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Five Takeaways From Subscription Show 2021

December 1, 2021

This year’s Subscription Show, which took place on November 1 to 3 in New York, was an extra special occasion for us at Vindicia (and not just as sponsors of the event). After all these months of Zoom, there is no underestimating the pleasure of seeing our industry come together for some good old face-to-face networking. Colleagues, partners, clients, and competitors alike were eager to catch up and discover in-person what’s new and hot in subscriptions.

The city felt alive, the Vindicia booth was buzzing, and you could feel the excitement in the air. As we gear up for a new year, here are five key takeaways I learned at the Subscription Show:

1. Everyone is passionate about data

One topic is on everyone’s mind – data. Data is the key to learning about user patterns and behaviors, and that knowledge is what drives smarter subscriptions and bundles. At Vindicia, subscription intelligence is our expertise; after all, we’ve been gathering and analyzing it for 18 years.

“We know that data is the undercurrent that fuels the entire subscription journey, from acquisition to engagement and retention.”

We know that data is the undercurrent that fuels the entire subscription journey, from acquisition to engagement and retention (the topic of one of my speaker sessions), and we know how to use data to drive better e-commerce connections. It is incredibly exciting to be able to share in meaningful conversations about data, a subject that is so close to our own hearts.

2. Face-to-face is the winner, hands down

This year’s show was a hybrid mix of in-person and virtual events, and of course, safety is still a top priority. But there’s no getting around it – seeing people in the flesh is the absolute best way to connect and get to know one another. Being able to share a drink, sit down to a meal, look one another in the eye, and let the conversation flow was a truly special feeling, and one I hope will be repeated often. “New normal?” Nah, nothing beats face-to-face interactions.

3. E2E is not a dirty word

At this year’s show, I detected a shift in the way that the industry perceives the subscription experience. Instead of subscriptions just being a bunch of touchpoints, there is much discussion around “end-to-end” customer journeys. It is no longer enough to consider each part of the customer funnel separately or as its own unit.

“Now is a great opportunity to step back and zoom out from the day-to-day of what we do.”

Today it is vital to explore the horizontal journey the user takes along the entire lifetime of their subscription. Bottom line: a subscription is an ongoing relationship between user and brand, and the industry is starting to embrace this new concept of E2E.

4. Manhattan is back

What a sight for sore eyes. Manhattan is bouncing back big time from COVID hibernation, and it was very moving to see the city buzzing once again. The “big lights, big city” vibe is slowly returning, and with it everything we love about New York. That feeling definitely contributed to the amazing buzz of the show itself. Let’s keep it coming.

5. Zoom out

After a couple of years of incessant Zooming, one of the things that struck me at the show was that it’s now time to zoom out. Subscription products can be so complex, it is easy to get bogged down in details. But now is a great opportunity to step back and zoom out from the day-to-day of what we do, focus on the larger pain points of our customers, and how we can better understand them and build lasting relationships. Connecting with customers where they are right now is our biggest challenge.

Bonus takeaway: conquer with tech, but lead with your heart

If there is one thing that connecting with colleagues face to face has reminded me, it’s this: tech is the best means to an end, but it is not the end itself. Our business is essentially about people, and winning in the arena of relationships requires heart.

“Our customer’s success is our company’s success, not the other way around.”

That’s how we strive to operate at Vindicia: building personal connections, understanding our customers’ business needs, their internal challenges and what they need to excel in each billing cycle. Our customer’s success is our company’s success, not the other way around. Sometimes, a visit to an industry conference in NY is just what we need to re-energize around that commitment.

About The Author

Roy Barak is Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Vindicia. With over a decade of experience in the financial planning and analysis aspects of the IT and telecommunication industries, Roy brings extensive expertise in pricing models, financial modeling, and working with senior management to transform existing business lines and generating new ones. Previously, Roy worked at Amdocs, Vindicia’s parent company. Here he held key financial positions that supported the establishment of an internal accelerator, which introduced half a dozen successful new offerings. Roy also worked with the Amdocs services sales arm in transforming commercial and pricing models.

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