Week 11

Revealing Gaps, Targets and Audiences for a New Product or Service Idea

Lecture Material

Dan Parry – Metier Digital

I have taken mental notes for this lecture to answer all of Dan’s questions in relation to my brief. I find this approach will be incredibly useful in my research for my final project.

NOTE** for reference to the below, my idea is going to be:
Speech transcription subtitling extension for android/apple apps, internet browsers and television enabling users to view media in a convenient and accessible way globally (this could benefit students with language barriers)

Who are your customers? Who is your audience?
• English speaking hard of hearing
• Foreigners learning to speak English
• English speakers learning another language
• Individuals with ADHD, Autism and Dyslexia
• Areas with background noise
• Any age range so must be suitable for children/the elderly too

What are they trying to do? Why are they trying to do what they’re trying to do? What problems do they have? What do the first 100 of your customers look like? Where are they? Why are they doing what they are doing? Sometimes there’s a difference between what your overall customers may be trying to do and achieve, and your first 100 customers.
• My customers are trying to understand audio using a visual aid as guidance, this could be for a number of reasons: from being deaf, wanting to learn English fluently whilst listening to another language, or a student trying to understand English pronounciation.
• The problem they currently face is the really poor (and limited) quality subtitles that televisions, online streaming videos, social media videos and podcasts (to name a few) provide. For example with the above examples, many don’t have subtitles as an option.
• The first 100 of my customers would typically vary in ages, intellect, knowledge, and in some instances usability could be an issue (elderly). As I’d just like to focus on my first language, English, I think the majority of my users would be in the UK (television wise. Online reachability could be global which I need to consider).
• I don’t think there would be a difference in this case with what my overall customers would be trying to achieve versus my first 100 customers – I think my idea appeals to a specific area of the media market.

Are these 100 people likely to adopt your product or service?
• Yes, it’s going to be customisable. This is extremely important as the user will need to be able to adapt in a way that suits them/is comfortable.

Is there a key buying persona? Is there a key action persona? Are they different people? Are the decision makers in your purchasing, different to the people that are actually using your product?
• My ideal customer would be someone like myself; hard of hearing and desperately wanting something a service to help them with basic daily tasks like watching a television programme on BBC without subtitles being 1 minute behind/incorrect. Although a 100% deaf person wouldn’t be able to pick up on the incorrect wording in comparison to hearing what is actually being said sometimes, there are usually bad spelling errors too. It’s worth noting my ideal customer would also be able to use the internet, television and streaming services, however if they only knew about one it would appeal to them too (package deals?)
• The decision makers in my product are:
– Willing to allocate time to set-up/install the product
– Benefit of understanding what film/tv programme/podcast/video/music you are listening to
– Whether the service is better than what exists currently
– Factoring in whether the price makes up for the time lost when mishearing and having to ask someone what was actually said (i.e. friend or family member)
• I don’t think these decision makers are different to what my ideal customer is would consider before purchasing; it would be interesting to do research on how this service should be priced.

Who out there is doing what you’re trying to do? How are your customers currently solving the problem at the moment?
• TV stations provide subtitles on some channels – here is an interesting survey from OFCOM (an “on demand” regulatory service) I found for which websites are required to provide subs:

Your weaknesses, what could you improve on? This could be personal within the business.
• The main weakness within my business idea is that I have very limited knowledge about data and coding, or software that would enable speech transcription. However, this could be researched and applied when I have developed an understanding of current processes used to provide transcripts.
• The main weakness of my product from a customer perspective is that there is a price attached to the software. Although to help a customer with this there could be packages, to minimise any customers paying for what they don’t use and therefore being affordable.

What should you be avoiding? What are people in the market likely to see as your weaknesses?
• Anything that is difficult to use, invasive to privacy, involving complicated/costly set-up/installation or requiring extensive mobility.
• I think a potential weakness is appealing to all of the market as a generic service, as opposed to just targeting a specific age group. This will change the look and feel of my outcome drastically.

Regarding your opportunities, what’s the opportunity in the space? What interesting trends are you aware of that other people aren’t?
• I think there is opportunity for me to be able to provide a really fun service for something that has always been really quite boring – most subtitles are either bright blue with white text (on adverts) or black with white text. Sometimes online you may have captions with no background. I have always wished there were ways to customise them – I could select pink and purple if I wanted to. This could be a great function for children, and even people who are colourblind. Change the size of the text, placement, typeface potentially (sans or sans-serif).
• I keep thinking of how popular journalling is and especially digital apps/creative tools that encourage customisation of text and images, and how successful that could be if applied to a television or online video, for instance. Could text be applied in a ‘scrapbook’ effect?

Regarding the threats, what obstacles are you facing? What are your other competitors doing? Is the changing of technology actually threatening your position?
• I have read an article on RadioTimes about how subtitlers (these are people who transcribe all media) have found it really challenging trying to position subtitles along with a motion video:

“Think about it: the subtitles will already be raised slightly to avoid spilling onto the bottom ticker – and will have to be raised even higher if there’s a ‘breaking news’ alert on screen. At this point these elevated subtitles might be blocking view of a reporter’s mouth, which is a big no no for any subtitler – many deaf viewers rely on lip reading.
Just to add to that challenge, the subtitles you just moved away from the reporter’s mouth might cover the interviewee’s in the next shot. Which means you need to move them again. And again when the shot cuts back.”

I would have to consider this in my idea and how to make these subtitles movable around the screen – maybe the video becomes smaller? Surely with televisions now being much larger than they used to be, there is room for the image to be marginally smaller to allow for text?

• In terms of technology, I think advancement of technology is actually improving my idea and I would be able to use this to my advantage through customisation and use of ease.

Make a graph/chart/diagram. What are the two things that define the product or service in summary?
• I’m going to look at interviews, surveys, competitor landscapes and charts to scope out a plan

Any other useful information I could take from this lecture?
• Minimum viable product / minimum valuable product: this is your product/service that allows you to serve the market and provide value for the market but also learn lots from feedback/data. I think having a subtitling service would be very valuable given the current market and how channels currently seem to have no interest in improving them due to budget. It seems that if I was to create a subtitling package service it would be unique in its field and people who really want them could purchase this as an add on to their media packages.
Something else is worth considering about my idea – maybe I would work with tv/streaming/film/music companies to provide my subtitle packages as an “add-on” option in their media packages, therefore providing me with a percentage of their profits too and making their customers happier.
• Google Analytics is a free tool to monitor viewers on a page if I wanted to monitor a website I might create for my idea.