Best Practice

The 5 phases needed to launch an industry-leading research delivery platform

Delivering DataDigital TransformationTechnology

While no two research portals are the same, every Content Catalyst project moves through 5 phases, refined during our 20 years in business working with leading market analysis publishers.

Launching a new subscriber portal can be a daunting prospect – especially if you try to tackle the whole project internally.

By enlisting the help of Content Catalyst it doesn’t matter if you don’t know your DNS from your metadata. Our Client Success team will support you as you work through our 5-phase launch process, from the initial technical setup to system roll-out.

5 phases for launching an industry leading-research portal:

Technical set up

Site-wide look and feel

Content upload

Set up accounts and users

System roll-out

1. Technical Set-Up

Phase 1 is all about getting the technical bits correct from the outset. As a warning, this is not the most exciting or creative part of the launch process, but it is vital for ensuring your site is hosted and set up correctly.

Setup includes configuring the basic settings, deciding on your domain and setting up your email delivery systems following best practices. As part of your Content Catalyst licence, you also receive full access to the cloud-based email delivery platform, Sendgrid.

We also set up the production environment where your new research portal is hosted and developed. As these basic settings are deployed, you will start forming a picture of where your new research portal fits within your technical ecosystem, including integrations with other business-critical systems. Our professional services team will then work with you to decide on the best implementation method and consider any obstacles to deployment.

2. Site-Wide Look and Feel

Once you have implemented your portal’s technical foundations, the next aspect is to configure the look and feel of your research platform to ensure consistency with your company’s branding.

Beyond the site’s branding, colour scheme and fonts, your platform offers customisable options to reflect your brand identity and provide each of your customer accounts with an experience catered to them, including:

  • Homepage tabs
  • Custom homepage banner
  • Custom category landing pages
  • Export templates

3. Content Upload

The most important part of this phase is setting up your Category Tree. Categories and tags are how the system groups your content. It’s worth spending time getting this right to ensure your content is organised in a way that makes sense to your subscribers. Our in-house content experts will work with your analyst/research teams to optimise your taxonomy to ensure it is user-friendly and content is easily discoverable.

With your categories and tags all set, we can add your analysts and prep your back catalogue for upload. Don’t worry; we won’t ask you to upload one report at a time. Together we’ll agree on the best way to transfer your content using APIs or our bulk upload tool.

4. Set Up Accounts and Users

By this stage, your site will look and feel like it belongs to your organisation. Your category landing pages will now contain promoted reports and all content will be discoverable via the platform’s powerful search functionality and intuitive system of categories and tags.

Now, you can finalise your licensing structure and transfer existing customers onto your new system with their pre-existing subscription plans still applicable. Often, this process is automated using integrations with your chosen CRM system that holds all your licensing data, such as Hubspot, Salesforce, or MS Dynamics.

At this point, you will also decide whether your site is open or closed. Open means anyone can browse your site, even if visitors do not have access to your research content. Closed sites are protected by a user authentication system meaning the site visitor must have a subscription and login details.

5. System Rollout

How long it takes to get to the launch stage depends on the size and complexity of your development. On average, it takes publishers 2-3 months from set up to launch, although some organisations achieve it in less time.

Delta-EE, a leading energy consulting firm, launched its upgraded research portal ahead of schedule. Commenting on the launch, Jennifer Aran, Head of Products at Delta-EE, said, “we wanted to provide a better user experience for our clients and Content Catalyst has provided the simplicity and flexibility we needed to do that. The team has been helpful throughout the onboarding process, and we even managed to launch ahead of schedule thanks to their support”.

How we support publishers during the launch process

Throughout your launch process, you will have weekly catch-ups with our experienced in-house Launch Manager, who will help to guide and advise you on your launch.

We also offer a Premier Support Package during the launch phase that includes training for your team, priority and custom development, and regular catch-ups with our CTO, who will advise on big-picture technical concerns.

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Contact us if you’d like to know more about the Content Catalyst platform or for more information on the launch process.

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