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Subscriptions/Membership Feedback


Dr. Nathan Parker

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Thanks everyone for the feedback! By the way, my bringing this up now is in no attempt to try to make Accordance users feel any worse with the launch with Accordance 14 or make it look like we “need” a subscription/membership model. We’re doing well with the direct sales/ownership model, and as I mentioned up front, we’ve been reluctant to even try a subscription/membership model on anything as we know customers prefer the direct sales/ownership model. When we do launch Accordance Cloud, those who upgraded to Accordance 14 are going to be granted access to it. We didn’t even consider a subscription/membership model for launching Accordance Cloud. Even if we eventually launched some form of subscription/membership model down the road (and nothing is definite yet), it would be a supplement to the direct sales/ownership model, not a replacement for it in any form. If we do, it’s definitely a lower priority for us. Our top priority for us right now is resolving the outstanding issues in Accordance 14.

 

The reason I’m bringing up such a question now is twofold. First, customers on the forums brought up the interest in suggesting a subscription/membership model in other threads. Since customers have expressed interest in the subject, I’d like to hear from customers on more specifics. I’d rather collect feedback from customers first on what they’d want in such a subscription/membership model instead of thinking up a model that doesn’t appeal to customers at all. I want to be extremely “customer centric” and spend a ton of time listening to customer requests and allowing the customer to help shape feedback and business decisions. These are some areas where the other guys have seemed a little weak in at times, attempting to push stuff on customers that customers simply weren’t interested in. Second, I’m already having discussions with Accordance about various longer-term marketing strategies and continuing to look forward to the future while continuing to tackle the present. I’m even collecting feedback for future major versions of Accordance, even through our developers’ goal is to work on Accordance 14 at the moment. The key is we have to focus both on the present and the future at the same time, since once we tackle the present, we need other goals to accomplish in the future.

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Personally, I avoid subscription models as well.

I cannot see point 1 regarding a subscription for the app itself. The upgrade cost to a new version is quite reasonably, especially compared to the other program.

I can see the possibility for renting for a short time some specialty resources that may only be used once for a research paper of book.

I am trying to imagine what other situations you may want to just have a resource for a short time.

How would you setup a fee schedule? It would seem that unless you allow access for everything, it would have to be tailored to every situation, which would be a logistical nightmare.

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6 hours ago, Lester P. Bagley said:

To be fair, this is simply the worst possible suggestion (subscription/membership models) that nearly all knowledgable users see as a grab for more money. Adobe and Microsoft were the big companies that really brought this model to the market. No one likes the idea of constantly shelling out money for "upgrades" that bring little or no value to the users. From the company side, in a short time it becomes a race to either fix something that's not broken or think of something to add (whether really needed or not). Just listen to the serious users of the programs and see how many are constantly looking for a way to move to something else. The subscription model has never been good for anyone other than the company that wants more money for what they've already done and to charged you for.

Read the update list of almost any software you re-purchase for an upgrade, bug fixes are a major item on many (most?). "Pay me more and I'll fix what was wrong in the last version" is not going to keep the loyalty of users.

 

6 hours ago, Abram K-J said:

Agreed with Lester. And the timing of this suggestion feels particularly rough, maybe even insulting, as many of us can't even use v. 14 because it doesn't work for us. 

 

I agree.


We are being blasted by marketing schemes at the worst time. Just do a search of the word “marketing” and see how many times it comes up. This query about a subscription model is taking place in the context of an aggressive marketing survey/push, including ideas about denominational packages, etc., with feedback being passed onto marketing. In many places Nathan, who “joined the Accordance marketing team,” says “I’ll pass it on,” often short for what he says in another place, “I’ll pass it onto marketing.” Has the focus shifted from the text to sales? And at a time like this?

 

Of course, Accordance must make a profit to survive. But with all the marketing queries, and the forum categories almost filled with responses to them, I have a suggestion: make a new category on the forum, called “Marketing.” Some of us are not interested in it. We will buy what we know we need.

 

Edited by Michel Gilbert
typo
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1 hour ago, Nathan Parker said:

I want to be extremely “customer centric” and spend a ton of time listening to customer requests and allowing the customer to help shape feedback and business decisions.

