“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Was Steve Jobs right? Is the role of the pay-TV operator about making it easier for consumers to find and consume content? Showing them what is available.

You’re the one that I want
The good news is that despite a sluggish economy for many countries, McKinsey & Company highlighted in their global media report (2013) that spending on media and entertainment grew 5.8% in 2012. Consumers are spending. But they also now have an ever increasing choice of how to watch the content. Not only on which device but also more importantly from which provider. The question for the pay-TV operators remains how do you ensure that consumer chooses you?

Consumers are not all the same
Personalization is a word that is banded around as the panacea. Yes, it’s about tailoring your offering for your consumer. Simple right? Until you move away from the marketing segmentation graphs and acknowledge that its people we’re talking about. People like to be different; want to feel special; dislike being pigeon-holed. Before my marketing team kill me. I’m not advocating ditching the segmentation insights. Merely incorporate the human facts as well into the decision making process. In my experience:

  • Consumers demand for content is heavily driven by how much they desire it
  • Content watching is an experience; the reasons for consumers desiring content varies
  • People enjoy being ‘fans” of shows; being part of a likeminded group

Is discovery the new personalization?
Given the consumer age we’re living in, the majority of us are de-sensitized to the “just for you” promotions. Maybe it is more about giving the consumer the feeling that it is their choice. How can this be done?

The trick is about letting the consumer discover what is there. Discovery features give operators the ability to display their content in such a way that consumers embrace it. Features such as:

  • Personalized ‘playlists’ of content to share and recommend
  • Clustering users with recommendation technologies to allow them to find similar content
  • Editorialize landing pages and content collections aimed at groups
  • Offer a choice of collections so consumers don’t feel pigeonholed

The new law of economics: Supply & Discover
One of the challenges for operators is keep consumer demand for their content high. It’s not enough just to have a couple of big ticket items. Consumers get bored easily. To succeed, it seems that the winning formula is a combination of

  1. Supply varied, great and wanted content
  2. Make it easy for the consumer to discover the existing and new content
  3. Keep the consumer interested by using discovery features to let them decide what they want

To quote Regis McKenna “customer loyalty begins with an experience”. Pay-TV operators have all the pieces to make it a great experience.