So we’re less interested in things and increasingly keen to experiment with new experiences. This is apparently the ‘experience economy’, the new terminology for the shift in consumer behaviour from buying to doing (as reported in the Guardian, the specific article has yet to go online). If you’re offering services in this arena, it’s good news – spending any disposable income is focusing more and more on recreation and culture, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Whether you’re selling tickets to sports events or leisure parks, offering a lifestyle experience, or a peek into what it might be like to be a full-time sky diver, base-jumper, cave diver or extreme sport trail runner by taking part in a five mile charity run – you’re in the right industry.
However, this leisure market is incredibly busy and event and venue organisers are frantically trying to attract your attention. But how do you make sure you stand out from the crowd and ensure your message is reaching the right people? Just this week some of the Firework team – and their families – visited Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre in Cheshire. An opportunity to visit the world renowned observatory, yet we knew very little about its first ever music and Bluedot festival being held this summer. Not one of us had heard of it – despite being fans of Caribou and having previously signed up to various newsletters from well-known ticket sellers. More than a missed opportunity for a great experience. It equates directly to a missed opportunity for securing increased funds for the organisation’s ground-breaking scientific work. We’re such big fans, here’s the link: http://www.jodrellbank.net/
The sports market is often guilty of the same. From race-day events through to well-established annual events, how does each venue ensure consumers are coming through their turnstiles and spare cash is spent at its place, whether a stadium, race course or club?
Here at Firework we’ve noticed many pouring their efforts into social media as a route to reach the widest possible audience – especially the millennials. At the same time however, we’ve seen many ignoring their core website and simply forgetting to post news onto their news pages or update their blogs with relevant content. To tap into the opportunity of the experience economy, isn’t it important to map your communications and marketing onto the range of channels – online, direct, indirect, newsletters etc as well as ensuring influencers know what you’re forthcoming plans are? By spreading the word organically – whether it’s a local MP or councillor, the industry body responsible for driving participation to your ‘industry-sector’ or traditional magazines and publications – you can be sure that your message is cutting through and awareness is being penetrated across all of your audiences.
We know the challenges in deciding where to best place your efforts, but if you start with the development of the core ‘story’ – the new service, event, festival and the USPs around it – mapping the messages onto the different channels should just require some tweaks to make it relevant, not necessarily resulting in lots of extra work.
If you’re not sure where to start to dip your toe – cost-effectively – into successfully profiling your ‘experience’, get in touch – you’ll be surprised how quickly you can see a return on your investment into comms, PR as well as social media. Let’s hope this era of ‘experientialism’ is long-lived for everyone’s benefit.
Director & Co-Owner of Firework PR
Follow Firework PR on Twitter @fireworkpr