Last week, TTG Media launched two impressive projects simultaneously - its new TTG+ Membership and TTG+ Premium Membership Programmes, and its Digitised Archive of Print Editions dating back to 1953 - which forms part of the higher level Premium Membership offering.
It’s been a good couple of years since TTG introduced an Engagement Wall / Content Metering on their site - which has meant that users needed to Register to gain access rights to view an extended range of content. That exercise resulted in 35,000+ Registered Travel Professionals whose preferences could then be targeted and delivered on within the site’s content delivery and personalisation functions. The travel trade audience was then well served by automated tailored and targeted content and messaging.
The new TTG+ Membership introduces a number of innovations and additional levels of insights, interaction, and resources for Travel Professionals, and helps further underline TTG’s Travel Industry Leadership Credentials. Affino also worked with TTG to establish their core format of Hub Topic / Category pages during last year’s site re-design - which was an essential part of the process to the innovative Travel Industry Coronavirus Hub and recent #SaveTravel Campaign Hub.
There are plenty of Affino sites running Membership and Subscription programmes already - but these were typically introduced / transitioned directly from previous versions of those sites right from the start, or are partially running on third party services. TTG is breaking ground on Affino with moving from full free and unrestricted access, relying purely on ad and sponsor revenues, to a higher value service which has been rolled out organically through a process of deeper engagement, sign-ups, permissioning, growing audience database and finally a multi-tier membership offering, all on Affino.
This process really started back in 2018 with the introduction of an Engagement Wall (Affino Metering) - which restricts access to content and requires viewers / users to Register and Login to be able to view more than a select number of articles and features per week.
That first stage Metering / Registration project resulted in 35,000+ fully Registered, permissioned, and identified Travel Industry Professionals who could then be served with fully targeted and personalised content and messaging. The Engagement Wall was essential in getting people used to the process of Registering for additional benefits - and in building up a fully detailed customer database which could be properly analysed towards providing better services and resources.
The next step of the process was a complete brand and site re-design last year which really transformed the TTG site into the leading contemporary Travel Industry Resource Hub that TTG+ is now. As part of that re-design process Affino works with TTG to roll-out a template and approach for Industry Topic Hubs - which meant that the recent pioneering and industry-leading TTG Coronavirus Hub and #SaveTravel Hub could be launched incredibly expediently and with the minimum of fuss. With TTG now set up to be far more proactive and responsive than ever before.
All of the above steps were necessary in paving the way for paid-subscriptions.
A big part of this process has been the Scanning and Digitization of TTG Print Issues going back to March of 1953 - using Optical Character Recognition to wholly digitise the printed words into a fully searchable Digital Archive. There were a number of challenges overcome in the formatting, structuring and automation of that digitised content. And the project also proved to us that AI software isn't quite up to the task yet for truly smart contextualisation - like the ability to separate and index all the flat images and artworks into a separate searchable directory, and to be able to intelligently identify the sequencing of content spread across multiple columns on the news pages - that will surely come as the standard of AI Improves.
In the meantime TTG and Affino have worked together to produce a fully searchable Print Archive - where every printed word can be searched for - and you will be directed to the relevant issue/s based on your search string. Users can then simply download each edition (up to a daily limit) and search within it to find the exact context(s). Now that the archive is fully digitised we anticipate being able to significantly improve it over time as AI matures further, and the services become available to better interrogate the documents, extract the context and imagery, and provide more advanced means to access and interact with the underlying content.
The base-level Engagement Wall is still very much present - and somewhat more recently has been set up such that everyone must Register to be able to view any content at all. The visual for 'Path to Subscriptions' above best illustrates this tier - where you need to be registered to view content, and outside of paid-for subscriptions are limited to 5 article views per week, as well as the most recent Digital Edition of the magazine.
One of the most exciting parts of the process for us at Affino is how TTG were able to fully independently transition their site to Automated Affino Paid Subscriptions - with only the core support help needed from ourselves. Steve Hinds and the TTG Team were able to do all the work themselves, requiring no additional software or services beyond the core Affino SaaS and Stripe for the payment gateway - where for other similar solutions there would be the requirement for considerable consultation, integration and likely development to have such seamless integration between the automated sales, marketing and fulfilment. So this launch is testament to the quality and talents of the TTG team, in combination with the relative ease of use of Affino that has made this project such a success.
The nature of Affino to deliver the full subscription marketing, sales, renewal, onboarding and retention workflows, automatically means that the TTG team are able to focus on the service offering while the Affino SaaS handles all the mundane tasks, and reporting, including full GDPR management suite.
We recommend a similar staged process to the one TTG followed in acclimatising their base to the possibilities of Subscriptions - by first implementing an Engagement Wall. That way by better knowing and serving the audience, you can gradually transition and bring your audience with you - and make them feel that they are very much part of the process.
Once the various Affino Profiles have been configured - the process largely runs itself. TTG just need to focus on what they're best at - which is the production of that industry-leading content, analysis, events (online and in-person), trends and reports - oh and of course all those great initiatives that TTG continues to lead on.
Daniel Pearce, TTG Media CEO, noted : “In the midst of so many challenges in 2020, it is more essential than ever for independent media businesses to work with the right external partners. Affino brought their usual dedication and sense of innovation to this project, and we’re all thrilled to continue to work with Markus, Sue and the rest of the team as we continue to evolve TTG+."
We at Affino heartily congratulate TTG on their continued prowess - and wish them every success with this new benchmark Membership Subscriptions implementation!