Feedback frenzy: Can subscription businesses fill in data blanks?

By Aarthi Rayapura January 18, 2017

By R Danes in SiliconANGLE

As companies struggle to convert the right data types into a profit punch, new approaches are tested and discarded. One method for honing in on customer behavior may lie in the emerging subscription economy. Can the data flowing in from subscriptions, combined with other data inputs, help businesses better understand their consumers?

David Gee, CMO of Zuora Inc., recently spoke about the shift to the subscription economy and the value of the data it creates. He told Jeff Frick, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, that the traditional way of delivering products to market — a process whereby products were developed and shipped to retailers who then sold them to customers — left companies guessing about reception.

“You might get some insight into who that end user is, but you really don’t get a whole heck of a lot of feedback in any of that loop. So that’s a very linear process,” Gee explained. “In the world of subscriptions, the consumer, the subscriber is right at the center of that. And you have enormous flexibility to create experiences that are unique and curated.”

The missing data puzzle piece
Gee said that businesses, from large software and tech companies to transportation and utility providers, are shifting to a subscription model. He explained that these companies finding telemetry data from devices is one part of the equation.

“You marry that with your subscription data and you have a tremendous insight into what value can be delivered and up-sold to your customer-set or your subscriber,” he said.

Gee contended that subscription data tends to be driven by events, not timelines.

“That non-linear world is not a world where ERP and CRM have the capabilities to handle it. And so we built Zuora, and we built the subscription relationship management platform specifically to handle those things,” he said.

Watch the full interview below.

Download Zuora’s Subscription Economy Index here!