The Dynamic Effects of Bundling as a Product Strategy
This paper investigates the practice of bundling as a product strategy, and identifies how consumers make choices between products and bundles in a dynamic environment. Authors Timothy Derdenger and Vineet Kumar look at the handheld video game market to study bundling in a platform setting with the goal of investigating several key questions of interest to practitioners who make product decisions: First, do consumers value bundles over and beyond their component products, indicating a synergy, which some researchers have hypothesized? Second, have there been differing opinions on whether mixed bundling, that is offering both the bundle and individual products for sale, is more effective than offering only pure bundles or even compared to offering only the products for sale? Given the prevalence of bundling in technology markets, it is critical to understand whether bundling is more effective in environments with strong network effects or with weak network effects. Key concepts include: Consumers have a negative synergy effect, that is they are willing to pay less for the bundle than for the individual console and game, leading to the question of whether introducing such bundles can increase revenue. Because bundles act similar to damaged goods, they work well in dynamically segmenting consumers and allow for purchases to occur earlier in time—the presence of bundles induces consumers to purchase earlier rather than wait. The time shifting of hardware purchases has a strong effect on software sales, since more consumers who own consoles will purchase video games over a longer time frame. Mixed bundling is especially effective compared to pure bundling, and the authors find that moving to pure bundling would reduce sales by over 20 percent. Strong network effects do not enhance the value of bundling, suggesting that bundling may instead prove more useful in settings with weak network effects. Bundling is thus a strategy that could serve as a substitute to creating stronger network effects. Closed for comment; 0 Comment(s) posted.
According to CMI’s B2B Content Marketing 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report, 70 percent of B2B marketers find case studies to be an effective content marketing tool. That’s because they can increase customer confidence in your organization, educate prospects on how to solve their challenges, and provide social proof that your solutions are valuable.
However, many marketers often put case studies on the back burner while they pursue sexier marketing strategies. Putting off your case study development isn’t a good idea, because you may find yourself with new products or services and not enough proof that they provide ROI.
Here are three ways that you can get your marketing back on track and create compelling case studies that excite and influence your potential customers:
1. Use photos and videos
Multimedia can make your case studies more engaging and give you a way to connect with auditory and visual learners. Here are some ways that you can incorporate multimedia into your case studies:
- Add photos and charts to punch up your written case studies.
- Film video case studies and use them throughout your marketing.
- Create a video and text version of the same case study. Developing content in multiple formats will get your message across to a wider audience.
2. Don’t write case studies from your own perspective
One of the biggest challenges in developing case studies is getting detailed interviews from your customers. You may get frustrated trying to coordinate interviews, or your customers may tell you to “just write something” and they’ll approve it. However, if your case studies don’t contain quotes from your customers, they won’t be as effective or credible. Plus, your readers will be able to tell when you’ve written a case study from your own perspective.
When you take the time to get a detailed interview from your customer, you may be pleasantly surprised by the great things they say. If you have a hard time scheduling interviews, try using scheduling software that allows your customers to pick the best time. If you have trouble getting compelling quotes, be sure to ask your customers a range of questions that take them through their entire story — from the problems they faced before they started working with you to how they implemented your solution to the ROI that they achieved.
3. Create dual case studies/“how-to” articles
A great way to turn case studies into content marketing tools that will educate and inform your audience is to sprinkle in “how-to” tips. “How-to” tips can work nicely in the implementation part of a case study. Instead of just explaining how your customer implemented your solution, offer advice on how others can do the same. Here are some questions to ask during your interviews if you want your case studies to also function as “how to” articles:
- What steps should someone take to implement this solution?
- What should someone know before starting this process?
- What top five things should someone consider before purchasing a similar solution?
- What can someone learn from this process?
Also, remember to create case studies for all of your solutions and verticals. When a prospect reads a case study, they often like to envision themselves in the role of your happy customer. To make their visualization process easier, you should develop case studies for as many of your customers and solutions as possible. Go through all of your products, services and verticals and see where you are missing proof points. Then, make a list of customers in each area who may provide you with case studies.
What about you? In your opinion, what makes a case study compelling? Feel free to share your thoughts below.
Author: Rachel Foster
Rachel Foster is a B2B copywriter and CEO of Fresh Perspective Copywriting. She helps her clients improve their response rates, clearly communicate complex messages and generate high-quality leads. Rachel has taught white paper, sell sheet and case study writing for MarketingProfs. She is also one of the Online Marketing Institute’s Top 40+ Digital Strategists in Marketing for 2014. You can connect with Rachel on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter or check out her B2B marketing blog
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