Disney World Teaches The World Tech Coolness

CRM & Ticketing, Current Affairs
© jpopeck - Fotolia.comI’ll bet you're surprised I’m suggesting you go to Disney World, but it may just be the best example of our future you can experience today. The first line of this article in Wired sums it up best:

IF YOU WANT to imagine how the world will look in just a few years, once our cell phones become the keepers of both our money and identity, skip Silicon Valley and book a ticket to Orlando. Go to Disney World.

The folks at Disney spent two years figuring out how to remove all the transactional aspects of going to a theme park, and transferred them to a wearable device. According to the article, the “magic band” they created has a singular goal:

The goal was to create a system that would essentially replace the time spent fiddling with payments and tickets for moments of personal interactions with visitors. The MagicBands and MyMagicPlus allow employees to “move past transactions, into an interactive space, where they can personalize the experience,” Crofton says. What started as a grand technology platform has inevitably changed the texture of the experience.

Did you catch the part about “tickets” and “moments of personal interaction”? This is pretty much why I’ve been evangelizing CRM as most important innovation of this generation for our industry, and it’s only now getting started. And, amazingly, Disney is leading the way.

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Coming Up With Blog Post Topics Made Less Horrible

Marketing, Smart Idea!, Social Media
© ashumskiy - Fotolia.comI have an admission to make about this blog. It’s not easy. If you’re a regular reader you know that I’ve been posting several times a week for a long time now, and there isn’t a week where I look at my “to-do” list and wonder how I’m going to come up with relevant and new things to write about.

It turns out there’s a blog post that can help you (and me) solve this very issue. “How to come up with Great Ideas for Blog Posts” is exactly that. It’s a laundry list of things that, once you read them, will seem pretty logical. However this list is long and inspiring. So if you’re thinking about blogging for your organization or worried that if you start you’ll run out of topics, fear not. Just read this blog post!

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Email Marketing Keeps On Dominating

Email Marketing
© ra2 studio - Fotolia.comWith a headline like “365 Million Reasons Why Email Is A Solid Investment” you have to stop in your tracks and pay attention. This article isn’t written for arts marketers but the message is clearly laid out in the first paragraph. It refers to how much new investment is pouring in to companies associated with email marketing:

Funding events over the last five quarters have shown investors to be bullish on companies engaged in email. From analytics to infrastructure, advertising to services, and everything in between, the email ecosphere has been infused with $364.5 million in funding. The recent growth of these freshly funded companies underscores how important solid, reliable, and measurable email is to startups and enterprises.

I've been writing about the power of email marketing now for 14 years, from when we first launched PatronMail in the arts, and this article perfectly sums the state of the industry today, over a decade later:

Email’s ROI has been measured and unmatched for a number of years and will maintain its importance as a leading communication tool with continued investments, growth, expansion and evolution. Don’t count email out – it’s here to stay.

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Matching the Medium To the Message

Marketing, Social Media
© Dmitry - Fotolia.comI’ve long been an advocate of adding video to the marketing mix on your website and in your emails. And, to a lesser degree, I’ve talked about doing podcasts and providing infographics, but these are two other very popular marketing techniques.

This very insightful blog post makes a good case for thinking through what each of these formats does best, when to use each of them, and for what reason. Just adding video because someone says to do it is not a good enough. This post helps with specific examples to remind you that matching the content type to the delivery message is as important as what the message is itself.

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Executive Data Security Wake-up Call: Don’t Become a Target

Newsletter2, Smart Idea!
© - Executive directors, how often do you think about data security? Does it come up at board meetings? At staff meetings? Do you worry about it? Along with the digital revolution has come a new reality — we all are storing a lot of extremely valuable digital personal information (often referred to as PII, personally identifiable information) about your donors and ticket buyers.

If you store it, you accept the risk of protecting it. It’s as simple as that. Without getting too dramatic, I hope you agree that it doesn’t take much of a leap to see how this personal information could be valuable to a low-level hacker or a disgruntled employee.

Thus, in the wake of massive data breaches at Target and Sony this year, data security has taken its rightful place on the desk of every CEO — and it should be on yours, too. (click to read more...)

Discounted Tickets Don’t Necessarily Convert Younger Audience Members Into Future Patrons

Guest Blogger, Marketing
© Kamaga - Fotolia.comToday's guest blog post is written by John Phelan, Senior Client Cultivation Specialist here at Patron Technology.

There is a belief in the theatre world that offering college and young adult audience members discount tickets to your shows will not only encourage them to see more performances, but also prompt them to become members. The logic is simple: Once they see how wonderful your sets and performers are, they will undoubtedly want to join as full-fledged members or subscribers.

For some people, a ticket discount in a brochure or on a postcard may be enough to encourage a long-term relationship. However, this is not always the case and some young audience members, myself included, continue to purchase one-off single tickets. Why is that?

When you consider the mountain of debt that college students face when graduating into the “real world,” a discount code to see a show is very attractive. But does this translate into the longer term?

According to Kara Larson, founder and principal of Arts Knowledge LLC, a marketing consulting firm specializing in the arts, the answer is no. (click to read more...)

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