Dish Learns to Listen to the Consumer

Recently, Dish's research director Patti Fries discussed the satellite provider's cultural and behavioral shifts related to market intelligence. Annie Pettit, who lived blogged the presentation, provides the money list:

  • Dish launched its first satellite in 1995 but did not launched its research division in 2012, or 17 years later.
  • Initially, Dish focused on sales, building a subscriber base. Spending on research was limited because the value of research was considered limited.
  • More recently, greater emphasis on research as content distribution has become a commodity service.

The organizational cultural change reflects Dish's emphasis on customer orientation instead of selling orientation. Managers now make decisions with the thought of how will this action (a) make current customers' happy, (b) attract customers from competitors, and/or (c) reinforce our brand identity. In this sense, Dish has adopted market orientation from an organizational culture view.

The organizational behavioral change occurs as Dish improves its competence to generate, disseminate, and respond to market intelligence. Where data collection was random with results kept within departments, Dish now actively and constantly generates market intelligence that is shared across the organization. In this sense, Dish has taken market orientation from an organizational behavioral view.

While Dish remains the number two provider of satellite content providers, its per subscriber financial metrics appear solid. That is, this adopted market orientation posture has improved the company's positional advantage in the market.