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SugarCon 2013: How the Subscription Economy is Affecting Businesses and CRM

SugarCon 2013: How the Subscription Economy is Affecting Businesses and CRM



Denis Pombriant, Beagle Research ...

Denis Pombriant, Beagle Research

Today you can buy almost anything through a subscription from food and wine to clothing and accessories to cars and, yes, software. While most audience members may be familiar with subscriptions from the consumption perspective, subscriptions are changing much of what we know about all aspects of business. Managing a subscription company can be challenging in part because customers are invisible across the Internet. Frequently managers have to rely on insufficient information for decision making.
This session explores how subscription companies’ information needs are different and discusses some of the top metrics that subscription managers can obtain from customer data to manage their businesses better.



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  • Subscribe rather than purchase and save resources for other deploymentsEven the big guys are converting
  • Subscriptions are a happening thing. Avis bought ZipcarEither getting a better product or a better customer experience because the service fits your life better than the product alone.Younger demographic is adopting subscriptions and subscription products like bike sharing services
  • Technology trends — anything can be delivered as a service through Internet and fast, reliable shippingEconomy and Demand — slack demand in many sectors as people and companies want to preserve cash rather than spend large sums on single deploymentsBusiness Model — Better model for growth, lower overhead, more automated modelCapitalism at its finest — strips out the business clutter, enables vendors and customers to run lean, sets up a recurring revenue stream.
  • Vendors find it hard to make the switch because they take in revenue in smaller chunks and Wall Street doesn’t know how to value them.Hard to monetizeHard to explain to Wall StreetHard to keep customersHard to trackBut companies that don’t adopt eventually find that their customers and markets are moving away from them regardless.
  • The case for mobile and the need for it are realities that all businesses have to deal with. Over the last decade we’ve seen a growing infrastructure of standards, devices and increasingly powerful networks that have set the stage for very good mobile computing. These components have delivered the basics of mobile computing but most companies still need two very important bits that are unique to their businesses.
  • Too often budding subscription companies either try to make a conventional ERP system do the job with great difficulty or they build their own system (not a good use of resources) or they resort to spreadsheets (no controls, easily corrupted)