Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sports Teams Show the Way to Customer Engagement

Sports are big business. That’s not anything new or surprisingit’s been a fact of the sports world for decades. From ticket sales to merchandise to premium TV and streaming subscriptions, pro (in particular, but not exclusively) sports teams have many ways of extracting billions of dollars and euros and yen etc. from the pockets of eager fans around the world. Rather than balk at the thought of their favorite franchise being a large corporation raking in record revenue, however, fans are engaging with their teams like never before. What’s behind this?

At NRF 2015 in New York City, a panel representing several professional sports leagues and teams gathered for a keynote session titled “Game Changer: Loyalty and Performance Lessons from Passionate Sports Fandom.” The lessons covered in the session apply not only to sports but to any organization interested in creating a compelling brand and building consumer loyalty. Having a great product helps of course, but the most successful leagues and franchises go well beyond that.

Back in the olden dayssay, 50 to 80 years agoa fan had three or four ways of engaging with their team: go to the game, listen/watch live on the radio or TV, or read about it in the newspaper. Today, teams and even individual players can keep that relationship going not only after the game ends, but well after the season ends. Social media is the most obvious example. Fans now have instant access to news about teams and players all year long, and often straight from the teams and players themselves. Two-way conversations can build connections not seen since the days of baseball players stopping on their way home from a game for a round of stickball with the neighborhood kids.

Beyond social media, pro clubs now have unprecedented knowledge about their followers, from the casual to the most loyal among them. Big data and analytics let them engage with those fans the right way, and target them with the most appropriate and effective offers. Readers of this blog are well aware that this is not unique to the world of sports, but sports orgs have been setting outstanding examples of personalized engagement and are growing more sophisticated in these efforts.

The result is a case of success breeding success. Building a loyal fan base gives sports teams the ability to pay more for top talent, theoretically leading to more success on the field/pitch/court/ice, garnering more fans, etc. Social and engagement technologies make it easy for teams and players to not take their fans for granted, and for fans to experience the game in a very connected and personal way.

from Social Business Insights Blog http://ift.tt/1Cepefs


Monday, January 12, 2015

#20Questions with Maya Penn

Meet Maya, an entrepreneur, technologist, philanthropist, artist, author, animator, and a coder. Oh, did I mention she's only 14-years-old?!

She is the CEO of Maya's Ideas, which she founded when she was 8 years-old, and wants to change the world with her art and her business to help the planet and by getting girls involved in tech.

Get ready to learn everything from the best advice she's ever received to what emoji she uses the most. Maya proves that there is truly a new way to work!

image one

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Smarter Education through Collaboration

Today’s college students are a collaborative bunch by nature, but on many campuses there’s a gap between students’ desire to collaborate and the resources available to let them do so. Many colleges are currently lacking robust solutions that would allow students to link up and advance their education collectively. The result can be disconnected and under-supported students, many of whom underachieve or even ultimately drop out.

One institution of higher learning that is doing something about this is Brockenhurst College in England. As part of an effort to better attract, motivate and retain students, Brockenhurst has chosen marketing, predictive analytics and social portal solutions from IBM. On the social side, the college is launching its own private social network built on IBM Connections and IBM Sametime.

This social portal solution will give students access not only to learning resources such as course materials and videos of lessons, but to each other and teachers as well. Dom Chapman, Head of Division, Creative, English and Computing Studies, says that “IBM Connections and Sametime will allow students to learn and interact in ways that were simply not possible before.” Homework, for example, has traditionally been very much a solo activity. The goal of Chapman and Brockenhurst is to turn it into a social one, giving students access to online groups and instant messaging so that they can share knowledge and tackle assignments together.

Empowering students through collaboration and giving them a built-in support network from the moment they step on campus are part of the college’s larger goal of setting a world-class example for overall student experience. By doing so, Brockenhurst expects to improve student recruitment and retention by 15 percent over the next five years, while potentially boosting its reputation by 30 percent.

To read more about Brockenhurst’s efforts to increase collaboration among students and build an exceptional college experience using IBM solutions, click here.

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