I could not agree more that this is a marketing issue. I’ve mentioned it here.
The marketing so far has been totally lacking and could use some serious direct marketing efforts. My thoughts… shoot a longer form edutainment “show” and cut down smaller segments for web demos. Use the show on a DVD and send it to highly targeted homes in the mail for acquisition but also use it for fulfillment of qualified information requests. I would partner with the big box stores and run the show on a TV/DVD set-up so that casual shoppers could get a real understanding of how the thing works. Be sure to have either representation from either TiVO or the device makers, or make damn sure the employees receive some actual training on what you are promoting.
Ditch the 30 second quirky and funny spots that are probably being worked on now to run in the near future…
Both Robert Scoble, Dave Winer and Marc Canter have weighed in the slow adoption of DVRs such as TiVo or Media Center PC in the marketplace. They are all correct to some degree but also miss the mark. One of the interesting things that happens when you apply research and analysis to the subject is you get a different picture about the paradox of adoption. In this case the paradox is relatively small sales but tremendous enthusiasm of those who DO adopt it.
So what’s the reason? DVRs by themselves are not “killer applications”. In fact, there’s a multitude of features that are totally contextual, that at a given moment in time BECOME the killer app. Want to pause TV when the phone rings? That’s the killer app at that moment. Recording a show using an EPG to simply search for it? That’s the killer app at that moment. Skipping commercials when you watch recorded content? That’s the killer app at that moment. Contextual functionality ONLY comes together when you get to see the whole, not a piece or part. When you see only pieces, you just get a very expensive VCR not a DVR.
This is a nasty marketing problem since there’s no good way to get the message across in 30 seconds. It’s also why leveraging the fan base is critical, since those are the folks who have made the leap of faith.[Michael Gartenberg]