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How an indie publisher launched a B2B intelligence platform in less than a year

Healthcare Business International has been serving the private healthcare sector for a decade with paid newsletters, an online database and a major conference for healthcare operators and investors in Europe and emerging markets.

In June 2018 Max Hotopf (Founder) and Julian Turner (CEO) decided to change the business model. This involved the decision to morph nine products into 4 membership levels. This made sales and marketing far easier and more explicable with the goal of higher renewal rates.

They also decided to provide an ambitious business intelligence platform, HBI Intelligence, covering all private healthcare market sectors across EMEA. This consists of a series of reports which link to the online database showing company revenues enabling the user to look at market share, market size, growth and trends by sector and country.

The company was fortunate in having a strong relationship with a great freelancer programmer in the USA. The visual designs were developed inhouse.

Their editorial team researched some of the main sector gaps. And then in November 2018 after just 4 months development, the new HBI product went live to customers with those who subscribed to the newsletters and online database. To begin with they didn’t ask for a price hike, waiting till customers came up to renewal to offer three different packages.

Already they have paid back their modest investment in technology development in new membership revenue.

The product is evolving as it is used by customers, adding new features and new content. “Once you have an Intelligence platform it is easy to gradually add more useful stuff which makes the product more attractive to more people,” said Julian.

So if you haven’t got the budget of a large corporate media business to invest in a data product, this is a good example of how to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product and build a premium subscription product on a shoestring.

Julian and Max are contributing to a workshop session on “How to build a data product” at Making Publishing Pay on 25/26 February at Excel London. They will talk about:

  • How to build a data intelligence product in a few months for under £100k
  • How they researched their customers and introduced the product to them
  • What changes they have made to the editorial team and how they work
  • How the new data product supports their conferences
  • What they have learned about pricing
  • How they are approaching marketing and sales
  • How they expect their product to develop

Delegates will also have the opportunity to ask their own questions on the day.