IBI March 2018 Cover Story

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R Focus on What You

Are Selling: Remarkable Experiences.

The experience economy is back, and it is calling the shots. From online, service-oriented businesses, and product-driven brands, to the entertainment industry, every business has been pushed to fully surrender to the customer experience in order to survive. That doesn’t mean as a business you can let go of the focus on creating the best products and services to sell. It means that no matter how good your business is, there are hundreds of other businesses competing for your customer’s attention. As a member of the entertainment industry, putting your heart into generating unforgettable, customized experiences is one of the strongest marketing tools you can possess. So instead of selling your amazing, new virtual gaming arena, state-of-the-art escape room and unique culinary experience, bring it all in! Marketing a bigger picture of your brand means showing them who you are, not telling them. Your captivating activities can lure customers in the door, but remarkable experiences keep them there longer and send them out into the world raving about it.

R Research. Plan. Execute.

The great thing about a marketing plan is that it comes in every shape and size. Whether you are a family-run, 10-lane center or a mega entertainment chain, without a plan there’s nowhere to go but down. Marketing plans can be simple or complex depending on your venue, needs, and resources. But they all have a beginning, middle, and end corresponding to: research, plan, execute. And it works best in that order. If you come up a bit short on the marketing expertise, that’s when it is time to tap into the thriving business-to-business relationship world. You may be looking to weave one or two marketing concepts into your plan, or your business may need a more comprehensive assist. Either way, there are companies like eBowl.biz that can help. This small team of marketing mavens packs a punch when it comes to helping proprietors round out a marketing plan. They offer everything from email and text campaigns, to 30


March 2018

Facebook marketing, to website creation, to reputation management. The best part about companies like eBowl.biz is that they offer these services on an a la carte menu. Diving into the world of marketing today can be overwhelming if you don’t possess the savvy, innovative flair you need. By forging new relationships with marketing businesses, the heavy lifting of marketing can be taken off your shoulders, allowing you more time to put your energy Brandon Willey, CEO of Fetch Rev. where it is needed.

R Invest in People. It can be easy to be swept away by the newest marketing technology or attraction for your venue. But when it comes down to it, the way you invest in your staff is one of the most important and essential building blocks to create a flourishing business. Just like marketing, hiring comes with a number of puzzle pieces that must fit together tightly in order to be the most effective. The entertainment and hospitality industries are well-known for having urgent needs for employees, often motivating quick hires for front-line work. But marketing, at its core, is both internal and external, with the internal factor most often overlooked. In order to strengthen a brand and business from the inside and to attract customers externally, it begins with staffing. Founder and CEO of TrainerTainment, Beth Standlee, lends her expert outlook on the importance of internal marketing: “Decide what your core values are before you hire. You can then market those kinds of things and you can put them in your ad. If you can market to the kind of people who believe what you believe, then your external guests are going to have the experience that is going to make them keep coming back. And this way, internally and externally, you have this place where people want to come and be together.” And if internal marketing and hiring isn’t your strongest skill, it’s time to reach out and work with the experts to help you efficiently invest in your staff.

R Personalization: Feed into The Need.

It is no secret that the world has become a place that feeds off personalization. The culture has shifted over the last decade, with a flood of technological advances across every industry, reshaping the customer expectation. And when it comes to marketing, every aspect of your business benefits from tapping into your inner customer. After all, we

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