Experiential limitations are marketing barriers to be broken. When you create products and benefits for your fans, to involve your fans, great things can happen. Especially revenue generation. Take the NFL Experience for SB50. How do you know your product and benefits will sell?
Entering management we all intuitively think we know what will sell and what won’t sell. When measuring sales successes and failures it is critical to understand if you have the right product offerings and the right benefits. We believe that the benefits have value and are important, but are they really?
When looking at data on how products sell, make sure you have data and feedback from the customer. It is important to know what is important to THEM when discussing offerings such as discounts and exchange dates.
How do your customers rank the importance of the benefit package?
Form Fan Focus Groups
The results may lead you to a point-reward loyalty program or a cafeteria-style benefits program for each account. When validating the information I suggest asking your stakeholders in a survey to quantify basic things that will help with directional data. Then I suggest following up the survey with focus groups and doing a much deeper dive into the data collected.
The unique opportunity we have in sports is that there is such an affinity for the local sports teams that everyone wants to help the local franchise. Developing a pool of focus group members should be relatively easy. The focus group can help you clarify an offering, help identify weaknesses, and identify other opportunities. You can take the focus group concept a little further and develop a Fan Advisory Board that can be used as a sounding board for the team. Fans will provide an overwhelming response to be part of the Board.
Tweak And Enhance
As you go through the calendar year there are many topics that it can be helpful to have fan input on, such as concession items and pricing, promotional items, packages and offerings, fan festivals, and many more.
Even with the best data a product may not sell or a benefit may not work. We have to be prepared to tweak along the way as we receive more feedback.
Experiential Benefits Matter
In recent years, the experiential benefits have been the most impactful of the benefits. Fans tend to want access to the players and to experiences that they can’t buy. They like this access for their customers as well.
We push the limits of the experiential benefits by providing press conference access, on-field access for pre-game work outs, or opportunities for shagging balls in the outfield for a baseball team. These benefits are usually low-cost to a team but have incredible value to the fans.
Become Aware Of Your Daily Surroundings
So take your staff on a field trip around your facility and challenge them to discover areas and experiences that would be unique and desirable for your fans. Many times there are experiences overlooked because we are just too close to it all. Try taking your Fan Advisory Board on field trip as well.
Some incredible new offerings may be right in front of you.