We’re two weeks into the Subscribed World Tour and already have four events under our belt – Whew! What a whirlwind it’s been.
Our team kicked off the tour in the Windy City last week and enjoyed all that Chicago has to offer – from the cool fall weather to some deep dish pizza. From there, we took a quick flight to the Big Apple and hosted two events back to back (#teamnosleep), before our final destination, Austin. This year, we introduced a new Subscribed concept targeting key strategies rather than just cities. We wanted to bring together business leaders within the same field to engage in small-group conversations and to form connections with each other. After much discussion, we landed on IoT, SaaS, and D2C as our key go-to-market strategies. At each event, we featured visionary speakers who spoke about the move to a subscription business, why they chose to do so, and what they’ve learned along the way. We had conversations with customers to check-in on their journey with Zuora and even connected attendees with each other during the happy hour and networking sessions.
In Chicago, Whirlpool, a century-old manufacturing company, took the stage to share how they’re making the move to a services model. “The opportunities to deliver consumer-centric services are ultimately endless,” said Jason Mathew, Senior Director of Connected Strategy at Whirlpool. Delivering a better customer experience has been top of mind through the business transformation Whirlpool is currently undergoing and with that, they’ve begun thinking about the products, like home appliances, as channels.
Our first event in the Big Apple was Subscribed for SaaS where we discussed the different levels of maturity in subscription businesses and how by having the right systems in place, IT, finance, revenue teams, and more will be able to unlock increased freedom. “Subscriptions are all about unlocking growth,” said Amy Konary, the VP and Chair of the Subscribed Institute, who set the stage during the opening keynote. Tom Axbey, CEO at CloudHealth (now part of VMware) reinforced this as he talked about the business transformation within his own organization. “You don’t want to pause your growth, but you do have to step back and put up scaffolding in order to scale because your customers’ needs will only become more complex.”
After a quick night’s rest, we started the Subscribed for D2C event bright and early. With speakers like Carl Gold, the Chief Data Scientist at Zuora, and the panel of experts, we knew we were in for a packed day with takeaways that attendees could put into practice right away.
Kristen Vandendriessche, SVP Revenue & Technology Optimization at Stansberry Research, walked attendees through the pre-Zuora and post-Zuora journey at Stansberry, the “Nextflix for Investment research for self-directed investors.” Before Zuora, the Stansberry team couldn’t price or package offerings and go to market fast enough. They knew what customers wanted, but they simply couldn’t deliver. Today, they’re able to offer pricing in hundreds of different ways each week and they can roll out new pricing models in less than a minute! All the time (and headaches) saved have allowed them to think about the vision for what’s next – 10+ new business units that are subscription-based and also using data to better predict how customers want to buy, in order to deliver them what they want, when they want. Similarly, Jill Marchisotto, Head of Consumer Marketing at TheStreet, added that “With Zuora, we’ve able been to price renewals individually based on customer engagement and behavior.” We’re thrilled to be a part of our customers’ journeys as they continue to work towards building their vision.
But that’s not all. Finally, we flew South to the Lone Star State and landed in Austin, the live music capital of the world. We had Amy Konary onstage again highlighting that digital companies are recognizing that it’s no longer just about the product, but it’s about the customers and the experience they’re having that will ultimately create a happy business. The Ask the Experts panel with Sara Yamase from Simon-Kucher & Partners, Warren Washington from BigCommerce, and Adam Kessler from Zuora, dove into the perspective of the state of the Subscription Economy in Austin, and everyone agreed that they’ve noticed an increased movement to a usage-based model. To wrap it all up, we announced the launch of the 1st Zuora Community Chapter in Austin! This community chapter will provide a space for users to share their successes, challenges, and offer support to other Zuora users. Congrats on launching, team!
None of these events would have been possible without our sponsors! Thank you to all of our sponsors who helped make these events possible – FirstData, GoCardless, Avalara, JP Morgan Chase & Company, CardConnect, Amazon Pay, Deloitte, Ingenico, Keylight, Merchant e-Solutions, Vertex, and Worldpay.
See you all across the Atlantic in Paris, where we’re headed to next! Check out the full Subscribed World Tour lineup here.