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Marketing

If You Can’t See It, It’s Not There

I went to business school with a rocket scientist.I mean that literally. One of my classmates, and somebody that I found myself working with frequently, was an actual NASA rocket scientist, and just as you’d expect, he was wicked smart.One time, we were working on a project where we were evaluating the marketing programs that a company in this case study had done to figure out whether they should continue them, cut them or add to them. We graphed...

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Marketing

Take Your Organization From Scrappy to Successful

Here’s an inspiring success story about Patrick Dooley, the artistic director of Shotgun Players in Berkeley, Calif. In 1992, the theater company called the basement of La Val's pizzeria home. Twenty-two years later, they operate out of a hip 120-seat converted church called the Ashby Stage. And they’re about to open Tom Stoppard's epic trilogy The Coast of Utopia.Two of Dooley’s quotes in Karen D’Souza’s San Jose Mercury News article caught my eye. The first shows he’s really paying...

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Marketing

Extinction Math

How do you feel about playing God? As a hobby, I mean. Not full time.If you do, spend a few minutes playing an ancient computer “game” called Life. I remember stumbling across this as a very young computer user and probably wasting a lot of hours on it.The idea is this: Put dots on the screen wherever you want, as many as you want. If a dot is by itself or next to just one other dot, it dies...

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Marketing

The Single Best Guarantee of Ongoing Sales Success

I don’t like to be negative on this site, but there’s something I occasionally encounter in the world of live entertainment that really bugs me. It’s the idea that the process of actually marketing and selling an event is too crass for words. This usually comes from people from the very old school, who believe that if you are a true artist, if you’re pure of heart, and you believe in the Great Pumpkin more sincerely than all the...

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Marketing

How to Resolve the Battle Between the New and the Familiar

What do you call something, even if it’s good, that you’ve seen over and over again? Boring.What do you call something so new and different that it doesn’t make any sense to you? Weird.Most live entertainment content falls in between those poles, of course, but as a creator, curator or marketer of stuff in your venue, which is better? Which should you go for if what you’re trying to do is build your audience?Here’s the formula that works best:...

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Marketing

How a Show Benefits From Being Shareable

Once a show or event becomes "cool," tickets get easier to sell. As marketers of live entertainment, we know this instinctively. Celebrities courtside at a team's games or long lines of well-dressed, attractive people outside a venue show the world that somebody thinks these events are special in that slightly magical way that makes them more than just good entertainment value for the money.In fact, once a show becomes "cool," the value equation changes a lot. Instead of price...

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Marketing

Take Your Work From the Theater to the World Stage

Last Valentine's Day, Eve Ensler, Tony Award-winning playwright of The Vagina Monologues, asked people everywhere to put on their dancing shoes and boogie to show solidarity and draw attention to the injustices that affect women and girls around the world. This year -- today -- "thousands of events will take place in hundreds of countries and on six continents," according to this Huffington Post article. It's all part of Ensler's One Billion Rising Live (which will livestream these events),...

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Marketing

De La Soul Is Not Dead. They’re Free (For 25 Hours).

De La Soul, semi-forgotten legendary rap group, is making all its music free to download today (February 14), so have at it!Naturally, interest in De La Soul and their ability to earn revenue is going to, as a result, plummet! At least, that's the conclusion you'd come to if you think like those who fear things like live broadcasts and alternative delivery mechanisms for live entertainment.Of course, that's not what's going to happen. Many people, like me, are going...

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Marketing

Was “Crazy” Promotion Worth it?

A Houston furniture store launched a promotion before the Super Bowl where if you bought $6,000 or more in furniture during the promotion and the Seattle Seahawks won, you’d get a full refund on that purchase.Seven million dollars in furniture purchases later, the Seahawks did win, and Gallery Furniture is on the hook for the refunds. The CEO says he’s “thrilled” with this outcome, because the media -- national and local -- have made a huge fuss about the...

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Marketing

Olympic Pretendinitis?

Anecdotally, in the early days of the Olympics, I'm seeing empty seats in Sochi as I watch, and others are pointing out the same.Somehow, the BBC is reporting a sales figure of 70% sold overall for the tickets at these games as of two weeks before the start. This compares to the 97% figure that they reported for past games in London and Vancouver at the same point. It’s a tough comparison, because London and Vancouver would have had...

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