Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pearl Jam Gives Fans a Reason to Jump on the Band Wagon

A Fan Club Worth Joining
When it comes to providing concert tickets to its most dedicated fans, Pearl Jam has the best ticketing system of any band in the world. The main reason is simple – the band rewards the people who have been fans of the band the longest with the best seats in the house. Any company who runs a customer reward program should pay close attention to the way that Pearl Jam issues tickets to its concerts.

The Perfect System
Pearl Jam charges $20 per year to join its fan club, called the Ten Club. In a nutshell, here’s how Pearl Jam sells concert tickets to its fan club members:
  1. Ticket Pre-Sale. Members of the Ten Club are able to purchase a limited number of tickets to any of the band’s shows via Concert tickets are available to Ten Club members before they go on sale to the general public.

    Benefit of joining the fan club:
    The opportunity to purchase tickets before the general public.

  2. Ticket Distribution. When purchasing tickets, fan club members do not choose their seats. Instead, the fan club assigns tickets to its members based on how long someone has been a member. The longest-standing members get the best seats at the shows.

    Benefits of joining the fan club:
    The band’s most dedicated fans are rewarded with the best concert seats and there’s not a huge online rush to grab the best concert seats.

  3. Front Row Chance. So why would someone join the fan club today if they’re going to be relegated to the back of the concert hall? Because Pearl Jam reserves the front or second row and the tenth row of each concert and randomly picks fan club members to fill those seats

    Benefit of joining the fan club:
    You have a chance to see the band from within the first ten rows no matter when you joined the fan club.

  4. No Scalping. Fan club members cannot pick up their tickets to the show until the day of the concert, and they must show a photo ID to pick up their tickets.

    Benefit of joining the fan club:
    This system makes it very hard for scalpers to purchase Pearl Jam concert tickets ahead of the show and drive up ticket prices by scalping them online.

  5. Relive the Experience. Pearl Jam sells bootlegs to all of its concerts on its official website. For only $20, fans can download mp3s from their concert and relive the experience over and over again.
Add This to Your To-Do List
How are you rewarding your most loyal fans? Do you offer them a pre-sale on your newest items? Do you announce to your fans your latest company news before posting it on your website? Your fans need to feel special, and they need to be given perks that aren’t available to casual fans. These are your die-hard supporters – the folks who will always talk about you to their friends. Engage them, make them happy, and make them feel special. Do these three things and you’re certain to reap long-term rewards.

There’s never a lack of ideas.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Something for Everyone on the Golf Course

It’s Like a Lemonade Stand, but Without Costs
Kids who grow up on golf courses tend to try to sell passing golfers the golf balls that they find in their yards. The average proposition is something like: “$0.50 per golf ball” or “10 balls for $4.”

I saw the greatest backyard golf ball stand while playing Ruffled Feathers Golf Course in Lemont, IL (pictured above). It’s a fancy course, and it’s the fanciest setup that I’ve ever seen.

Yes, We Have That
Take a look at the golf balls that these boys were selling from their backyard (pictured, left to right):

  • Titleist ProV1s – $2 each
  • Calloways – $1 each
  • Titleists (non-ProV1s) – $1 each
  • Nikes – $1 each
  • Bags of Assorted Balls (lesser quality) – $5 for 12 balls
These boys cater to every type of golfer. Great golfers are going to go for the $1-2 balls. Hackers (like me), who don’t care what type of ball they play, will go for the dozen balls for just $5. They have an impressive line of products and a great, easy-to-understand display.

I bought a bag of a dozen golf balls, told the kids they were marketing geniuses, and happily went on my way.

Add This to Your To-Do List
The kids at Ruffled Feathers Golf Course provide us with a perfect example of segmenting potential customers and offering a product that appeals to each segment. They offer something for everyone. How do your products compare? There’s always someone out there who would be willing to pay a premium for a deluxe version of your product, and there’s always someone who wants to pay the cheapest amount possible for a lesser-quality version of your product. Are you serving the needs of all of your segments?

There’s never a lack of ideas.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It’s a Wedding Dance-Off!

A Dance Revolution
Organized dances are all the rage at weddings these days. Brides and grooms are even bringing formalized funkiness to their walk down the aisle. YouTube’s newest stars are a recently married from Minnesota who organized the dance down the aisle that you see above.

Millions of people have viewed this video. So why hasn’t David’s Bridal taken notice and used this as an opportunity to promote wedding creativity and their brand at the same time?

It’s a Dance-Off!
David’s Bridal, one of the country’s leading sellers of wedding and bridal party dresses, should partner with, the web’s most popular wedding website, in order to promote a wedding dance-off contest. Here’s how it would work:

Brides and grooms would be invited to videotape their most creative wedding dances and submit them to The Knot. Visitors to the site would vote on the most creative videos and the winning couple would receive a “retroactively-free wedding” worth $50,000.

Return on Investment
If just one video garnered the type of attention that the above YouTube video earned, David’s Bridal would be paying less than a fifth of a penny per video viewer. Talk about a return on investment!

David’s Bridal could run the contest once per quarter and still not even spend a penny per video view! The company should use the video entries on its tv ads and start a movement. There are a lot of creative people out there, and $50,000 goes a long way for newlyweds.

So get to it, David’s Bridal, before this dance party ends.

Add This to Your To-Do List
Strike while the iron is hot. Be willing to turn your marketing strategy on a dime if you can do it in a way that taps into a hot trend. But don’t put all of your eggs in the trend’s basket. Like all things, trends come and go, but if you’re the only company in your market to capitalize on a huge trend, you’ll reap huge rewards.

There’s never a lack of ideas.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Scoreboard Says What?!

A Lesson In Simplicity
I took the above photo at US Cellular Field, where the White Sox were playing the Yankees. The picture is of the White Sox scoreboard in left field. Read the message carefully. Then let me ask you: if you needed help from security, would you have time to text “rise above,” your location, and a brief description of the problem to 78464? And how are you going to remember that number in the event of an actual emergency?

Add This to Your To-Do List
Communication is about simplicity. Whether it’s a message on a scoreboard or a proposal in a boardroom, if your message is too complicated, nobody will remember it or pay attention to it – no matter what. When you’re crafting important marketing messages, find someone who is not involved in the process and ask him/her to evaluate the message for simplicity.

If your spouse, kids, or friends can’t understand the message, then there’s a good chance that your intended audience won’t understand it either.

There’s never a lack of ideas.