In the technology industry, software and hardware manufacturers tend to focus on the needs of the companies they sell to. When prospecting an organization, they look at what the organization as a whole needs to move its business forward. The idea: if you understand the functional requirements of an organization, you can align your solution to those needs and convince decision-makers to go with your product.
On the surface, this approach seems rational, but in reality, successful sales to business customers calls for a different approach. Studies show that the needs of the people in the organization play a crucial part in the buying process. For instance, a study conducted by the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business suggests that although many stakeholders are involved in a purchasing decision, the process and decision are often dominated by one person.
In October 2017, CBS shared that its standalone streaming service, CBS All Access, has seen a record number of new subscribers in a single week. And according to the company, Trekkies are responsible for the bump: the new series “Star Trek Discovery” was a hit among fans, with exclusive access to Discovery for subscribers driving a record-breaking number of signups.
“Consumer response to the launch of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ has been tremendous,” Marc DeBevoise, president of CBS Interactive, revealed. “The buildup to the show’s premiere led us to a record-setting month, week and ultimately day of sign-ups.”
The show, which was already renewed for a second season, is the latest win for CBS All Access, which has become an unlikely success in the competitive streaming service market. Since its launch in late 2014, the subscription streaming service has expanded to a userbase of more than one million users. The company is now planning on taking CBS All Access global.
Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a series on Little Data techniques that turn a good market research recipe into a taste sensation.
Market research is like cooking with quality ingredients. Big Data is good because it answers the fundamental what, who and how much of a customer. Little Data is good because it answers why customers make certain choices and how they arrive at their decisions. But blend Big Data and Little Data together in a thoughtful, clever way? Bam! You’ve just discovered the secret sauce in the customer behavior recipe.
By the time this is published, it is very likely that I will have pre-ordered my Apple Watch. It will be tough to decide between the relatively modest Sport version, or its big sister, simply named Watch. (I am not the target audience for the multi-thousand dollar Edition.)
The recent record-setting Kickstarter campaign for the second-generation Pebble smartwatch was also very tempting. But, in the end, I canceled my $189 pledge for a Pebble Time as I am still enjoying my first-version Pebble and, like many gadget hounds, I am craving ‘new and different.’
Highs, Lows and Potato Salad
I am addicted to the thrill of the hunt on Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects. I love exploring projects from around the globe that are seeking funding from people like me. With my background in tech research, I am drawn to the technology and product design campaigns, but I enjoy exploring coffee, tabletop games and several other categories as well. I could spend hours reading the entrepreneurs’ backstories and why they believe their widget is the most valuable, special thing out there. For people like me, Kickstarter is the perfect mix of online shopping, online community and heroism. Why heroism? Because via Kickstarter, the Davids of the world can rise up against the Goliaths—corporations and well-funded venture capital firms—and have a real, substantial say about which innovations go to market.
I’m certainly not alone in my Kickstarter fervor. Over 6.5 million people have funded projects that range from the absurd (a “hot” project is for making potato salad with an initial funding goal of $10 and a final pledge level surpassing $54,000 as well as a national debate about what “the potato salad guy” should do with the funds) to the futuristic (a Dick Tracy smartwatch called Pebble, with an initial funding goal of $100,000 and a record-setting final pledge level of more than $10 million).
Setting aside the less-than-serious projects like potato salad, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter are changing the innovation game, and product development teams should pay close attention.