Live from #MediaInsight: Synthesize the Data to Create Actionable Insights

Kirsten Rasmuson, Manager, Consumer Insights, Netflix, explains how research works at Netflix while taking us through a number of case studies 

Highly aligned and loosely coupled - this Netflix mantra provides a rich foundation for mining insights.

An example involves their attempt to increase retention among new streaming members - these members are the focus, and keeping them with Netflix is crucial.  They brought all of their internal teams together to set up an AB test for certain new subscribers, who participated in an online survey several days after becoming members.  The trick was that they had to wait 30+ days to determine actual retention, as they needed subjects to move beyond the Netflix free trial period.  

In analyzing the initial findings, it was interesting to see that there were people who said that they would continue their membership during their first week but ultimately ended up canceling.  Here, the mix of attitudinal and behavioral data painted a more robust picture than a single modality ever could have - which helped Netflix realize that they had to dig even deeper to understand their audience and subscriber retention habits.

Netflix has also tackled segmentation, which again required the participation of numerous internal research teams and also applied to everyone within the organization - from membership teams to the people coming up with original content.  

Some Netflix tips for avoiding "analysis paralysis":
1. Start with the end in mind: focus on objectives, not methodologies
2. Getting to the "so what" - brevity can be an effective approach


Ben Proctor is Insights Strategist at Miner & Co. Studio, a New York-based consultancy

Ben Proctor

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