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Ontela PicDeck (B): Customer Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning

Publication date: 20 January 2017


Ontela, a technology start-up company, has introduced an innovative service called PicDeck that improves the mobile imaging experience for wireless subscribers. Ontela sells PicDeck to wireless carriers, who in turn private-label the service to their subscribers. Ontela must decide which customer segments it should target for the service and how to create a positioning strategy and a marketing communication plan to promote it. It must also consider the value proposition of the PicDeck service for wireless carriers (its direct customers), who need to be convinced that the service will lead to higher monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) and/or increased subscriber loyalty. Part A of the case provides qualitative information on customer personae that represent different customer segments. Students are asked to develop a targeting and positioning strategy based on this qualitative information. Part B provides quantitative data on customer preferences that can be used to identify response-based customer segments, as well as demographic and media habits information that can be used to profile the segments. Students are asked to revise their recommendations based on the additional quantitative data.

The case reinforces the principles of data-driven customer segmentation, discusses the appropriate criteria for selecting segments, and provides a deeper understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of different approaches to identifying and evaluating segments. The case illustrates how the results of data-driven segmentation may run counter to approaches that rely on “gut feel” or qualitative information alone.



Sawhney, M., Grayson, K., Dupree, P., Hsu, C., Metzger, R., Obuchi, F., Sundaram, A. and Wilson, K. (2017), "Ontela PicDeck (B): Customer Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning", .



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