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Apr 27, 2020

Why you have to check out today’s podcast: 

  • Discover how to use data science techniques to reduce churn in subscription services 
  • Learn how to create a churn dataset as benchmark metrics for subscription economy decisions 
  • Learn what is predictive of churn, and what can be done to reduce it


Carl Gold is the Chief Data Scientist at Zuora where he created the Subscription Economy Index™ and the data science behind Zuora's Subscriber Insights. He has a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology and has authored publications on Machine Learning and Neuroscience. Before coming to Zuora, he spent most of his post-academic career as a quantitative analyst on Wall Street.  


In this episode, Carl shares his insights about using data to increase subscriber engagement and reduce customer churn. He provides a clear overview of churn concepts, along with hands-on tricks and tips he has developed through years of experience analyzing subscriber behavior.  


“The thing about churn is there is no one solution. If you think a customer is going to leave, the next question is ‘why’.”

- Carl Gold


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Topics Covered: 

02:18 — Backstory of Carl’s career, the stint he had at Wall Street finance industry being a quant and eventually becoming  a data scientist  

04:40 — The similarities of a quant and a data scientist, what they do. And the similarities of machine learning to data science  

06:04 — All about  subscription economy index and how companies use it   

07:22 — The biggest challenge a subscription company faces when it comes to billing and where does Zuora come in to help  

10:03 — Carl addressing the bias dealing with index and metrics   

11:23 — Carl's thoughts on subscription companies being recession-proof than traditional companies  

15:50 — Book alert: "Fighting Churn with Data" by Carl Gold - what is it all about  

23:19 — How to convert leads to customers by looking at a buyers' journey and sequences of action leading to conversion or churn  

29:20 — Carl's best pricing advice to listeners that could have a big impact on their business 


Key Takeaways: 


“If you can't bill people correctly then you know, what's your pricing plan good for?” - Carl Gold 


“Some subscription companies are probably seeing boom times because if it's a product that people can enjoy and consume more of when they're confined to their home. Demand is supposed to be through the roof right now and they're struggling to keep up.” - Carl Gold 


“If you want to reduce churn in a meaningful way, you have to give people more value.” - Carl Gold 


“One of the most valuable metrics that you can ever make for a subscription business is the recurring unit cost that the customer pays. That is one of the most important churns and retention indicators that will give you your amazing insight into the value that customers are getting.” -  Carl Gold   




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