Lehigh (10 13)

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Lecture presented at Lehigh University on 10/29/13.

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Lehigh (10 13)

  1. 1. $X.99 per Month An introduction to the method and madness that underlies subscription pricing Presented by: Brent Chudoba, SurveyMonkey Lehigh University: Principles of Marketing – MKT 111 OCTOBER 29, 2013
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Brent •  VP, GM of SurveyMonkey Audience •  @SurveyMonkey since Apr. ’09 •  Previously: -  Private Equity: Spectrum Equity Investors -  Investment Banking: Piper Jaffray @bchudoba brentchudoba.com in/brentchudoba 2
  3. 3. Presentation goals 3
  4. 4. Goals •  Introduce several common pricing examples, discuss embedded marketing themes •  Discuss LTV (Lifetime Value), how it's used in practice and how tightly it connects to pricing •  Show how price points and and subscription terms interact with marketing and business goals 4
  5. 5. Scope •  The content is focused on B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) subscription models -  Dealing largely with lower priced offerings •  Out of scope: lots of things -  International, licensed models, high value contracts, services, auction pricing, price testing inventory constraints… -  We are only scratching the surface of pricing considerations in the following material 5
  6. 6. DIRECTV What can you infer about DIRECTV’s marketing goals from the following page? 6
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. Avg. customer price probably around $70, avg. lifetime at least 2 years (LTV >=$1,700); CAC tolerance of $200 or more for a new paid customer Packages 1 and 5 may be used as bookends, guiding people to packages 2,3,4 This is where they want you, middle package, most popular Disclaimer: Comments and estimates and are to be used for example/discussion purposes only. Estimations may be inaccurate. 8
  9. 9. Spotify What can you infer about Spotify’s marketing goals from the following page? 9
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  11. 11. This is a freemium product, if I downgrade I revert to free Using images to show the major differences, which is device portability, extremely helpful cue They are really trying to drive to this package w/ a badge and a different color CTA 11
  12. 12. SurveyMonkey What can you infer about SurveyMonkey’s marketing goals from the following page? 12
  13. 13. 13
  14. 14. These are annual packages, but displayed with per month pricing, with one option for monthly billing They want me here, “most popular” badge and “Gold” naming convention implies best of breed with minimal price increase 14
  15. 15. Marketing metrics 15
  16. 16. WTA?!? What the acronym? I overhear conversations like this every day… Marketing: “This test failed, the LTV impact was too negative despite a higher AOV.“ Exec: “But first period churn may be better given the source, and with the higher AOV and ARPU, the LTR is going to look better.” Marketing: “The main AOV impact was related to higher conversion because of the source mix, but that also means CAC is higher for these users so LTV will be lower.” Exec: “Ah, gotcha. Makes total sense, let’s keep testing.” 16
  17. 17. But the acronyms and jargon are pretty important •  There are about a dozen inputs that go into many of the spend calculations for marketers •  Most businesses rely heavily on core metrics that allow them to gauge performance •  Advice: when you hear a metric you don’t understand, raise your hand, figure out what it means… 17
  18. 18. LTV (Lifetime Value) A metric that matters more than most for a subscription business 18
  19. 19. LTV: Lifetime Value AKA: CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) AKA: The godfather of all metrics •  Definition(1): a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer •  Formula: (1) Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_lifetime_value 19
  20. 20. Calculating LTV Let’s start with with a simpler LTV calculation: •  We are going to ignore discounting (time value of $), and assume costs to acquire and supporting customers are negligible How much do How long will you keep paying me? you pay me per month? LTV = Monthly ARPU * Average Customer Lifetime (in months) •  ARPU = Average Revenue Per User (per month) 20
  21. 21. Monthly ARPU 21
  22. 22. 22
  23. 23. 23
  24. 24. 24
