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TIVO in 2002..

Key learning points

- Understanding the viewpoint of consumers is a journey that requires leadership and Imagination, and a dynamic combination of various approaches.

- The choice and implementation of research projects, and the interpretation of results, are subject to (often misleading) contextual influences including wishful thinking, relationships with suppliers, investors and current customers, espoused strategic marketing paradigm (e.g., viral marketing vs. mass marketing).

Study Questions
According to Keast, there is a mystery in the sharp contrast between the inertia of prospects and the evangelical zeal of TiVo users As an emerging expert in consumer behavior how would you tackle that mystery

What do you think could be going on? Beyond your pet hypothesis, try to be creative and list a large number Of conflicting hypotheses by taking multiple points of view. What might evangelists mention as a cause of their failure to sell TiVo to their friends? What might a couch potato say about his reluctance to buy TiVo? What would you expect a top executive at NBC to say about the situation? What explanation would the founder of TiVo love to hear? Hate to hear?

2.Now look at the data in the case exhibits. What hypotheses get supported, what hypotheses get discounted? .What other insight(s) do you directly derive from the data summarized in the text and presented in the exhibits that might help to guide the growth of TiVo? 3. TiVo is a new technological company and the management s approach to research and insight has gradually evolved over time What have been the different stages in their exploratory journey? What conclusion is this journey converging to? If you could timetravel to the early hours L the company, what would your advice to Keast be in terms of the research they should be conducting (the type of insight they should be looking for) at the outset for a more effective launch?


Initial Stage: Starting in April 1999 (right at the time of the mass market launch), TiVo has been conducting consumer surveys to monitor product satisfaction and to come up with guidelines for improvements (see case Exhibit 4). This initial approach reflects great confidence in the value proposition and a focus on product quality. The March 2001 Survey- Exhibit 3 What do we learn from Exhibit 3?

What research would be needed in support of a word-of- mouth campaign assuming we decide to take that route?

Users are excited to describe their own experience. Users dont speak as much about product features, they primarily focus on control benefits (watching what you want when you want).

Nonusers do not seem open to being convinced.

User excitement is off-putting (disconfirming) for nonusers who are quick to deny that TV might be that important in their life. Users then attempt to justify their own investments in sophisticated TV viewing by emphasizing unique interests or constraints that they might have, and that the nonuser does not encounter.

Different types of responses (No convergence of users and non users)

The product needs to be personally experienced in the context of ones own life. There are small segments of consumers who need TiVo and (vast) segments that need it less. People start from vastly different interpretations of what TiVo actually is (e.g., a substitute VCR or a tool to enhance live TV watching). People dont want to look like TV matters in their life; while conversations about TV shows might be frequent, few people want to brag about their TV technology investments.

Exhibits 5 & 6

Researching current users to a fuller extent Predicting the next wave of users Researching nonusers (not included)

The Attitude Survey (Case Exhibit 7)

A relatively conservative account of the data might go as follows:

TV with TiVo: TiVo seems to enhance the experience of watching TV, primarily by allowing the viewer not to miss parts of the program.

Life with TiVo: users agree that TiVo has made their life better, primarily by increasing planning flexibility.
TiVo and spouses/significant others: watching TV together is easier with TiVo (primarily thanks to pause and rewind functions). Kids and TiVo: even though agreement with statements in this area is scattered at best, it seems that the added flexibility given by time shifting makes coordination of family activities smoother.

Validity of the data in Exhibit 7

Low scores are difficult to interpret: The data is tainted with selfjustification, Open-ended deep interview

Exhibit 8
What is tivo???.

Creative Insights into TiVos Adoption Problem

What hypotheses they generated that could not be tested based on case data.

Examples are as follows:

TiVo doesnt sell because people have lost awareness of the huge importance TV plays in their life due to habit formation.

Creative Insights into TiVos Adoption Problem Some Hypotheses not tested
TiVo doesnt sell because people have a love-hate relationship with their TV TiVo might enhance the lovepart of the equation, but it is not clear what it does on the hate side. People are afraid that TV might become more addictive or more important in their life.

How can you test these hypotheses from existing data????

How firms learn about their customers

Little effort is placed initially on grasping the viewpoint of customers (e.g., their motives and thoughts) in their own terms. There is a bias towards researching current users (strategy or laziness?). The more that is known about consumer behavior, the less reasonable it appears that products could boil down to a list of features and functions. Productive research needs to give reality a substantial chance to disconfirm your strongly held hypotheses.


What should be the hypothesis that are consistent with business strategy (of selling TIVO bundled with satellite services) would be necessarily privileged. Consumer Research in practice is not a scientific exercise, but rather a journey where a realistic understanding of the consumer competes against cost and strategic constraints.

Management Decision Problem:

What should the management do to strengthen the consumers awareness and understanding of TiVo, increase sales, and reach a broader range of customers?

Marketing Research Problem??