Sponsorship strategy? Check.
As the dust settles on another successful Rexall Edmonton Indy, its attendees are left to nurse hangovers and sunburns while its promoters are left to reflect on the successes and fallbacks of the event. While the race draws annual crowds of well over 150,000 people, the Edmonton portion of the Indy circuit continually reports losses. Why is this? The event is nearly sold out every year, corporate support is strong, thousands flock to the city to attend, yet the race is predicted to lose anywhere between 1-3 million dollars. With low sponsorship numbers and even lower television ratings, what can promoters do to ensure the race continues in Alberta’s capital city? I don’t know the answer (if I did I would have a drastically different job title) but I think a place they could start is by learning from their drivers.
Over the Indy weekend I had the pleasure to spend some time with Canadian driver Alex Tagliani behind the scenes while he prepared for the race and I was absolutely blown away by how hard these athletes work off the track to make sure they still have a ride on it. The economic downturn has hit auto racing, a sponsorship dependent activity, perhaps the hardest of any North American sport and with less money to go around, drivers that become complacent have found themselves without a team to race for. Tagliani, who drives for a small race team, has had to rethink the way he goes about securing sponsorship and think of new, more cost effective ways of drumming up publicity and funding. So much so, that in a July 20 Edmonton Journal article Tagliani “estimates he’s spending about 90 per cent of his time raising money, and just 10 per cent driving.”Be it utilizing social media to boost attention, tireless work with clients and sponsors, or spending weeks ahead attending local festivals and contests, Tagliani not only increased his chances of finding a full time racing team next season but also created new racing fans, which benefits the entire sport.
Like any business, the Indy’s success depends on the performance of the entire crew. With shrinking sponsorship streams the entire industry must enter the pits, get retuned, and strategize for the laps ahead. On that note, I’ll wave the checkered flag on this string of puns and leave the forum open for discussion. What else can the Indy, or any business for that matter, learn from the way drivers secure their own sponsorship and deal with partners, clients, and supporters?
Finally after weeks, perhaps even months, I can eat and sleep comfortably once more. Finally I can go throughout my day and not break down into a blubbering mess due to critical levels of mental anguish. Finally I can drive from point A to B without having to pull over on the side of the road and contemplate the meaning of my life. Finally… I know what the “August 5″ campaign in Edmonton signifies.
Metaphysical life-altering experiences aside, Edmonton’s Southgate mall recently finished an interesting marketing campaign to generate some buzz about their grand re-opening after substantial renovations. Featuring new stores, new physical outlay and a “new feel,” Southgate created a marketing plan to gain new shoppers and align itself as a legitimate competitor to the monolith that is West Edmonton Mall. How you ask? By simply posting signs around the city that said no more then “August 5″.
Teaser marketing campaigns (definitely not something new or indigenous to Edmontonians) play off of and manipulate the innate human characteristic of needing to understand what is going on. By strategically providing only small pieces of information regarding the actual event/product, advertisers hope to stir up the most powerful marketing tool: word of mouth. In this case, mission accomplished. After only weeks of seeing the signs around the city, I heard numerous mentions of the campaign from all kinds of sources, ranging from newspaper and radio to simple banter between friends. People were agitated by knowing absolutely nothing about something they drove past every day and as a result they spread the campaign around the city for Southgate (at no extra cost).
Probably the most documented case of teaser marketing in recent memory was the 2007-2008 campaign for the movie Cloverfield. Movie advertisements featuring only a shaky camera and a single passing glance of a gigantic monster attacking a city caught people’s attention, but by not mentioning a movie title, release date, or any sort of information that would help the viewers figure out what they just saw, the advertisements caused everyone in the theatre look at each other and wonder out loud “what was that?” They added to this fantastic viral campaign with a website that gave out almost less information then the movie previews but featured videos and puzzles alluding to a post-apocalyptic world, creating more hype towards whatever the hell it was that advertisers were planning on releasing.
The catch to teaser marketing is that with added hype comes higher expectations. After toying with their emotions (as my fragile psyche would suggest) the consumer expects to find a light at the end of the tunnel that really blows them away. Anything less than that and the promoter can face anything ranging from apathy to resentment, severely damaging any hype they had created. Cloverfield did amazing out of the gates, but kind of tapered off by leaving some people expecting more explanation from the promoters as the storyline didn’t finish on a solid note. Southgate attempted to add to their re-opening by hiring performers but, from what I’ve gathered, the event left a few people saying “that’s it?” The teaser campaign can be an incredibly effective tool at drumming up publicity, but due to the hightened expecations a promoter needs to sit down and determine if their product is worthy of the hype.
