Lack of Internal “Listening” (Insufficient Internal Research)

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Case No.1:

Global trade marketing planning requires in-depth and specialized market research. But most critical data points in the vast universe of data are those that help:

Quantify the estimated opportunity available in a market,
Ease of doing business in that market, and
Past successes in that market (which might guide future potential).
Many businesses depend mainly on external data sources to help them make decisions. (We’ll discuss this next). Yet internal data is far more powerful to assess future potential. Are you experiencing an increase in leads from a specific market while not spending substantially on it? Do you think certain nations have a quicker sales cycle or a better win rate? Is the average buying price in a specific market higher? Third-party data providers do not know your consumer or brand. Only you can answer these questions. As bonus, it compels trade marketing directors to self-reflect on any failures that might caution against a specific approach or strategy.

Knowing thyself is the beginning of all wisdom.

Internal “Listening”: Advertising Effectiveness Case Study (Netflix)
Few brands are willing to publicly recount a time they misread internal data. Or willing to admit to trade marketing missteps. In hindsight, fortunately, Netflix is enough of a global success to shed some hubris and share some failures.
In 2011, Netflix was in its awkward “adolescence” between its DVD-by-mail business and streaming. They offered customers an $8/mo streaming plan, and/or an $8/mo mailed DVD plan. But previously customers got *both* for $10. This forced a re-evaluation of the service. Netflix lost 800,000 subscribers. Its stock dropped -30%. It’s become a business school case study in lost good will.

Advertising Effectiveness Case Study: Netflix 2011 Rate Hike (-30% Drop in Stock Value)
What they botched: Most customers tended to use one option or the other, so a segmented approach might have been ideal. Or an $6/mo offer (in addition to the $10) to “upgrade” to a richer streaming service. In any case, Netflix botched the announcement by focusing on price rather than value.
But, what often goes unsaid is that, in the 8 quarters prior to this (admittedly botched announcement), Netlix decelerated its ad spending. Customers were presented with the price hike at a time when Netflix was less top of mind. We’ll revisit this in a bit.
How they re-calibrated: Netflix was unable to raise prices until 2017 (more precisely, subsequent price increases grandfathered existing customers). 6 years is an eternity in the high-growth tech space. But this time, in 2017, Netflix focused on customer value. It used its rich internal data to decipher which shows users cared most about. And it boasted this content with aggressive ad campaigns in the US + international markets. Stranger Things and The Crown were impossible-to-ignore in Netflix’s global media buying. The price increase coincided with to 2MM new US subscribers and 6.4MM abroad, leading to a huge stock increase.
As the data show, Netflix’s 2017 announcement coincided with a crescendo in media investment (data are US-only, and while measurement changes create the appearance of lower 2017 investment, what’s clear is that investment increased in the lead-up to their October 2017 announcement):

Netflix 2011 vs. 2017 | Trade Marketing: Advertising Effectiveness Case
Takeaway: In addition to a case on poor customer communication, this is an advertising effectiveness case study because, Netflix did not use its internal data to remind customers of its value. In 2017, they paired the rate increase with ia tour-de-force of media in-market, focused on retention and new customer acquisition, reminding customers of why they love Netflix.

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