Tag Archives: Research Insighter

How Netflix Cracks Consumer Moments-of-Truth

Consumer Insights Director Talks
Research Innovation
By Marc Dresner, Senior Editor, IIR
It’s a testament to the fragility of success in changing
times that just 15 years ago Blockbuster Video declined an opportunity to buy
Netflix for $50 million.
(The former, of course, now rests in the business boneyard;
the latter is worth about $33 billion today.)
Without exploring Blockbuster’s missteps in detail, it’s
pretty clear that they missed a thing or two about the market and the consumer
that Netflix did not.
Indeed, the best defense against hubris in this era of flux may
be an organization’s appetite and aptitude for insights. Fortunately for
Netflix, neither seems to be a problem.
Dave Decelle
According to Consumer Insights Director Dave Decelle, Netflix
has more than tripled its consumer insights function to a team of 20 since he
was hired a few years ago.

As one of four centers of intelligence, Decelle says his
group’the only one that speaks directly with the consumer’has had to pretty
quickly carve out an identity for itself in the organization.
‘Netflix
is very Big-Data-centric and A/B-testing-centric, so it’s been an interesting
challenge to understand where consumer insights fit into that.’
‘Netflix is very
Big-Data-centric and A/B-testing-centric, so it’s been an interesting challenge
to understand where consumer insights fit into that,’ Decelle told the Research
Insighter.
Not surprisingly, Decelle notes they’ve found a valuable
role in delivering the why behind all of the behavioral and other data Netflix
collects, but he adds ‘we’re really careful about not taking what consumers say at face value.’
‘We try to steer clear of just listening
superficially to what consumers tell us.’
‘We try to steer clear of just listening superficially to what consumers
tell us,’ Decelle said. ‘We try to identify and understand the true underlying
motivators that are driving that response.’
This has led Decelle and his colleagues to pursue some interesting
solutions, methodologically.
‘It’s not unusual for the consumer insights team to
be innovating on techniques.’
‘Netflix is a very innovative culture and so it’s not unusual for even
the consumer insights team to be innovating on techniques,’ Decelle noted.
In this interview for the Research Insighter
podcast series, Dave Decelle  takes us
inside consumer research at Netflix and shares some lessons learned, including:
‘ How to get at
the moment-of-truth via in-the-moment techniques
‘ Why recall is
unreliable
‘ How to engage
internal clients through ‘opportunistic enthnos’ and offsite safaris’and much
more!


Editor’s note: Dave Decelle will
be speaking at TMRE 2015The Market Research Event‘now in its 13th
year as the largest, most comprehensive research conference in the world taking
place November 2-4 in Orlando.
For information or to register, please visit TheMarketResearchEvent.com.

(Ps. SAVE $100 when you register with codeTMRE15BL!) 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Coca-Cola Research Head Issues Innovation Scorecard and Blueprint

‘We’re Approaching Critical Mass!’

By Marc Dresner, IIR USA

In research circles, Coca-Cola VP of Marketing Strategy and Insights Stan Sthanunathan is a perennial favorite, known for his keen insight and candor (and frankly, for being unafraid to state the controversial truth as he sees it).

For example, in a Research Insighter’ interview last September, Sthanunathan made waves when he predicted that survey research would become increasingly irrelevant, supplanted by a new generation of more passive listening tools capable of delivering deeper, more meaningful insights.

More than six months later, Sthanunathan stands firmly behind his remarks.

‘Dependence on survey research is going to come down and it’s going to come down quite significantly,’ he told the Research Insighter’ in a new interview.

‘[We] need new approaches that will help you observe, listen, synthesize and deduce,’ said Sthanunathan, who added he’s encouraged by the ‘exponentially increasing’ progress the industry has made on the innovation front.

But the big surprise is that Sthanunathan no longer expects innovation to be driven primarily by start-ups and entrepreneurs from without the research industry; he believes traditional providers will lead the way in collaboration with clients.

‘We are beginning to get critical mass in the area of innovation,’ he said.

In this exclusive interview with the Research Insighter’ podcast series, Sthanunathan explains:

- Why the next step in the mainstreaming of research innovation will require shaking up entrenched, risk-averse client mindsets

- How benchmarking is handicapping progress

- Coca-Cola Co’s companywide 70/20/10 approach to investing in innovation

- How he’s counting on research suppliers to bring revolutionary research techniques to the table, and much more!

Download an interview transcript!

Editor’s note: If you would like to hear more from Stan Sthanunathan, he will be delivering a keynote titled ‘Technology…Embrace It or Get Left Behind!’ at The Market Research Technology Event April 30-May 2 in Las Vegas.

For information or to register, visit iirusa.com/technology

 As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us, mention code MRTECH12BLOG and save 10% off the standard rate!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication projects lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market research industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.