Hi Nathan

looking at the main things that are usually brought up:

  1. Bugs
  2. Communication about resolving issues, corrections and requested modules
  3. Instructions or videos for features

 

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4 hours ago, Michel Gilbert said:

 

 

I agree.


We are being blasted by marketing schemes at the worst time. Just do a search of the word “marketing” and see how many times it comes up. This query about a subscription model is taking place in the context of an aggressive marketing survey/push, including ideas about denominational packages, etc., with feedback being passed onto marketing. In many places Nathan, who “joined the Accordance marketing team,” says “I’ll pass it on,” often short for what he says in another place, “I’ll pass it onto marketing.” Has the focus shifted from the text to sales? And at a time like this?

 

Of course, Accordance must make a profit to survive. But with all the marketing queries, and the forum categories almost filled with responses to them, I have a suggestion: make a new category on the forum, called “Marketing.” Some of us are not interested in it. We will buy what we know we need.

 

 

Marketing can be a very unpopular topic, but to be fair, Nathan is responding to things the community brought up in your examples of subscriptions and denominational packages.

 

Having experienced the corporate silence from the time of the A14 problems, I don't want Nathan to go quiet. It's constructive for Nathan (and the company more generally) to canvass the community on things the community itself brings up, even if the overwhelming response is "Don't do it". It's better that they ask and hear "No" than to not ask and just do something they didn't realise was massively unpopular. It's even better if they get a "Don't do that; do this instead".

 

I don't have a problem with Nathan exploring community ideas.

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Thanks everyone for the feedback.

 

First of all, I’m still going to be communicating heavily about resolving bugs and issues in Accordance 14 and modules, as well as working on enhancing training. The focus of Accordance has certainly not shifted from the text to sales. I want our users to enjoy using Accordance for their Bible study, and I also want the apps to be rock-solid. I’m collecting all of your feedback and getting it quickly into the hands of our developers so they can resolve as many issues as quickly as possible, and I’ll personally be sitting in meetings with developers (starting this week) so I can better communicate the status of updates and bug fixes to Accordance 14, etc. I’m also monitoring the forums for general support issues and getting those in the hands of Tech Support as quickly as possible. I want to keep the communication flowing smoothly between customers and the rest of Accordance staff so answers to questions on these forums don’t stagnate.

 

With that said, I realize that one day we’re going to resolve the remaining bugs in Accordance 14, release enhanced syncing, and deliver Accordance Cloud, plus we’re going to continue to offer regular sales throughout 2023. When those days arrive, I don’t want to simply drop the ball of momentum. Accordance has a bright future ahead of it, and there are plenty of areas we can explore based on customer feedback I’ve been reading in the forums. Customers have brought up all sorts of useful positive feedback including: denominational packages, sermon builder, better academic packages, more interest in supporting mobile development, and subscriptions/memberships. My goal over the past week has been to sort through some of this feedback and further explore it here on the forums, getting additional feedback from customers. Some items customers may be interested in, other items customers may not be interested in at all. I’m collecting all of this feedback so I can present marketing with a better understanding of what customers want to see in Accordance in the future and what they don’t. I’d much prefer that route then attempting to come up with different marketing strategies and try them on the customer, finding out what we’ve tried isn’t really want customers want or need. 

 

My goal here is to focus both on the present “battle” (resolving bugs in Accordance 14, etc) and on Accordance’s future by better exploring feedback from customers and getting a better understanding of what customers want to see moving forward. The feedback so far has been super beneficial to us, and it’s injected a new sense of positivity in us knowing that we’re listening to our customers and getting a better understanding of what customers want to see.

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11 hours ago, Lawrence said:

I don't want Nathan to go quiet. It's constructive for Nathan (and the company more generally) to canvass the community on things the community itself brings up

I agree with what Lawrence said 100%! I also appreciate that Nathan Parker is actively involved on the forums. I think He and Sean Nelson are doing a good job of being Accordance representatives and ambassadors here on the forums.

 

11 hours ago, Lawrence said:

I don't have a problem with Nathan exploring community ideas.

