bank of the future acl

The link between banks and race directors isn’t as tenuous as a first glance might suspect. Both industries are focused on providing experiences, rather than simply products or services. Both industries are inherently customer-focused, rising and falling with the tide of customer trends and whims.

What the banking industry knows is that good data is necessary to provide the best customer experience, anticipate customer needs and predict trends.

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heat map

The analogy between fishing and marketing isn’t new. A simple internet search offers hundreds of thousands of examples of people philosophizing about how marketing is an art like fly fishing. They advise you to know your fish, go where the fish are, pick the right kind of bait, and be patient.

“People develop their own techniques that they’re not going to tell others about,” advised Jared Brown, an avid sportsman from Waco, Texas. “There are certain things [in the market] that are designed to catch fishermen and not fish. There’s no substitute for experience.” Through our discussion, I learned a lot about large-mouth bass, the colors of bait that work best, fishing magazines, water temperatures, and lakes where he’s seen success.

Fishing clearly takes a lot more time and patience than I ever imagined, and many of the people I spoke with kept coming back with the same quote: “That’s why it’s called fishing and not catching.”

You’re an event organizer. You need to fill your event as quickly as possible. With everything you’ve got to do to make it successful, participants need to jump in the boat. You need a marketing plan where your rod and reel is a stick of dynamite and a map of where to throw it in the water.

So how do you improve your chances to catch participants as quickly as possible?

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HarrahsWhen it comes to customer service, Harrah’s has been used as an example of a casino that “gets it.” Ten years ago, when Harrah’s introduced their “Total Rewards Frequent Gambler Card,” it was seen by some as risky and too expensive, but it proved to be another industry disruptor that caused the competition to reconsider.

The concept was quite straightforward. Harrah’s would collect data on their customers, and then using their identifying information, such as name and address, the casino could follow their activity while they played. When a customer swiped their card in the machine it would identify them, and they could play like normal, but they were also able to score points that could be used for discounts on meals, hotel rooms and other perks. The system doesn’t use any information about their income, but rather their value to the casino based upon how they play.

Instantly, Harrah’s began to learn things about their customers that they might not have known prior to the roll out of the program. Based on the information they collected, Harrah’s reorganized the layout of their casino similar to the style of a grocery store. Popular slots were placed in the back, and higher margin games like roulette and blackjack were placed in the center of the space while more expensive slots were placed around this “party pit.”

The results were significant. The amount spent in this area increased by 5 times. Profit margins increased by 15%. But when the casino makes money, that means gamblers are losing money, and long term, this keeps a casino from being sticky.

So they turned to the data again.
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MobileWe live in a “now” world.  We need access to information faster, anywhere, anytime, and that access needs to work every time.  We’ve lost patience with waiting and we’ve traded the phrase “wait a minute” for “just a second.”  It’s a mobile world and our mobile phone is our connection to it.

Over the past year at ACTIVE.com, we’ve found that access to the site via mobile devices, tablets or smartphones, now exceeds laptop and desktop traffic by nearly 20 percent.  People are searching for activities while they’re on the go, and they are making purchase decisions.  Across the Internet, the rise in mobile traffic rivals traditional online traffic, and website owners are forced to consider new technologies to make their websites more responsive to smaller screens.

Digital analytics firm ComScore has done significant research on the impact of mobile devices on Internet traffic and time spent on various screens.  According to their US Digital Future in Focus 2014 report, between 2010 and 2013, the amount of time spent on a digital platform increased by 83%.  The bulk of the growth was represented by nearly a 300% increase in mobile usage. The time spent on a desktop increased only 7% over the same period.
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PoliticsYou may recall that in the 2012 election, polls dominated the discussion, such as who people said they would vote for or what particular issues where important to them. Often these polls were contradictory and several of them focused on issues unimportant to the election.

But one person, Nate Silver, used a statistical model that filtered out the noise and focused on the signals. By doing so, he successfully picked the election results for President in all fifty states.

So how did he do it?
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