There are many considerations when building and launching a new sports OTT brand. You need to secure sports content, build an app or website and then find a multitude of partners to help deliver all the technical aspects of the service. But often the most important factor – the subscriber – and subsequent experience can move slowly down the list of priorities.
Building a service and experience that best suits the needs of your customers can be very tricky – as a relationship between a subscriber and their sports OTT service is far more involved and needs to be carefully cultivated. So how do you get to know your subscribers in order to grow revenue, services and subscription longevity?
Understanding a subscriber is not just about what they watched, what demographic group they are, or what propensity models predict; sports OTT brands need to fully understand what subscribers truly care about– on a deeper level. This begins by considering the psychological and emotional factors that can significantly affect how subscribers think, feel, and behave at different stages of the customer journey.
BUILD AN EXPERIENCE THAT GOES BEYOND SPORT
Sports brands needs to take a fresh look at their subscribers and build an experience that goes beyond the sports content. To begin the process of creating a subscriber focused brand, sports brands must consider 8 basic principles:
1. SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE LIKE RELATIONSHIPS
All subscriptions by nature are akin to emotional relationships between two people and require the building of trust and respect between the subscriber and the brand. Sadly, the brand-subscriber relationship is incredibly weak, which creates ample opportunities for relationships to break down and for the threat of competitive brands to become even stronger.
2. THE SUBSCRIBER-BRAND MARRIAGE DYNAMIC
There are 8 ‘Decision Moments’ within the customer journey that all subscribers flow through – Join, Trial, Consume, Upgrade, Downgrade, Bill, Leave and Winback. During these ‘moments’, subscribers experience different psychological drivers and emotions that actually mirror the stages of a romantic relationship, like courtship, marriage and divorce.
3. PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS IMPACT SERVICE GROWTH
If a subscription brand focuses on the different psychological factors at play during these ‘moments’ and changes how they interact with their subscriber base; this can have a significant impact on increasing acquisition, maximising growth and reducing churn.
4. MEETING SUBSCRIBERS NEEDS CAN BE DIFFICULT
Subscriber are multi-layered, multi-faceted beings and meeting their needs requires an understand of their mood, mindset and layers of emotion. A free trial period is a perfect opportunity to start capturing information about subscribers’ interests and opinions to begin tailoring both engagement from the brand and the service experience.
5. THE SUBSCRIBER PSYCHE
Unlike an entertainment OTT service, sports delve much deeper into the psyche of a subscriber. There are two core psychological drivers for both ‘freedom’ and ‘connectedness’ that unconsciously motivate their behaviours and interactions with sports brands.
6. FLEXIBILITY MATTERS
Providing flexible subscription options matters to customers, for example having the ability to ‘Freeze’ or ‘Dipping in and out’ when they need to. This helps subscribers to exercise their needs for both freedom and connectedness, creating healthier long-term relationships with sports brands.
7. MASCULINE V FEMININE
Sports OTT brands often show strong inner masculine qualities like doing achieving, innovating and creating; but struggle to portray necessary inner feminine qualities like listening, receptivity and understanding. Brands need to become more balanced if they are to connect emotionally with subscribers.
8. BE OPEN TO CHANGE
As human beings, we are terrible with endings. But churn is inevitable for any service, therefore the way sports brands engage and react is critical so subscribers leave on a positive note. It is important to understand the cause for any rupture in the relationship in order to better the brand experience for all subscribers.
WANT TO HEAR MORE?
It’s time to think differently and connect emotionally with subscribers. Download a copy of the Psychology of a Sports Subscriber report for more tips and advice to help you to create a subscriber focused brand. Click here.