Alma Media is media company focusing on digital services and publishing. 2014 digital products and services accounted for 32 per cent of Group revenue. The revenue of Alma Media’s digital services (such as Etuovi.com, Autotalli.com, Monster.fi, Prace.cz, Telkku.com and E- kontakti.fi) is based on fees charged for classified advertising, display advertising, service sales as well as revenue streams from service content and/or advertising targeted at the users of the service. The customers of digital services include both businesses and consumers. In 2015 all of Alma Media’s business units are focusing their resources on digital business and invest strongly in developing their digital expertise.
Alma Media had an idea of a new web service, where consumer – basically anyone who uses Internet - could publish online obituaries and establish commemoration pages. The service was supposed to be chargeable for the consumer and the first idea of payment model was that the “contract” would be primarily sustained.
Alma Media needed to find the influential and effective value proposition as well as to validate a successful business model for the new, untraditional online service. With this kind of service it is essential to carefully take into account the sensitivity and delicateness of the theme throughout the design process, as it is easy to do it wrong and loose the trust of customers as well as the reputation of Alma Media.
The project was initiated with a service vision sprint comprising a service designer, a business consultant and a visual designer. The aim was to gain solid understanding how consumers relate to the idea of the service and how acceptable it is, prioritize the expectations and hopes for the service and to recommend a pricing model that is acceptable by the customers. This was done by interviewing stakeholders and end-users and creating the value proposition based on the findings. The purpose of the stakeholder interviews was to get insight and gain common understanding of current state of funeral and commemoration culture and practices in Finland. The aim of the end-user interviews was to deeply understand the attitudes and expectations towards the service as well as the possible hesitations. Also customer’s willingness to pay for the service was discussed and evaluated.
The value proposition and business model was validated for the new service and Alma Media was able to make the decision to invest in the next phase to start more detailed design & development work. Futurice implemented the service and it was launched in spring 2016.