Experiencing Electronic #Natitude

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Opening Day last week was my Dad’s first day of retirement, so we went to the park with a couple of friends to celebrate. It was one of the best days of my life, a day I’ll cherish and take with me to the grave. But it was also enjoyable because the Nationals’ in-stadium experience significantly improved over the winter.

When you walk into the stadium and look out onto the field, the first thing you see in the outfield is the hashtag slogan, “#Natitude.” That’s how my 2013 season began with the Nationals on opening day, a brilliant integrated in-park/online/broadcast experience.

Encouraging fans to use the # slogan is brilliant, spanning Twitter, Google+ and Instagram, and perhaps soon Facebook. Now fans can find Nationals conversations on their preferred social media channel by simply searching for #Natitude.

The full integration of the Nationals experience into the physical goes further. Consider the following:
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Customer Experience Trumps Content Marketing

Content Mind Map
Image by MindMapInspiration

More and more voices state that content marketing overhype has jumped the shark. They’re right. As a primary strategy content marketing is overhyped. Instead, brands should focus on customer experience marketing.

Before we go too far, let me say I love content, all forms of it, too, not just online, but events, print, and music, just to name a few. Brand developed content (cough, advertising) offers a great tactical toolset, one of my favorites.

That doesn’t necessarily mean content marketing should serve as every company’s primary outreach strategy.

Why not just make Facebook your primary strategy? Should we have that conversation again?

A better strategic approach focuses on marketing tools as extensions of the brand experience.

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The Past Beckons

Rearview Mirror

I think about the past a lot. Who doesn’t?

Of course, like most people I cherish the great memories.

And then there are the difficult ones. There’s nothing I can do to change them (Boy, that LIVESTRONG tattoo sure seems like a bad idea now). Few things can amend unresolved issues with others.

The only thing the complete past — good and bad — offers is experience. Experience to draw upon, contemplate, and possibly use to become wiser and evolve as a human being.

This is true for both business and personal life.

Yet, dwelling on the past for too long is one of the most unproductive exercises one can engage in.

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2013: Clicks and Mortar

Storefront Residencies for Social Innovation
Image by CRUSTINA!

The big digital media shift in 2013 has little to do with new mobile applications or social networks. Rather, it revolves around how brick and mortar businesses — and in particular stores and entertainment venues — integrate social into their physical brand experiences.

Some folks dub this trend Clicks and Mortar, the integration of online into our everyday physical whereabouts.

Recently, I attended the Ivy League Sports Symposium, and, whether it was MLB or the Tough Mudder franchise, everyone was talking about the live fan experience from a participation perspective. For example, new stadiums are developed with incredibly robust wifi networks for in game experiences.

The trend extends well beyond sports.

Burberry recently invested significant dollars to bring their online experience into its flagship London store. The effort includes some creative use of RFID chips to show video content about clothes that have been brought into changing rooms.

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How Experience Blinds You

Day 38: New Glasses
Image by whereleaureensmiles

Sight creates a visual imprint. This is the way things are.

Though we depend on it, sight is perhaps the most deceiving of the senses. As an amateur photographer I know this. I can tell just by the way the same place will look different everyday depending on the weather and placement of the sun.

Experience reminds me of glasses, both help you see life better. But like corrected vision, experience can deceive us.

The problem with experience is how it changes your perspective, good and bad. You see things differently.

And then many of us make a classic mistake: Interpreting personal experience for universal wisdom.

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7 Branded Experience Marketing Tips for Artists and Writers

The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Jimi Hendrix Image by jbhthescots

Music biz marketer Corey Biggs interviewed me five times for the book to help artists brand and market themselves.

Based on those interviews, I have accumulated several branded experience marketing tips.

While I have simply protested the personal brand movement in the past, it’s better to offer useful guidance to individuals. This is particularly true for artists and writers who often have no choice but to market creative products and ideas under their names.

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