A case study of Netflix shows how data handling and digital marketing can improve user experience

What started as a modest DVD rental service in 1998 has become one of the most effective and well-known media streaming services today. An estimated 37% of internet users worldwide utilise Netflix, which has amassed a customer base of roughly 158.3 million.

Being a Netflix subscriber has become the “in thing” among today’s population, and “binge-watching,” a term once foreign, is now nearly synonymous with this service. Netflix offers something to all generations and the majority of nationalities, whether it be cartoons, movies, original web series, TV series, or documentaries available in many languages with subtitles and various genres and categories.

Algorithms and data science used to enhance customer experience

Early in the new millennium, Netflix held an open contest with a $1 million grand prize for the best collective filtering algorithm that predicted viewers’ film ratings based on their prior ratings. This strategy ultimately led to the service’s turning point. To improve and enrich its client experience, Netflix now employs many technological algorithms.

The following are some data science strategies used by Netflix to enhance the user experience:

1.    Recommendation System

There are two main categories of recommendation systems:

Recommendation systems based on content: This method considers information about the customers and background knowledge about the products. Similar recommendations are made based on the Netflix content the viewer has already viewed. For instance, if a user has watched a movie in the “thriller” category, other movies in that genre will be recommended.

Recommendation systems for collaborative filtering: This system makes recommendations based on similar user profiles independent of product knowledge. This system is founded simply on the presumption that people will continue to favour the same things they did in the past.

2.    Personalized Thumbnail

According to Nick Nelson, Netflix’s worldwide head of creative services, the firm performed research in early 2014 and discovered that artwork “not only tallied up to over 82% of their interest while exploring Netflix,” it was also the “largest influencer in a user’s decision of what to watch.”

One problem observed while accessing Netflix is that the thumbnail you receive for a specific movie or episode might not be the same as the thumbnail received by another user. To predict which thumbnail will have the greatest chance of being clicked by a certain user, Netflix explains the thumbnail photos before ranking each. These calculations primarily consider the links that users who are similar to the current user have clicked.

3.    Optimized Streaming Quality

When deciding when to cache regional servers to ensure quick load times during peak demand, Netflix uses historical viewing data to estimate bandwidth usage. So, when there is little internet traffic, the service anticipates which show will be streamed at a specific place and caches the content on the closest server. To maximise consumer satisfaction, this is done to ensure that the content streams without any buffering.

How Netflix uses digital marketing to pique the curiosity of its audience?

1.    Use of Multichannel Marketing

To reach the widest audience, Netflix uses a variety of channels rather than concentrating on just one. For instance, to advertise its wildly popular “Stranger Things” series, Netflix makes good use of Snapchat, Twitter, and word-of-mouth marketing. With Snapchat, Netflix collaborated with the platform to offer an augmented reality experience. The “Magic 8 Ball” feature of the fictional character Barb was a powerful technique to spark interest in Twitter.

2.    Email Marketing

Netflix has skillfully used email marketing to lure new customers to join their platform and offer them personalised recommendations based on their tastes, defiantly rejecting the notion that emails are now a dead medium. Netflix’s use of email marketing to promote its upcoming series “The Punisher” is an intriguing case in point. The service sent out emails that appeared to be spam and carried the threat of being rejected, but when they were opened, a GIF with the “The Punisher” logo flashing on the screen promoted the show loudly.

3.    Encourages Interactive product

Over time, Netflix has made an effort to transform its content from something that is “seen” to something that is “experienced.” This is evident in Netflix series like “Black Mirror,” which explores the sinister potential of technology. Around December 2018, the series launched the interactive movie “Bandersnatch,” which lets the audience participate in the narrative by letting them make significant decisions on the protagonist’s behalf.

4.    Focused on bringing a change in the world

Netflix made a risky decision toward the end of June 2018 that may have resulted in many terrible things. Netflix created a video that featured the main black characters from its many shows, films, and documentaries. The video was inspired by the photograph “A Great Day in Harlem,” which featured a group of black jazz performers.

A total of 47 celebrities were involved, showcasing the organization’s diversity in terms of age, ethnicity, nationality, and gender while also drawing attention to Hollywood’s glaring lack of ethnic diversity. By positioning itself as a progressive, innovative brand in the new, liberal, and perceptive world, the corporation significantly improved the perception of its brand by this activity.

Final Thoughts

The programmable intuition of Netflix is primarily to blame for its rising appeal. This article highlights how the service has made exceptional use of Data handling and analytics to reach where it is today, maximise its customers’ experiences, and promote its brand. This includes knowing what content to offer to which users, creating a user profile to provide personalised services to each of them, improving their streaming experience and offering a variety of such convenient features.

In addition, Netflix has used many unique and commendable techniques to strengthen its brand through various digital marketing strategies, some of which have also been briefly mentioned in this article.

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