Building a new product from an insight

There is no substitute for meeting with customers in person. This is especially true with enterprise software. Customers operate in a specific business and occupy a unique physical space to accomplish their tasks. How they create value and utilize technology to solve their problems is usually unique to their business and needs.

When product teams have a deep understanding of their customer’s problems and build solutions bespoke to their workflow, the chance of gaining traction in a market increases significantly.

Events gives sports marketers quick insights into the performance of their upcoming games.

Field Research

In a recent FanThreeSixty product, we started by interviewing several sports marketers at their offices. Our goal was to better understand how they approached their jobs and their key goals for personal success. After several interviews, we started to notice a pattern: every marketer had their entire event schedule listed out on the glass of their office.

In almost every interview, we would see a bulleted list of home events, from first to last, with the date and opponent listed:

3/4 · vs. HOU
3/7 · vs. POR
3/9 · vs. LA
4/8 · vs. CHI
4/9 · vs. NY
5/1 · vs. SJ

Additionally, when we’d ask them about their goals and key outcomes for the year, they would start with year long goals, but then quickly jump to the events they were most worried about in the near term. Every event date, time and opponent was memorized by the marketer. Some events were undersold, some were on target, and some were ahead of revenue projections.

We could ask them about any event and they would have a point of view and theory for each event’s sales based on the day of the week, the opponent and so on. We learned that marketers operate event to event, playing hand to hand combat with their most undersold events, and quickly moving on to the next one after an event was completed.

Through these interviews, we gained insight into the marketing manager’s mental model of their job.

We formed a hypothesis that the best entry point to deliver fan insights was to reflect their mental model for events. Additionally, we strategized that the most delightful solution should also be accessible from the touchscreen in their pocket. We drew upon the dry erase marker artifacts from our interviews as the starting point for our newest product called “Events.”

Sports marketers operate inside a hectic venue on gameday. In this context, the easiest computer to access is the one in their pocket.

“Hell Yeah”

After some prototyping, we tested the concept with marketers and the qualitative feedback was highly positive. Once in a while you get the “hell yeah” reaction from users where they get visibly excited about software. This was one of those moments.

I once heard that the best UX feels like the product is reading your mind — as if the UX answers your next question, just before you ask it. This product achieved this through field research and insight-driven product design, to inform the point of view for the product.

Detail view of an event with fan insights.