Selling Out Editors’ Picks for 2014: Marketing

editors-picksCan you believe 2014 is almost over? The year has certainly flown by for us. To reflect back on it, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite posts on important topics for any live entertainment marketer. This week, we’re looking at marketing, which is essential to the success of any live event. See what Jim had to say about marketing in 2014 (click on any title to read more on the topic):

The Most Important Thing in the World for Marketers to Understand
“On October 23, I gave the keynote at the (very fun) Arts Reach 2014 conference in (very fun) downtown Los Angeles. The talk was called “The Great Jump Ball” because my point was to explain that the cultural and business and societal norms of the next 50 years or so are up for grabs right now.

The reason for this is that we’re handing off the torch of power from one massive generation (The Baby Boomers) to another (The Generation Known as Gen Y or Millennials). This isn’t merely numbers. It’s about what kind of assumptions and norms will dominate a culture. My point is simple: We are now already in a Gen Y world. Boomers still (for just a couple more years) outnumber the Gen Y, but morally and in terms of cultural strength, the battle’s over. The default position of our culture on any issue is the default position on that issue for Gen Y. Since the ’60s, it’s the been the Boomers in charge.

(As a Gen Xer, I just want to say, in true Xer style, whatever. We’re used to being ignored.)

Not convinced? Fair enough. Let me share a visual with you that might help. I call it ‘The Most Important Thing in the World for Marketers to Understand‘ …”

Never Use Apple as an Example
“I’ve detected a new and particularly useless pattern: Eventually every mediocre business book will use Apple as an example, if not the main or even only example.

And why not? Apple has not just been financially successful; it’s also been highly influential on the culture. Perhaps even more importantly, Apple is really popular among the ‘right’ kind of people, many of whom read business books. To listen to these authors, we should all essentially strive to be Apple in every way, except different of course. …

But as an example for virtually anyone else to follow, Apple doesn’t work …”

The Strength of Unbalance
“Recently, I talked about how some Broadway marketers are troubled by the relative lack of straight men coming to Broadway shows compared to the past. The thought there is that these men are a good, lucrative audience that they’re missing.

That may well be true, but hidden inside that thought is the assumption that it would be better to have a ‘balanced’ audience of men and women, or at least something closer to balance.

Sometimes though, balance doesn’t make sense or have any value, and chasing it can be a giant waste of time and resources.”

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 all the data, sliced it, diced it, turned it on its side, applied ridiculously sophisticated analytical tools to it, but it just didn’t look like much was happening when this company spent all this money for the marketing.

I said to my rocket scientist friend, ‘Maybe if we run a blah-blah-blah-fancy-math-thing on it, we’ll find a relationship between the marketing and some results.’

He looked at me and said, ‘Jim, here’s something I learned about analysis early in my career as an engineer: If you can’t see it, it’s not there.’

See part one, pricing, here and stay tuned for the rest of the month as we cover topics like customers, and technology to wrap up 2014 and ring in the new year!

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