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Combining digital and print media. Go Braves!

Baseball is one my favorite things in life. I played the game as a kid and now have the joy of watching my son grow-up playing the game as well. We also go watch baseball games several times each year including youth, collegiate, and professional levels. Braves Game Day

Each time we go to the Atlanta Braves games at Turner Field I’m always impressed with the customer focus and game day experience. I’ve previously written about the customer focus of the employees at Turner Field. On my last trip, I took notice of how they combine the use of digital and print media to both drive sales as well as educate their customers.

As fans enter the park, they are given a small print publication called “Game Day”. Atlanta Braves Game Day contains promotional materials for the Braves, stats and bios of the players, and a ballpark directory. Since the book is thin the amount of space given to any particular topic is limited. This is great because it forces the marketer to keep the message simple and on point. On the front of the booklet is the teams web address braves.com and then throughout the booklet are various additional addresses specific to the promotion or topic:

braves.com/phauction

braves.com/sideline

braves.com/tickets

braves.com/battingpractice

braves.com/birthday

braves.com/community

braves.com/bricks

braves.com/win

Game Day has several valuable marketing take aways for using digital and print media combined with a multi-channel strategy:

Use Internet addresses without ‘www’

I am a big proponent of printing web addresses without the ‘www’ because it shortens the print, makes it simpler to read, and draws more attention to the brand name. We come to a point now where when people see something like brandname.com they understand its an Internet address because of the .com suffix.  Make sure your web site will work with and without the ‘www’ prefix on the address.

Use Internet addresses with landing page designators for your target segment

OK, so creating customer segments is from marketing 101.  The job now is to create separate and distinct landing pages for each segment such as brandname.com/segment1. Doing this allows you to not only design a custom message for the target segment but to uniquely track the site usage through web analytics software. Designing landing pages is an Internet marketing topic unto itself. The basic principal is to make sure the call to action is clear and distinguishable. Don’t clutter the page with multiple options and distractions for your customer. Help them get to where you want them to be!

For the Braves they have created segments based on life events of their customers, baseball events with players, community service, etc. They are reaching people that want to watch baseball for the game as well as those that use baseball as more of a social event.

Use a multi-channel strategy to reach your audience

Multi-channel marketing offers the target segment more than one way to interact with a brand.  Certainly there are strategic considerations about how to message the target audience such as advertising in a single channel or multiple channels. The Braves are using the stadium, a printed brochure, and a web site to present messages to their fans. In addition to this, throughout the stadium and during the game, almost every written and audible advertisement has URLs with targeted landing pages. The messaging is clear and follows a consistent pattern of pointing customers to braves.com/keyword for information and ordering.

Use your main channel to sell and promote for future visits

Modern eCommerce sites always offer cross sell and upsell items for existing visit. But how do those brands promote future visits during your current session? The Braves use your current visit to show you things you could do on your next visit. Are you having a birthday? (we all do right?)You can get a free Braves ticket. Do you want to get on the field and watch the pros take batting practice? Do that by planning your next trip in advance and purchasing the extra ticket. Are you looking for seats with all-you-can eat food? Tickets for this type of experience are available for your next visit.

What’s your experience with marketing of professional sports as they compete for your entertainment dollar. Are there other lessons to be learned from this industry?

Where do you find world class customer focus?

Last Sunday I took my son to see an Atlanta Braves baseball game at Turner Field in Atlanta. The customer focus, attitude and reception of the staff was excellent. This was not the first time I have received this exemplary service at the ball park. That tells me that this level of service is both taught and expected from the staff. Everyone we came in contact with, which included a parking lot attendant, turn-style attendant, program greeter, concessions worker and seat usher, greeted us with a smile and made sure that we knew they were thankful we had come to enjoy an afternoon of baseball.

I make note of organizations that deliver superb service. Two others that come to mind are Disney World and Chik-fil-A. The actors at Disney World, whether on stage or on the street, are always playing their part to make every kid feel like they are special. The parks are clean and attention to detail is second to no one. My experience at the Disney parks has been consistent through many visits spanning multiple years.

The employees at the two Chik-fil-A locations closest to my home always greet me with a smile, welcome, and a thank-you for coming. It’s not uncommon for me to hear “It’s a great day at Chik-fil-A, how may I help you today?”. After I receive my food and say “thank-you”, they always respond with “my pleasure”. Now how cool is that?? It’s even more amazing to me when I consider that the vast majority of the workers at the two Chik-fil-A locations are teenagers.

My point, is that organizations that ingrain customer focus into their culture make their customers glad they came. That’s good business sense and leads to repeated business. I’m sure there are exceptions to my experiences with these well known organizations, but it’s obvious to me that the leaders within the organizations aim to keep those to minimum while establishing top tier service.

From a business perspective, organizations that deliver world class customer service can charge a premium for their products. Think about it, Major League Baseball, Disney World, and Chik-fil-A are not the low cost leaders in their respective industries. But they are all well respected and customers are willing to pay extra for the service.

What about your list of world class customer focus organizations? Do you agree with my list? Do you have others to add?