  25. 25. Monthly ARPU How much do customers pay every month? •  Netflix: $7.99 •  Spotify: either $9.99 or $4.99 •  SurveyMonkey: $17 or $25 or $65 For products with different package pricing or term discounts (annual vs. monthly pricing), you basically need to find the weighted average, or calculate each package type separately 25
  26. 26. Average customer lifetime 26
  27. 27. Average customer lifetime How long do customers stick around? Method 1: Half life •  Simple, but can grossly underestimate LTV Method 2: Sum of monthly retention % estimates •  Accurate, but requires healthy historical data and/or good assumptions These are just 2 of myriad ways to find avg. lifetime 27
  28. 28. Half life Retention Rate •  Assuming stable churn rates (e.g., 5% per month), the average life time of a customer is when retention reaches 50% and half of customers have churned •  In the example below, right after month 13 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Month * The data used above is used for example/discussion purposes only. 28
  29. 29. Sum of retention •  The sum of the area under a retention curve can estimate average retention •  Useful with irregular churn patterns (e.g., high churn in early months) •  In the example below, the sum of the first 36 months of retention percentages is 13.4 months Retention Rate 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Month * The data used above is used for example/discussion purposes only. 29
  30. 30. LTV Calculation LTV = Monthly ARPU * Average Customer Lifetime (in months) Using examples from the previous sections: •  If ARPU = $10/month •  And Average Customer Lifetime = ~13 months Then, LTV = $130 per new customer 30
  31. 31. Question: Why does LTV matter to a marketer? 31
  32. 32. It often governs how a marketer spends their time and $ •  If the marketing spends $140 on paid acquisition channels (e.g., AdWords) to acquire a customer that is only going to generate $130 (using our prior example) in their lifetime, they will run out of money to spend very quickly, if they still have a job… 32
  33. 33. LTV can govern… •  How much businesses are willing to spend to acquire a new customer •  Whether a business model can support having sales people •  What marketing channels are available (e.g., online, social, TV, radio) •  What areas in the customer lifecycle are the most important (acquisition, retention, engagement) 33
  34. 34. So where does pricing fit in to all of this? 34
  35. 35. •  Price is the 1 variable in the LTV equation that marketers and businesses have 100% control over •  So its one of the most important levers that marketing can use to achieve business goals -  Initial price setting -  Price testing -  Packaging/bundling -  Discounting -  Upselling 35
  36. 36. So if a LTV governs marketing and sales possibilities… And pricing is a key component of LTV… And higher prices correlate to higher LTVs… Why not just raise prices to the maximum that people would pay? 36
  37. 37. Price often impacts conversion •  Price impacts conversion rates which impact revenue •  Marketing needs to know what it is optimizing for: conversion or revenue, or something else Revenue & Conversion Rate @ Various Prices 16% Revenue per 100 Visitors Revenue per 100 Visitors $60 Conversion Rate 14% 12% $50 10% $40 8% $30 6% $20 4% $10 2% $0 0% $1 $2 $3 $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9 * The data used above is used for example/discussion purposes only. $10 $11 Pricing 37 $12 $13 $14 $15 $16 $17 $18 $19 $20 Conversion Rate $70
  38. 38. Quick pricing detour Let’s look at how pricing changes can interplay w/ conversion and LTV 38
  39. 39. Question: How many people have access to a Netflix subscription? We surveyed 514 people and asked: Do you currently have access to an active Netflix subscription? •  Yes •  No •  I don’t know * The data used above is used for example/discussion purposes only. 39
  40. 40. Question: How much does Netflix cost? Survey Question: How much does Netflix cost per month? •  $4.99 •  $7.99 •  $9.99 •  $14.99 •  I don’t know * The data used above is used for example/discussion purposes only. N=246 40
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  42. 42. Question: What would you do if Netflix raised its price to $9.99? Survey Question (for those who answered $7.99 to the initial pricing question): What would you do if Netflix raised its price to $9.99 per month? •  Nothing •  Cancel my subscription •  Move to a competitor •  I don’t know •  Other (please specify) * The data used above is used for example/discussion purposes only. N=144 42
