Attention marketers: be on the lookout for how technology can play a role in bringing your marketing strategy to life.
To jumpstart your creative juices, here are four new examples of how marketers are using technology to achieve business success.
1. Live Sports Radio – Enhance On-Site, Fan Experience
The high-end perks and financial requirements sports teams are trying to push these days may seem outrageous to the average fan who can barely afford to take the family to a game anymore (exhibit one is personal seat licenses for NFL games), but there is a new, low cost way to enhance fan experience and maybe strengthen the branding/awareness of your organization.
For those of us who attend sporting events, we know the excitement of being there is special, but sometimes we miss the details and insights that come from analyst commentary on tv or radio. Enter Live Sports Radio. Would you like to sit in your local stadium (or even dare venture into opposition territory) and listen to your favorite home team radio announcers with no delay via a bluetooth-sized earphone that fits over one ear? Sure, you could carry/hold/strap-on a small radio, but that’s a pain and sometimes there is a broadcast delay. Live Sports Radio provides branded devices that are pre-set to a particular radio channel for maximum ease of use – basically all you do is turn it on. The company is already involved with a range of sporting events including college football (e.g., the Rose Bowl and Penn State University); the National Football League (Super Bowl XLIII); Tennis (US Open); and Motor Sports (LeMans 24 hour race).
The fee structure is set at a per-season or per event fee. Although the radio will continue to work as an FM scan radio, a new radio needs to be purchased each season because the FCC-licensed frequencies that are used for the broadcast will change depending upon the team’s schedule.
Florida Gator fans: want to more closely follow Tim Tebow from the stands as he pursues another Heisman Trophy award this season? For $20, you’re all set.
2. Saving The Print Ad? – All-In-One Print/Audio/Video Communicator
What if your print ad was also a televison ad?
It will be in the September 18th issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine, where CBS will promote its fall television line-up with a paper-thin interactive video player affixed to its magazine ad. The device is expensive so it’s only going to readers in Los Angeles and the New York City area. PepsiCo has also teamed up in the promotion with CBS and will promote its Pepsi Max diet drink.
Here’s how the technology works, according to Advertising Age. When readers get to the ad page, they “will see a small screen flicker on and start to load a video. A brief segment featuring actors from “The Big Bang Theory” will explain how to use the player, while talking about features from Entertainment Weekly and the different video selections a reader can choose. By pressing one of five different buttons, readers can watch a video montage from “How I Met Your Mother,” a montage from “Two and a Half Men,” a humorous ad for Pepsi Max, a sneak preview of “Accidentally on Purpose” or a preview of new CBS dramas “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “The Good Wife” and “Three Rivers.””
Yes, I know this may seem like a gimmick. But if you can get past that, there might be interesting applications worth considering. For instance, think about all the literature handed out at trade shows. A video reinforcing the new product or promotiong the new service highlighted at the booth might help your company stand out.
3. Pre-selling Tool Gets a Makeover – New News For Movie Trailers
Movie trailers can be very important, but they’ve been around forever. That doesn’t mean there aren’t new ways to use this tried and true film marketing tool.
How about a 16-minute trailer shown in 3-D at 120 IMAX theatres four months before the movie’s release, and you get in for free?
Titanic director James Cameron has a new sci-fi move in the works called “Avatar” that is scheduled for release on December 18th and features cutting-edge 3D graphics. The cast includes Sigourney Weaver and Sam Worthington.
According to Twentieth Century Fox, “the film was first conceived by Cameron 14 years ago, when the means to realize his vision did not yet exist. Now, after four years of actual production work, AVATAR delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film, disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.”
Cameron felt that a traditional trailer could not generate the buzz nor properly demonstrate the wow factor of his movie. So, he teamed up with the studio for a clever marketing event that attracted movie fans across the country. Fans were so interested in the August 21st event that they crashed Fox’s Internet server “within minutes,” and 25% of the tickets were sold in 90 seconds, until the site crashed again, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Marketers are always looking for ways to refresh or create new news to drive their business. Keep this example in mind during your next planning sessions.
4. Coldwell Banker: Video Can Sell Houses
YouTube isn’t new, but how do you use it sell products or services?
Coldwell Banker has the answer with its YouTube Channel, called On Location, which is an interactive tool that lets users search for specific content by geographic region at the zip code level. In fact, upon entering the site, viewers are automatically directed to videos in their local area.
On Location is integrated with the company’s Web site, so that only current property listings appear on the YouTube channel. Realtors can post videos promoting properties on the regular Web site, which are then automatically accessed by the On Location YouTube channel. Coldwell Banker also partners with a number of outside providers to provide YouTube content. For example, one video I watched was a professionally done, HD quality video promoting Jersey City, NJ, which is just across the Hudson River from New York City.
In its first month, On Location featured 1,700 videos and had 200,000 site visitors. The company says that since its launch, On Location has been among the top ten most-viewed brand channels on YouTube and is the leading real estate brand page on the site.
In addition to the obvious benefits for potential buyers and sellers, Coldwell Banker’s SVP Marketing explained in a trade show video interview that he believes there is a network energizing benefit as well for his company’s team of agents.
Everybody does the Internet now, so you need to be clever to make this great tool a differentiating advantage for your company. Keep this example in mind when you put together your next online strategies and programs.
Embrace technology! Don’t use it just to use it, but figure out a way for technology to be an enabler that helps you and your team achieve marketing and business objectives. Yes, it may be expensive, so make sure the overall idea is on-strategy. Then, evaluate and rationalize the cost by determining if the idea can be platform creating and/or can set the stage for continued use so that it’s not just a one-time expense. On this topic and for all your marketing, make sure your extended internal and external team resources are fully briefed and understand exactly what the marketing and business goals are, so that everyone can be on the lookout for new ideas to help you win in the marketplace. Go for it!
Harvey Chimoff is a hands-on marketing leader and business-wide collaborator who builds marketing capabilities in B2B/B2C organizations that drive customer success.