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TiVo or Not TiVo III

An FC Now entry in August has catalyzed some surprising interaction between FC Now readers and TiVo executives. Writes FC Now reader Jackie Huba:

An FC Now entry in August has catalyzed some surprising interaction between FC Now readers and TiVo executives. Writes FC Now reader Jackie Huba:

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We are longtime TiVo customers and fans, and we believe TiVo hasn’t “tipped” because it’s a sales-driven company that cares more about celebrity endorsements than the 97% of TiVo customers who evangelize the product to a friend, often ad nauseum.

In fact, inspired by your post, we (my co-author and I) penned a little article called “How to Ignore Your Best Customers the TiVo Way.” We sent it out in our monthly email newsletter in late August, and it was published by an online marketing publication just the other day.

We received lots of response to the article from frustrated TiVo customers, but we were quite surprised to receive a quick response by TiVo VP and General Manager Brodie Keast. He wasn’t too keen on our commentary. He called the article a “poorly researched cheap shot.” Is that how you talk to your customers? And we had quite a back and forth with him.

Then, recently, someone posted our article to the 43,000-strong self-organized Tivo online community. This is the most evangelistic set of customers the company has, yet the TiVo marketing person we spoke to referred to them as the “fringe,” not to be engaged to help drive new sales. What?

It’s quite telling to see these customers comment on why, oh why, can’t TiVo see if that they would just return the love that the customers feel for the product, then the TiVolution could really be a grassroots movement to change people’s lives (and sell more product).

Fast Company contributor Michelle L. Cain first sung the praises of TiVo a couple of years ago. While I’ve yet to use the service myself, several friends swear by it. That kind of loyalty is an asset that TiVo should work to harness and mobilize — not quell or ignore.

Huba’s comment about the company’s celebrity endorsements reminds me of a similar campaign run in The Nation. As much as I like Janeane Garofolo, I’m not sure that knowing she reads The Nation, too, makes me a more loyal or dedicated reader. I’m much more intrigued by the Apple Switch ads in which “average” people are featured as customers.