Tease me all you want, but you’d better have something that’s worth my
Filed under: Marketing Tagged:
During a rare day off work due to getting the flu, I picked up a book I had purchased a couple of months ago that I hadn’t gotten around to reading. The book is called ‘The Dream: How I learned the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship and made millions’ it is basically an autobiography of Indian American entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal. The book is a very easy and pleasant read with a lot of great business tips and inspirational successes. I was surprised by how engaging it was, I actually couldn’t put it down. Gurbaksh or G as he is known to friends, immigrated to the US from India along with his parents, grandmother, two sisters and older brother. He always felt like a misfit and dropped out of school, only to found a multimillion dollar company at the age of 16. The story continues, and he shares business lessons he learned the hard way and highlights how to trust your instincts. His current project is www.gwallet.net which is a website that aggregates online coupons and good deals. I had a look at it and will definitely check it out when I am going to make my next online purchase, some of the deals are quite amazing.
With all of this said, I googled Chahal and it seems he has a kind of playboy, ego, consumption-addict image which was a bit of a disappointment…who knows what he is really like…and honestly, I could care less really.
Some other reviewer comments:
“While success like his is often attributed to luck, Chahal’s story, like that of many immigrants, is more one of sacrifice … it was years of hard work, persistence and faith, along with the support of his family, that brought his financial rewards–not chance.”–San Francisco Chronicle
“Chahal is a prodigy, a successful entrepreneur, and a writer. His story is remarkable and we think it is a prime example of what can be accomplished with a little motivation and ingenuity. Young Hollywood wants to know what this young man can’t do!”–Young Hollywood
Book image courtesy of Amazon
I recently came across an incredible set of articles about keyword maximization on Copyblogger.com. There is no way I can top Brian Clark’s summarization of why keywords are important, how you can discover what keywords can impact your blog, and what effects they have on your traffic, so I will refer you to his handiwork:
I think every blogger can learn a lot from Brian’s suggestions.
But one point that he doesn’t cover in his articles is the fine balance between too many and too few keywords. I’m also interested in keyword usage on webpages, where I think the frequency of keywords can just as easily break as make your browsing popularity.
For example, while the average web surfer will likely come across your homepage more easily with the help of keywords, if an excessive amount of marketing jargon awaits them they might be less inclined to stay and click around.
I doubt there are hard and fast rules for how much keywording you can get away with without your homepage sounding identical to the top ranked search result for your niche market.
Do you have a keyword strategy? Is there a magic formula for focusing on keywords while still maintaining your own unique marketing brand?
As someone who spends a lot of time trying to maximize the quality, clarity and relevance of my marketing copy, I’d like (read: I need) your input.
As blogger Roger Dooley notes, when business teams need to brainstorm a new idea, the knee-jerk action is to get people sitting down together to spend a segmented amount of time concentrating on thinking and talking about one topic until something sticks.
However according to Karina Christoff, psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, this tried and true method is not always the best approach.
It’s not that concentrated thought is a bad idea. But daydreaming, Professor Christoff suggests, isn’t as unproductive as it is said to be. In fact, daydreaming improves your creativity.
Christoff explains: After all that mind-wandering, eventually you start seeing connections that you wouldn’t have seen before, because you would never have logically allowed your mind to make those connections. Now it’s going to make them for you.”
I’m sure that most marketing experts have their own unique take on the creative brainstorming process. Few people can come up with something truly innovative by staying within the lines.
So what’s your approach?
Image source:Â http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4567659/Americans-embarrassed-by-poor-spelling-performance-compared-to-Britons.html
Filed under: Productivity Tagged:
Audacity is a free open-source audio recorder and editor, available for both Mac and PC users. It is a handy and useful application and so far it has worked seamlessly.
You can record live audio, convert tapes and records into digital recordings/CDs, edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files, cut, copy, splice or mix sound files, change the speed or pitch of a recording etc.
Screenshots can be found at this link – http://audacity.sourceforge.net/about/screenshots
This video employs animated origami to tell the corporate story of asics , the sports shoe manufacturer, from its founders viewpoint. It seems like the founder himself is narrating it and the simple, almost black and white animation gives it a back to the basics kind of feel that underlines the message of focusing on what matters, providing athletes with the finest footwear possible. The piece was commissioned by Geraman ad agency Nordpol+Hamburg which seems to be winning tons of awards for their commercials. Interestingly the agency also has one of the most annoying agency websites I’ve ever encountered (the kind with micro font navigation that escapes when you try to click on it). Great work on the video, some work to do on the website. Enjoy the video.
iShowU is a very cool capturing application (realtime screencasting), that captures online/offline media that can be imported directly into Pro Apps such as Final Cut (you can even choose pro level settings). The image quality of the captures is quite amazing. Ironically, the demos on their website are not that impressive which is a pity, but the software can produce very high quality captures. The price is also very reasonable compared to other, less feature-filled apps, at just under $60 US. You can use this product to enhance video projects, you can use it for software demos, you can create support videos to E-mail to customers addressing their technical problems..etc. When I first installed it, it didn’t work properly but once I closed it, restarted it and put in my registration number a second time, it worked perfectly.
Some other features include: