Results for category "Marketing"

Baseball Crowdsourcing – Why Shouldn’t the Phillies Give it a Try?

Matt Riggleman 0 Comments

Wow – I never expected to take this long to write again. Life kind of got in the way. But finally, after much coaxing from Matt Horn – I’m firing up another post.

Let the Fans Have A Voice!

I’m a Phillies fan, but first and foremost I’m a baseball fan. I’m accustomed to the ebb and flow of baseball team’s and franchises and I watch the game still the same.

However, I am also a marketer, and as a marketer, I spend a good deal of time obsessing over how to deliver the best product or service to customers and potential customers alike. I also spend a good deal of time showing others of what their customer base really is and wants.

Which is why I think the Phillies are completely missing the boat. Without further delay – here’s a suggestion for Phillies management.

CrowdSource Decisions Regarding Personnel Moves and Trades

Phillies blogs - Google Search 2013-12-13 22-17-50The very idea would scare the crap out of the old boy baseball regime – but seriously – name a place where an organization could tap into a greater source of knowledge and information on baseball’s players and operations? This is no longer the era of the armchair quarterback. These days, individual fans have access to as much statistical facts and figures as many major league teams – and they’re driven by obsession and passion – who better to provide advice? Consider how your fan base would react if they actually felt a hand, albeit a small one, in decisions to sign a free agent (for example?). Again, using the social media networks cultivated by the marketing department for content distribution – try turning the tables and actually facilitating a two way conversation with the consumers of your brand and product. Consider for a second – given the moves Ruben Amaro has made over the last few years – Could the millions of people who have created the over 28 million pieces of content around ‘Phillies Blog’ really do much worse?

5 Bad Things Fans Fans Could’ve Warned Management About

Not to Sign Ryan Howard to a 25 mil. per contract: Everyone knows players of his body type/ability don’t age well – and why sign him before his contract ends?!

Don’t Spend a Ton for Papelbon – Everybody knows you don’t spend on a closer these days. For every Mariano – there are a dozen Joe Borowskis.. Go cheap.

Don’t Sign Ruiz to one of the largest contracts ever for a Catcher – Com’on – he’s already in decline and he’s no longer juicing. And he’s getting up there. Granted, this still be remains to be seen….but Com’on…

No Sacrificing the Future to win Now – Every fan wants continual success – not a couple good years. Quit giving up draft picks for older guys, stock the farm system, and promote from within. Winning teams have been doing it for years (including you once upon a time).

Hire a Freaking Stats Guy YESTERDAY! – Teams have been on this bandwagon since the early 2000s…why wait till November 2013?!

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Thanks for reading – hopefully I can back on track and post more frequently. Have a good holiday!

Matt Riggleman

Remember when Nintendo was relevant?

Matt Riggleman 5 Comments

Recently,Nintendo has been in the news, first, for their latest foray into the gaming arena, the Wii U .. and 2nd because they posted their first loss. I want to be excited. I grew up with Nintendo. I feel like I knew who  Mario was before I could walk. I’ve been playing video games since I was 3, and I played Nintendo first. Now at 29, (sigh…) I want to get excited about the new P.U…I mean..Wii U…but I can’t…and though I’m quick to say it’s because I’m getting older..I just don’t think that’s what it is.

As a marketer, I look for ways to spin things in a way that presents them in a unique fashion, to the audience I’m trying to impress. Nintendo was the master of this. Beginning in 1985, they offered the first video game system to truly become ubiquitous. There were literally 1000s of titles (Check this out..and they don’t even claim to have the entire list). Every kid that was born in the 80s has at least one original theory on how to get their NES to play. Personally I preferred hitting the cartridge on the floor a few times, then hitting the reset button 3 times. Mario, and Link to an extent became cultural icons. Then came the Gameboy and SNES..further spreading Nintendo’s brand and carving (the first) niche into portable gaming. Nintendo then reached a point where their brand was so strong, people like me bought their latest systems just because they were available. But what did they do that was so special?

Nintendo understood before anyone else the value of gameplay and game mechanics 

Nintendo got this. Immediately. And it worked for a very long time. They knew that if they could reward you…and this is the key part…quickly….and meaningfully..you would enjoy the game and continue to play it. More importantly, this worked for EVERYONE…not just hardcore gamers. Think about it. It felt great to jump the flag pole in Mario 1…and you got to do that in EVERY level. Everything action created a reaction and a reward – the sound that was produced when you crushed a goomba…the sound when you grabbed a fire flower…and that just made you strive for more. Actually beating the game was just icing on the cake. Now, compare this to Sonic the Hedgehog..which represented the first challenge to Nintendo’s dominance. You collected rings..freed small animals, and spun a sign at the end of each board. The small rewards just aren’t there. It’s just not the same…and Sega eventually sold to Nintendo.

Each action was its own reward..and like rats..we continued to hit the feeder button.

Eventually the Xbox and Playstation came along to challenge Nintendo’s dominance. The Xbox has traditionally been niche marketed to the more advanced gamer. Their games require a greater amount of control, feature greater graphics, a higher price tag, and a general perception that they’re just a little too involved for the casual gamer. The Playstation was a great system but suffers the same fault…they just weathered it for awhile because they attracted a lot of great games because it was so cheap to produce a CD rather than a cartridge. Both great systems, but they never (and won’t ever) mobilize the world.

Nintendo launched the original Wii in 2006 and they sold a buttload. The unique motion controller gave the casual gamer a new, original way to play games..and living rooms around the world welcomed a Wii console. Moms became energized to get them..they were popping up in old folks homes..and this was unique even for Nintendo. They had truly created a system that EVERYONE could enjoy..and this  was the pinnacle of over 20 years of work.

But then something happened.

Like cheap Chinese knockoffs, companies began to understand that it wasn’t about the graphics..or content…it was only about the reward..and…to a lesser extent…the ability to rub that reward in your friends’ faces. And, as Nintendo understood, this combo works for EVERYONE, not just already established gamers. Just check out this story on the now-famous cow-clicker game on Facebook.

This theivery of Nintendo’s “secret sauce”… coincidentally coincided with the Wi-fi boom and the launch of those little Gameboy killers – Smartphones.

Companies like Apple & Facebook began to make it simple for game designers to crank out quick, low cost games that could be distributed fast & cheaply to a growing market of smartphone (and now tablet) owners & social networks.

To add insult to injury..all of those kids that grew up with the “hit the feeder button” mentality that Nintendo bred into us..were now old enough to buy these devices..and we are because the quick reward mentality is bred into us.

Why the Wii U Will Be the First Nintendo System since Virtual Boy to Flop

Because it’s going to target a niche market with features that don’t matter or already exist and are too advanced for the casual owner. Just take a look at the features –

1080P – It’s totally cool if your TV has it..but the masses don’t care. Facebook & Smartphones have proven this. And, Nintendo agreed, until now (no system has gone over 720P res).

TouchScreen Controller – I already have an Ipad2 and touchscreen is awesome..but how does this spell unique gaming experience?

You Can Write on it – Nice, but why would my Mom buy this?

Different information on the controller than the TV – Again, sounds kinda cool, but it’s a little too much going on for the casual gamer.

It doesn’t appear to be tied to social networks – Maybe it is and I haven’t seen it yet..but EVERYBODY wants to share EVERYTHING now. A lot of the preview videos discuss how this  system will offer a “new unique” experience. Yeah..pretty sure people like to share those these days.

Where does Nintendo go from here?

License their content to smartphones, streaming services etc. en masse – For the masses, it’s no longer about the medium..it’s about the message (Thank you Marshall Mccluhen). They want their games wherever they are first and foremost..even if that means sacrificing graphics. Plus, all of we Nintendo fanboys are older now…we’d love to play our favorite games on the devices we already have (can I get a Bubble Bobble app?!)..not just on the newer Nintendo consoles. Quit forcing us to illegally download emulators..charge us a small price for  our favorites..optimized for phones and tablets. Set me up a Netflix-like feed to a low-cost box that lets me access EVERYTHING from EVERY prior console…and I will subscribe. And those in my generation will subscribe too.  Anybody remember Sega Channel? Let’s get on this Nintendo! I pose this question – would you pay $10 a month to stream any Nintendo or super Nintendo game on your Ipad or WiiU? Yup…I think I would.

Socialize EVERYTHING – This is where everything is going. Nintendo needs to provide the tools for game players to A. Play their entire catalog easily from anywhere..and B. Share these experiences with friends. It is no longer about the console system..it is about the games..and nobody has EVER done games better than Nintendo. When’s the last time you’ve seen a game update, other than a Facebook app…on your wall? I would have told the world when I beat Mike Tyson…..[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu69QEHhvNo]

Suck the price out so much, that even casual gamers may try – They did a great job doing this with the Wii in comparison to the options available at the time. Unfortunately, now it’s tougher. How do you compete with smartphone apps..or even smartphones for that matter. The simple fact that people NEED a phone..puts it ahead of a game system even without price concerns. And this economic recession isn’t going anywhere…

Nintendo’s been around a long time so there’s no reason to panic just yet. But the storm clouds are gathering – don’t let this be their flagpole moment.

Until next time  –

MR


Collegiate Donation Campaigns – Let’s get it right .edu?!

Matt Riggleman 1 Comment

You’ve just graduated from a college or other institution.

You head home and you’re feeling good – about yourself and the experiences you just put behind you. Your family and friends stop at a steakhouse – bill is on them for all the hard work you put in.

Bank is knocking down your door – just a heads up – now that you’re into the real world, you’re going to have to start paying for that 4 years of fun & learning. You’ve heard of loan consolidation…you’re going to have to get on that.

You’re sending out resumes to jobs you’re not even sure you want to do.

And, you get a letter in the mail from the place you just graduated from.

“That’s cool, ” you say to no one in particular. “They’re checking up to see how I’m making out..and it’s only been a month.”

But that’s not the case at all.

Littered with checkboxs..your .edu of choice (EOC) is asking, sincerely, if you could find it in your heart to throw a couple extra bucks their way.

Think about this for minute. When is the last time you put $40,000 on credit, then the creator of said debt asks you for a couple bucks on the side out of the goodness of your heart?

After picking your jaw up off the floor, you state, again to no one in particular, “But I’m already in debt 40 grand to these guys… what more do they want from me.. expletive, expletive, expletive.”

And you resolve to never even consider donating anything to your alma mater again.

So let’s take a step back here and consider what could be changed to make things a little more friendly.

4 Things College Donation Programs Could Do Better

1. Spend Your Marketing Budget Better

Frankly, the fact that I begin getting bombarded with college donation requests right out of the gate kind of makes me feel a little less confident in the education I just received. Can’t this place of higher education take a look at some analytics? Presumably, most college donations come from older people…and more specifically, older people with nothing left to spend their money on. At that point the college’s marketing campaign is basically a “Don’t Forget Us In Your Will” kinda thing. How ’bout you reallocate your marketing budget towards them..and give me a few years of breathing room? Or, better yet, roll that marketing budget back into helping the students you want me to donate to.

2. Allow Me The Opt Out

I know, I should be overjoyed at the education I received and feel an overwhelming urge of reciprocity to give back, just like others gave back for me, but frankly, at this point I want my space. It’s kind of like a break-up…sure, we had some great times and you helped me experience a lot, but I’m not ready to run into you on the street yet. Put the direct mail on hold.

3. Additional Buttering Up

This is the marketing equivalent of sending a gift card to your best customers at Christmas. Colleges try to do this, and admittedly, it does continue a bit after graduation, but keep hitting me with it. I can think of at least 20 things I needed help with after I graduated that my EOC didn’t really beat me over the head with post-grad. In no particular order – Additional real-life advice or contacts regarding my field (not necessarily even for a job, just advice), budgeting for loans, house, family, etc., practical real-world instruction in things like dealing with bosses, clients, figuring out the most direct path out of Mom’s house..Determining how to feed yourself without a meal plan etc. etc. We are more educated than the majority of folks, but we’re people too. Creating a network of practical transition assistance – BEFORE asking me for money – would have made me a little more likely to give back.

4. College Isn’t Cancer

Colleges use donations to help acquire new students and give scholarships, and that’s great. However, isn’t a plan that revolves so much around the altruism of its former students doomed to fail? College made all who attended better, more thoughtful & more potentially giving people – of that I have no doubt. We should want to give back to those that helped us. But it’s tough to give to an educational organization when organizations that hit home a little harder – like Cancer charities – are always looking for the same thing. We are taught to make as large an impact on the world we live in as possible – are we truly maximizing that impact by donating to our alma mater? Seems like the collegiate business model has to adapt a bit to rely less on donation (though I know that means higher tuition). Or to look at it another way – What means more to society – feeding 100 Rwandan children – or making it a little cheaper for an intelligent American to attend college? Seems like a tough call.

Ok, </rant> over. Enjoy the Superbowl (Giants +5)…

MR

1 Thing Local Businesses Can Do To Keep More Customers – Why no Wi-Fi?

Matt Riggleman 1 Comment

Zach Morris PhoneI think I mentioned this before, so bear with me if it’s redundant info, but despite avoiding complex, non-Zach Morrisian mobile phones for the majority of my adult life, over the last year, I’ve succumbed. I’d like to think it’s for the better. I feel more organized. I can play games at will. My time at unorthodox places like dentist offices and roadside fruit stands is full of the things I used to only enjoy from the comfort of my office chair. I’m constantly connected, for better or worse, to everyone I know – in whatever manner they propose to contact me. So in the end, the phone helps indulge my obsessiveness (and helps others as well).

Which brings me to this post.

Being a marketer, I am bombarded with posts, feeds, tweets, @rants, etc., about the ubiquity of cell phones – and how you’re a freakin’ imbecile if you don’t go full-throttle into some sort of all-encompassing, data-driven, ROI-generating, mobilic, Googilic, juggernaut advertising campaign. Most educated marketers will access their audience (and hopefully their common sense) before engaging in such a campaign, but ALL businesses can and should start small.

Have you seen this sign?I’ve read entire posts about how businesses should add Wi-Fi so customers can access locally targeted offers, do some on the spot price comparing, and generally facilitate the process of making the sale, and I agree with that logic. Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, and similar establishments give you Wi-Fi because then you’ll sit there, read more..and generally raise the percentage a bit that you’ll walk out of there with something. It’s as old as peanuts in bars.

But, let’s take a step back and look at it from a more basic level. I don’t care what the business is. I like businesses that have Wi-Fi because –

1. You’re saving me money by NOT using my data plan

2. I don’t have to think twice about using UP my data plan

3. I feel sweet because I can check out what I want, when i want.for FREE..and you helped me do that, so I’m loving you for it and feel a little reciprocity effect when it comes to buying from you.

With the Iphone, the thing actually pops up when it detects local networks (which is why we should all name our networks something cool like “Your Mom”). Which brings me to my@Fail list regarding Wi-Fi:

1. Networks that are locked out entirely at a business. Seriously?! Why tempt me?

2. Networks that aren’t locked out, but take you to a login page that requires a password. I’ve literally walked out of places where this is the case.

3. Places that directly benefit from Wi-Fi and don’t have it..hello..Best Buy?!

4. Places that confine HotSpots to sitting areas. I’ve got a phone that is mobile and a home that isn’t…I don’t have to be sitting to want to know EVERYTHING NOW.

If I went all Old Glory Insurance on you and said that you could improve your business’s relationship with your youngest, most tech-savy, socially-engaged customers for pennies a day, wouldn’t you do it?

robotIn this age of penny-pinching, I’m surprised I haven’t read more about this. I suspect data usage will become more of a topic as more and more folks feel the pinch of non-unlimited data plans. At this point, it seems the cell phone companies have done a pretty good job conditioning people to absorb the cost of data. Me, I don’t like the thought of absorbing the cost of anything.

To hammer home this point, I was at a Harrisburg Senators game the other night. I took a sweet picture of the fireworks that occurred after the game, and tried to Facebook it. The Iphone4 has a sweet high-res camera, but that camera comes with a price if you want to share: to upload in full glory, I had to chop it smaller, or use 1/4 of my 200MB data plan?! Are you freaking kidding me?

Ok, the next big thing alert..are you ready for this? A site that socializes this – I accessed (insert wild/disgusting/raunchy website) on (Insert Business)’s Wi-Fi. You can’t tell me someone won’t think that’s at least deserving of a hash tag…#MyWiFI #MiFI  ….ha. It’s kind of like a much, much, dorkier version of the Mile High Club.

So the final takeaway here is, 1. I’m cheap, and 2. I’m obsessive. Goodbye and Goodnight! Hit me up @mattriggleman if you have anything to share.

