Switching On Student Expertise for Real-World Projects
When streaming service Pluto TV needed analysis, its team turned to Booth marketing students—and ended up getting even more than they anticipated.
- By September 03, 2020
- Classroom Experience
“Initially, the project was focused on the consumption and behavioral habits of both linear and video-on-demand products,” D’Attilio said, “but the scope naturally evolved into a study of VOD user need states, and that resulted from an astounding amount of data that the team collected.”
The Booth students dove into the project with gusto, doing extensive paneling and surveying of both nonusers and current users. They sought to understand what consumers were looking for in a platform, who was most likely to consume Pluto TV’s content, what might attract consumers, how users might interact with each other, and more. Students categorized their findings and developed a rubric that the company could then use to inform product experimentation and decisioning.
D’Attilio said the Booth students closely examined everything from social interaction to the discoverability of content—whether through recommendations or through users’ ability to control video playback. They also explored many other potential contributors for how Pluto TV may further develop robust products.
Ultimately, D’Attilio was impressed with what the students brought to the project. “It was clear from the very beginning, in conversations with Booth faculty, that the level of expectation from them was already high, and so my own expectations reflected that,” D’Attilio said. “But the end product still ended up exceeding everyone’s expectations.”
The Booth students’ work resulted in a behavioral mapping that will allow Pluto TV to formulate strategy and prioritize product development initiatives into the future based on user need states. “The rubric has given us a lot of insight into potential consumption categorizations, and how we would score concepts so that we could understand what has the highest potential to contribute to incremental user engagement,” D’Attilio said.
D’Attilio praised the students’ preparation and skill, as well as the level and rigor of their data analysis. “The actual end results—from a rubric perspective—were very much in line with what you would expect from a strategy consultant with many years of experience.”