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Newsletter #822: The “Make the Best of It” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

When life hands a good marketer some lemons, they make lemonade. But a great marketer? They’ll make something new, remarkable, and unexpected that we love to tell our friends about. A few examples of how it can be done:

1> When the scalpers grab all the tickets
2> When the flight is oversold
3> When the snowstorm hits
4> Check it out: GOOD infographics

1> When the scalpers grab all the tickets

Scalpers — people who buy up all the tickets to your favorite show and then try to sell them back to you at ten times the price — ruin lots of events. When it happened to the band LCD Soundsystem’s grand finale at Madison Square Garden, they fought back. The band added 5 back-to-back shows to deflate the scalpers’ ticket value. As frontman James Murphy said, “We’re announcing all the shows at once, and if they don’t sell out, I don’t care. I just want to give people who actually want to see us a chance to see us.”

The lesson: Fans love when individuals, bands, and brands stand up to the jerks.

Learn more: The Consumerist

2> When the flight is oversold

Being overbooked, oversold, or out-of-stock can lead to some serious customer frustrations. When traveling, this situation can be downright ugly — nobody likes getting bumped from their flight. So Delta is trying something new: They’re taking bids at check-in for passengers willing to take a later flight. The system isn’t perfect (there are concerns about inexperienced travelers getting burned on the traditional dollar value of taking a bump), but Delta says the system can cut down on time gate agents spend finding volunteers, speeding up boarding and reducing overall delays.

The lesson: Instead of forcing a few unlucky customers to suffer from a shortage, is there a simple way you could ask for volunteers?

3> When the snowstorm hits

When you think about it, a snowstorm is a great time to reach out to your fans and customers. When you’re snowed in with family, the internet might be your only escape. Lands’ End took advantage of it by reaching out to fans on Twitter and Facebook with their online “Storm” party. Though they kept it pretty simple — they posted trivia, gave away prizes, and asked fans to share their snowy photos — it was a great way to take advantage of a weather event that most retailers probably wrote off as a day of lost sales.

The lesson: Focus on the opportunities when most of your competitors are taking a break — that’s when you stand the chance to make the biggest impact.

Learn more: Internet Retailer

4> Check it out: GOOD infographics

Nothing beats a good infographic when it comes to making sense of abstract data, and few do it better than the folks at GOOD.

Check it out: GOOD

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