  43. 43. Question: What would you do if Netflix raised its price to $14.99? Survey Question (for those who answered $7.99 to the initial pricing question): What would you do if Netflix raised its price to $14.99 per month? •  Nothing •  Cancel my subscription •  Move to a competitor •  I don’t know •  Other (please specify) * The data used above is used for example/discussion purposes only. N=144 43
  44. 44. Netflix pricing considerations •  On 10/21/13, Netflix reported that it added 1.3M net subscribers additions (new minus churned) •  Let’s assume it added 2M new subscribers and 700k cancelled, so 1.3M net additions •  And let’s use some estimates for our LTV variables -  ARPU = $8/month -  Average customer lifetime (months): 24 * The data used above is used for example/discussion purposes only. 44
  45. 45. LTV using current pricing •  New customers: 2M •  ARPU = $8/month •  Average customer lifetime (months): 24 •  LTV per user: $192 •  Overall LTV = $384,000,000 * The data used above is used for example/discussion purposes only. 45
  46. 46. LTV using $9.99 pricing Assumptions: •  Netflix does not increase pricing for existing customers (churn stays the same) •  The % of people who said they would cancel are a proxy for the % drop in new user conversion •  The conversion drop has no impact on avg. customer lifetime Updated metrics: •  New customers: 1.3M (2M * (100%-35%)) •  ARPU = $10/month •  Average customer lifetime (months): 24 •  LTV per user: $240 (+25%) •  Overall LTV = $309,984,000 (-19%) * The data used above is used for example/discussion purposes only. 46
  47. 47. LTV using $14.99 pricing Assumptions: •  Netflix does not increase pricing for existing customers (churn stays the same) •  The % of people who said they would cancel are a proxy for the % drop in new user conversion •  The conversion drop has an equal impact on lifetime Updated metrics: •  New customers: 292k (2M * (100%-85%)) •  ARPU = $15/month •  Average customer lifetime (months): 24 •  LTV per user: $360 (+88%) •  Overall LTV = $105,048,000 (-73%) * The data used above is used for example/discussion purposes only. 47
  48. 48. Scenario Review •  $7.99: New customers: 2M, New customer LTV: $384M •  $9.99: New customers: 1.M, New customer LTV: $310M •  $14.99: New customers: 1.5M, New customer LTV: $105M •  My hypothesis before running the experiment was that LTV may actually be higher for the on of the higher priced scenarios (it wasn’t, which makes for a less difficult conclusion) •  With this example we see that individual user LTV must be combined with the impact of new user conversion •  And even if the higher price scenarios had provided higher overall LTV, we must answer questions like: -  How do we feel about total subscriber count and overall user growth? -  How do we factor in viral marketing from more happy customers? -  How important is market share and competitors picking up more customers? * The data used above is used for example/discussion purposes only. 48
  49. 49. Business goals help optimize pricing strategy 49
  50. 50. What can pricing be optimized for? May optimize for: Business scenario: •  Conversion •  Boostrapped startup •  Cash •  VC backed startup •  Established business •  LTV (long term revenue) •  Unknown CLV •  Profit •  Physical product retailer •  Supply/Inventory mix 50
  51. 51. Price point implications 51
  52. 52. Subscription term implications 52
  53. 53. What’s your LTV? A peek into the complexity of a multi-product, multi-service calculation 53
  54. 54. LTV can get really, really complex Does anyone have an iPhone? How would Apple estimate your LTV? How valuable did you become to Apple when you bought an iPhone? After your iPhone purchase, you became: •  Much more likely to spend money on iTunes •  Much more likely to buy a Mac, which makes you -  Much more likely to spend more money on iTunes -  Much more likely to upgrade to the latest iPhone device within 1 year of launch •  More likely to buy an iPad •  Much more likely to upgrade to new versions of all these products… 54
  55. 55. Thank you! 55
  56. 56. Appendix 56
  57. 57. Survey respondent sourcing For the consumer survey about Netflix pricing in this presentation, we used SurveyMonkey Audience survey respondents •  We surveyed 514 respondents on October 27-28, 2013 -  Screening/skip logic was used, so not all respondents answered all questions •  This survey was conducted for example and discussion purposes •  For more information on SurveyMonkey Audience -  SurveyMonkey Audience Overview video -  SurveyMonkey Audience Help Center 57

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