Neither do I! I am thankful that Accordance has taken a keen. interest in their user base.

Edited by Brian K. Mitchell
Grammar blunder
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I could see someone freaking out because their essay is due on Monday and it is Friday and they left it to the last minute and all the books are out of the library 😱 wanting to pay for a one month subscription for instance, so they could access journal articles and commentaries and lexica and other resources through Accordance, knowing they would normally not invest in the hundreds or thousands of dollars required for those modules and collections. The other I could envisage would be a "hire" price - try before you buy - which would give you short term access or a page limit. 

 

But under normal circumstances, subscriptions are pretty on the nose for most who have invested heavily in their libraries and are afraid Accordance may be taken away from them. 

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13 hours ago, Lawrence said:

 

 . . .to be fair [to] Nathan . . .

 

. . .

 

 I don't have a problem with Nathan exploring community ideas

 

To be fair, I didn’t say or imply that I had a problem with that. I suggested a new marketing subforum for marketing surveys, ideas, etc.

 

 

To be fair, I was agreeing with Abram who said, “the timing of this suggestion feels particularly rough, maybe even insulting, as many of us can't even use v. 14 because it doesn't work for us,” and expanding on it. I think all of the marketing surveys and suggestions are inappropriate at this time.

 

 

To be fair, Abram and I are 100% committed to Accordance. We have both worked for Accordance (he did Accordance webinars; I briefly consulted for BibleWorks features, especially Live Click). We are even both “Top Members.” Over the years, a disproportionate number of our feature and module requests made it into Accordance to help shape it. Our comments about inappropriate timing are meant as constructive criticism.

 

 

And to be fair, I used Nathan’s name like I have any other Accordance employee, e.g., I’ve used Rick’s and Mark’s name. And I didn’t misrepresent Nathan, I quoted him verbatim.

 

 

This more aggressive marketing strategy began two years ago. Since then I’ve had to unsubscribe more than once from the emails. I could say more about the collections changing, confusing upgrade pricing, and more aggressive advertising, but I won’t.

 

 

The bottom line is that Nathan asked for feedback and I found something I could piggyback on. And I hope my feedback will be “passed onto marketing” also.

 

And if I have to set the record straight, I enjoy reading Nathan's posts, even if I don't agree with everything he says.

 

 

Michel

 

Edited by Michel Gilbert
Every time I use this editor, click preview, and then send, there is an extra line or return, etc., and I have to edit. It's a bit of a nightmare using it.
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And by the way,  Nathan, I brought up the idea of subscriptions on Nov. 20, 2015. I am in favor of the kind of subscription service I mentioned there.

 

 

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duplicate

Edited by jarcher
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Thanks everyone for the feedback! Good feedback you mentioned there @Michel Gilbert.

 

One thing I’d like to look at doing is adding some short training videos to some future sales emails, so customers are getting a balance between viewing the regular sales items and getting some quick practical training in their inbox as well. 

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I would consider paying a monthly subscription fee to have access to an entire commentary series for the duration of that subscription. Especially if I could potentially get a % of my invested subscription money as a discount applied to the purchase price of the series at the end of the subscription time. 

I would also be willing to pay more for core version upgrades if it meant they were more stable and had better features. 

I would also be willing to contribute to a clearly defined Accordance goal to do a massive update/modernization to the core program. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, MatthewJames said:

I would also be willing to pay more for core version upgrades if it meant they were more stable and had better features. 

I would also be willing to contribute to a clearly defined Accordance goal to do a massive update/modernization to the core program. 

I would second this

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Great feedback. Thanks!

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I thought I’d responded to this but not seems I haven’t. I despise the idea of a subscription model. I am so completely tired of living in a subscription economy and one of the things I love about Accordance is that it’s MINE. It’s downloaded on my machine and it is not going anywhere and I do t need an internet connection to verify anything. 
 

man optional subscription plan that doesn’t interfere with real purchases is something I can’t complain about. But I will never be a part of it. And aside from my disdain for the whole model, it’s nearly impossible in my current environment. Internet, even electricity, is unpredictable one hour—or day or week—to the next. Just not something I will do. 

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