can do the same actions as subscribers can in the self-management module.
The module also contains multiple options for subscription configuration and other options for publishers.
  • General information about publications
  • Rules for complaints procedures
  • Payments and billing support
  • Selling, upselling and cross-selling opportunities
  • Stop saver scripts to reduce subscription churn and encourage retention
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Marketing сampaign module
This is a conversion optimization module created to save all user emails that have ever been mentioned, allowing targeted email campaigns aimed at increasing loyalty and retaining subscribers.
The module creates a large database of email addresses to allow highly-accurate, targeted email campaigns for off-site conversions.
  • Customer recognition on landing
  • Single customer view across email addresses and other data
Central module icon
Central module
At the core of the entire product, the Central module stores the business logic of the entire system and performs the key functions of the platform.
Handles subscriber access, payments transactions, and collects statistics on performance across titles.
  • Flexible access control and request tracking for all external customers
  • Unified scalable authentication system for the whole platform
  • Point of integration with third-party service providers and publications
  • Multi-tenancy logic flows for publishers

The Lightpoint team:

Panel Team: 3 devs
Offers module: 2 devs
Self service: 3 devs
Call center: 3 devs
Central: 2 devs
Marketing campaigns: 3 devs
QA Team: 5 QA Engineers, 3 Automation QA Engineers

Lightpoint built the system with:

Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6

Microsoft .NET Core 2

JavaScript / TypeScript

Angular

Node.js

Knockout.js

C#

AWS

Key features:

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For consumers:
  • Registration
  • Clearance delivery
  • Bank card binding
  • Making payments
  • Self Management Subscription
  • Call center support
  • Email signup
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For clients:
  • Converting users to subscribers
  • User behavior analysis
  • Formation of offers for subscription
  • Customer service
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Invoicing and payment control
  • Additional payments
  • Content management
  • Storage of newspaper information
  • Rules for responding to subscribers' complaints
  • Product purchase by modules
  • User identity provided by the publisher

Key platform features:

  • Access control to the system according to the purchased products
  • Performance monitoring of all modules
  • Integration with third-party systems
  • Modern technology stack
  • Mechanism for recognizing and blocking intruders
  • Subscription activity logging
  • Feedback, saved content, and community tools
  • Point of integration with 3rd-party service providers
  • Subscriber flows, including newstarts
  • Billing
  • Upsell/cross-sell
  • Stop savers

Results

The product has become one of the most popular in the US media market, and continues to develop and expand its functionality. Our customers became the largest players in the American media market with a combined market share of around 60%. Customers of all sizes, not just enterprise clients, saw sharp increases in revenue and subscriber numbers.

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