Sega in Saturn research fiasco

By Sharon Marshall

The 5m UK launch of Sega’s Saturn games system has backfired because of flawed market research.

Sega faces a backlash from customers and retailers because pre-launch research gave misleading information.

The dispute centres around the type of cable supplied with the Saturn machine to connect it to the television. Sega’s research suggests that the majority of family TV sets use a connection lead called SCART, so Sega packaged its 400 system with a SCART lead.

However, retailers say Saturns are not being used on a household’s main TV, but on older, secondary sets in people’s bedrooms. These typically need a cable known as RF.

Sega has only supplied a handful of RF leads to retailers. Stocks have since run out, leaving retailers with a week-long wait for more. In response, Sega has sent a mailer to retailers and set up a helpline.

“We were ecstatically happy with sales, but the launch was based on the wrong data,” says Will Copeland, director of retailer One Stop Beyond. Copeland says more than half of customers have asked for RF leads, and he is having to offer the 25 cables free to pacify customers.

HMV computer general manager Gerry Berkley says the store is also having to deal with customer complaints. “Personally, I don’t understand why they did not put it (the RF lead) in,” he says.

Saturn marketing manager Jeremy Crisp insists the machines are primarily used on main TVs and says the company is right to encourage the use of SCART because it is of a higher quality than RF. “Sega has taken a brave decision. The step had to be made,” he says.

Latest from Marketing Week

Tesco, M&S, Just Eat: 5 things that mattered this week and why

m&s

M&S chief outlines digital-first strategy after profits plummet Marks & Spencer (M&S) is gearing up for a digital-first future, after its revealed on Wednesday (23 May) that profits had dropped a massive 62.1% to £66.8m compared to the previous year. A day earlier, the struggling retailer confirmed it will close more than 100 stores over […]

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here