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Marketing

WILK: Words I’d Like to Kill — E-blast

WILK: Words I’d Like to Kill is an occasional feature on SellingOut.com, where I identify a word, phrase, acronym, or piece of jargon that I think needs to go on permanent vacation. It’s usually because the word itself is either harmful to the success and interests of the live entertainment business or just downright annoying. Maybe both. Our WILK today is “e-blast.” Have you ever been e-blasted? Did you enjoy that experience? Frequently, I hear marketers of live entertainment talk …

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Marketing

Live Rules! (But Don’t Get Cocky)

I used to have to convince people that live performance was the leading category in the entertainment business, but I hardly have to do that anymore. This is especially true in music, where it doesn’t take an expert to see that sales of recordings are sad and not due to rebound to past levels … well, ever. So live is where it’s at. Hooray for us! But this article reminded me that the real strength of a business model comes …

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Marketing

Dramatic Improvements in the Technology That Powers B.S. Detectors

There’s no question that portable technologies have improved dramatically since the early ’90s: mobile phones and computers existed then, but they work so much better now and everybody has them. In fact, they take these super-sophisticated tools with them everywhere they go. But that’s not the only technology of which you can make that statement, and this one is as important or perhaps even more important to modern marketers than computers and mobile phones. Of course, I’m talking about today’s …

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Marketing

Don’t Think Pink (in Reverse)

It doesn’t feel like very long ago that marketers were being admonished about their shallow perceptions of how to appeal to women. The assumption was that marketers, mostly being men, would make naïve and patronizing overtures to a female audience, epitomized by “pink think.” This is where you take the thing you made for a man and make it pink or in some other way pretty and dainty. (Not that this has stopped entirely. The “Bic for Her” phenomenon is …

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Marketing

Give the People What They (Don’t Yet) Know They Want!

A couple days ago, Seth Godin wrote a short but important blog post called “Search vs. Discovery.” Here’s the key snippet: “Search is what we call the action of knowing what you want and questing until you ultimately find it … Discovery, on the other hand, is what happens when the universe (or an organization, or a friend) helps you encounter something you didn’t even know you were looking for.” Goldstar, for those unfamiliar with us, is in the Discovery business …

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Marketing

My Dear Aunt Sally

I don’t have an Aunt Sally. That was just my way to get you to start reading this before I tell you that I’m going to talk about math … But before you click “back” or shriek in Wicked Witch-like horror when doused with water, know that I majored in English in college! I wrote a thesis about Frankenstein. I like T. S. Eliot. I’ve got non-math-person cred. So stick with me. If you’re a live entertainment marketer and you’re …

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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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Experience

The Roth Doctrine

Some people I just know I’m going to like before I meet them. Jordan Roth was one of those people because before we ever spent any real time together, I read this article about Jordan and his then-recent takeover of Jujamcyn Theaters. I mention it because there’s something in the article that I find myself repeating and emphasizing to venues, producers and marketers all of the time, and which I now call the Roth Doctrine. Leading into it, he describes …

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P&L

Measure Success Using Revenue Per Seat

The name of this site is Selling Out, but the goal of Selling Out is achieving success with your marketing. So how do you measure success? You can sell out by having a great show; or you can sell out by putting a show in a house that’s way too small for the act; or you can sell out by dramatically underpricing the tickets. If there’s one thing I wish I could teach the world of live entertainment marketers about …

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Pricing

How Not to Discount: Part III

Don’t discount only your lowest-priced inventory. Today’s example of how not to discount is slightly counterintuitive because it’s easy to associate “discount” with “low price.” The mistake I’m talking about is only discounting the lowest-priced inventory in your venue. This happens because some marketers are conflating two different things: a low price and a discount from face value. They aren’t the same thing, and they function psychologically to the consumer in very different ways. A tier of seats that is …

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