MR

Marshmallows and Whipped Cream Coffee Marketing

Matt Riggleman 5 Comments

Wow, did I really not write on this thing for a year and a half? Geez. I guess life kind of got in the way. In a nutshell, life has basically flowed slightly in the direction of a routine now including bill paying. My job is now at least above average serious and I spend the majority of my week pondering marketing, writing and search engine optimization and mix in a little COD Black Ops. But, at the end of the day, I’m still pretty much the same. But, since I call myself a writer, I guess I had better start writing on my own again, hence, the entry below.

StayPuft Marshmallow ManYou like marshmallows. And, you like Whipped Cream. As far as products go, these sell themselves. There’s no convincing. For the most part, there’s no strange allergies involved. There’s no age limit. If you’re concerned with weight, marshmallows are fat-free. You can stack marshmallows, and they formed the internal structure and general awesomeness of the Staypuft Marshmallow Man which quite frankly puts the Pillsbury DoughBoy to shame. And, you can put them in stuff. Which, brings me to this post.

I live on caffeine now. At least a little. Anyone who is in this boat inadvertently becomes familiar with Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, or the local coffee equivalent.  But, there’s something missing here. Something that these large, overly expensive, coffee monopolies should have exploited a long time ago.

THERE IS NO WAY TO PUT MARSHMALLOWS OR WHIPPED CREAM INSIDE WITHOUT SACRIFICING DRINK!

Just look inside your cup the next time you get one. The barista, who I will refer to here as “Hot Coffee Chick” after the girl who works at my nearby shop, puts in the drink, realizes that in order to cram the whipped cream and marshmallows under the tight sealing, do-everything-we-can-to-not-get-sued-for-you-spilling-this lid, she’s got to hold off on filling the thing..essentially jipping you out of a few ounces of java or hot chocolate. I don’t want to have to choose between the MarshMallow Whipped Cream Experience, or getting my just deserved full cup of java. The crazy part is, it’s not that hard to fix…and none of these billion dollar companies seem to care. Possible solutions:

1. Let the customer control Marshmallow and/or Whipped Cream Distribution.

Ever notice that these are the only condiments you REALLY want to add to coffee or hot chocolate and they’re not available? It’s like quasi coffee shop Communism. They control the means of distribution. By allowing me to put the marshmallow or whipped cream on as I see fit, I don’t care that I have to sac a little java…I just don’t want the company screwing me. Especially when I just dropped 4 bucks on this junk.

2. Design a Domed Lid Capable of Sealing Tight Enough To Prevent Spillage

Dart Container RCL LidI’ve worked in the Largest Lid Plant in the World at the time they built the RCL lid that goes on Dunkin Donuts coffee. Trust me, it’s a relatively complex process. These guys can surely come up with a domed lid that can allow for mallows and whipped cream without sacrificing spillage OR volume.

3. Market a new “Marshmallow-Safe” Cup

Let’s face it, Marshmallows and Whipped Cream are here to say, shouldn’t a coffee company take advantage of the natural relationship these lifesavers have? Wouldn’t you rather buy your coffee or hot chocolate from a company that fully supported the mallow and whipped cream without “secretly” screwing you out of a few ounces? I propose cups that add an extra ounce or two on top known as the “Marshmallow zone” or the “Creme of the Cup” or something. Market the new 18 oz. cup specifically to marshmallow lovers (AKA everybody), and continue to charge the same exorbitant price you already do. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this?

Big Green EggIn other news, I now have my own house, a fish tank, A Big Green Egg and a 7:1 Channel surround sound system. Not in that order. I hope to write again within the next year and a half, stay tuned. I leave you with a clip from Last Saturday’s SNL featuring the greatest Will Smith impersonation ever from Jay Pharaoh.

http://widget.nbc.com/videos/nbcshort_at.swf?CXNID=1000004.10045NXC&widID=4727a250e66f9723&clipID=1270070&showID=61&configXML=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nbc.com%2Fservice%2Fvideowidget%2Fparams%2FdmlkZW9faWQ9MTI3MDA3MA%3D%3D%2F&initXML=http://www.nbc.com%2Fsaturday-night-live%2Fvideo%2Fepisodes%2Finit.xml?videoId=1270070

MR