Do Consumers Really Know What They Want?
This week brings another update from our Content Lead, Laura Frankel.
I wanted to share with you a study that I got as part of being a member of CTAM. Check it out here.
As with all research data, one needs to overlay the information with what they know and are learning from their own consumer base. For me, this data rings true… not necessarily the segmentation piece; but the overlap of needs and behaviors that shows that about 25% of the US population has cut the cord or was never attached to the cord in the first place. The Omnivores (who get content from a variety of sources) maybe the one behavior segment that is still attached to the cord, but are not tied to it.
I want to add one comment on segmentation before I discuss the findings on what elements around the TV experience matter most. I have been in the media biz for over 20 years and I have seen over a billion segmentation studies – okay, maybe not a billion – but you get my drift. We can segment the human population into so many ways that I have never been a true believer in segmentation – though, I have valued the data and have used it to make programming decisions; it has never been my gospel. You know why? Because we human beings are fickle. I literally could fall into almost all of those segments depending on my mood, time of day, budget, etc. And, this is why: at the end of the day programming is an art form – data will only take you so far.
If we relied on data we would never have had Glee on the air, as “TV musicals don’t work” – well, yeah they do, when you add in the right mix. Once Upon A Time should never have become the hit it became if you just looked at straight data around fables/fantasy on TV… and yet it is ABC’s highest rated drama. So, data is important but you need to be sure to mix in with some real world knowledge, as people don’t always know what they want until they see it, or until someone serves it up in a way that that connects.
Let’s look at what the study does say about the elements around the TV experience that matter most. So the top eight are:
- The Most Content
- Time Shifting
- The Newest Content.
This does not surprise me – we have heard over and over again “I want the most content at the best price when and where I want I it.” “I want to be able to find what I am looking for in a simple; easy way”.
Now, let’s look at the bottom elements: Familiarity, Quality, Integration, Content I Stream/Rent, Recommendations, Content I Own, and Mobility.
Are you surprised?
Having worked in the technology sector for over three years, I know that we talk about Recommendations and Mobility all the time. However, based on this study, that is not a driving need for consumers. So, should we pack it in and not focus on these things? Of course not – as both will become more and more important as we deliver these features the right way to the consumer. The key is that we are not delivering these features in the right way yet and thus, consumers don’t know what they need. So like Glee and Once Upon a Time, Recommendations and Mobility will become a hit once we get the right mix.