What did you do this summer? Every single icebreaker come September starts off with that question. A majority of people’s responses would be, “I just hung out with my friends,” or, “I went on vacation.” My summer went a little bit differently. I still was able to enjoy a lot of the fun activities that makes summer worthwhile, but the best thing I did was start my very first internship at SeaChange International.
SeaChange was my first dive into the ominous world known as corporate America. I had my own predisposition as to what corporate would be like. Suits and ties, big office buildings, board meetings, CEO’s with fancy cars; I was expecting the fast paced hustle and bustle of a corporate regime. SeaChange isn’t anything like that.
I remember walking in here on my very first day trying my best to look like Don Draper (yes that’s a Mad Men reference) and to my surprise there wasn’t a tie in the bunch. People were wearing primarily polos but there were many in jeans and sneakers, and a couple of people even wearing shorts! It was such a casual, laid-back environment, something that I would be much better suited for. I walked around the office trying to get accustomed to it and what really stood out to me was this wasn’t a sea of cubicle after cubicle. People had their desks to do their work at, but the entire building was so open and inviting so you can collaborate and interact with one another freely. Throughout the building I found a gym, several televisions, and we even have a couch in the middle of the office. Not to mention the chef’s in the cafeteria are wizards. The original idea I had about what a corporate office building would look like was washed away by this reality.
I felt very much at home since starting at SeaChange. There is a great mix of youth and wisdom throughout the company, so while I gelled with the younger crowd, I was able to learn so much about my craft from the veterans in this office. That particularly came in handy with my summer long project. My task for the company was to research how millennials view television. The millennial generation is now the largest generation in America and are now beginning to gain buying power, so I was tasked with discovering exactly how they view media, why they use certain apps rather than others, and what they want out of SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand). I did this by creating a survey, and conducting several interviews of our company’s interns to get a glimpse into the overall mind of the millennial. I also surveyed people 25 and older as well to see differences, similarities, and trends between the two generations.
The first tool of discovery I used was my survey. I created a 34-question survey that asked questions about SVOD applications, ads within SVOD, being able to stream content on multiple devices, movies on SVOD, television viewership, and several other questions all revolving on how we consume media. I distributed the survey through several marketing avenues. I learned how to create an email blast and that enabled me to send the survey out to 40 of our employees worldwide. I also posted the survey on SeaChange’s Twitter and Facebook pages, and also had 11 of my friends post the survey to their college’s Facebook groups, including New York University and UMass Amherst. Overall I received 108 responses to my survey including responses from Sweden, North Carolina, and Arizona.
The survey helped me establish trends that hint towards a change in how we view media; and you can see the results here. Using the results of the initial survey I then conducted interviews of all of our interns to once again gain more insight as to how millennials view media. Along with that I showed the interns our SVOD app, Rave, for the first time and did a focus group to see how Rave stacked up compared to Netflix and Hulu in their eyes. I recorded over an hour of footage and compiled it all into an eight-minute movie.
Overall during my time at SeaChange I learned how to send email blasts via Hubspot, helped acquire company marketing premiums, learned how to use multiple marketing avenues to acquire data, learned how to run a focus group, helped with the blog, helped double our Twitter followers, and most importantly I learned how great working in a corporate environment like SeaChange can be. The challenge, responsibility, teamwork, and the overall atmosphere made this entire experience worthwhile and I cannot wait to come back next summer.
Alex Bernstein is a summer marketing intern at SeaChange and a sophomore at Quinnipiac University. As part of his internship, he's investigating how millennials consume video.