Feeling Blue about Blue Man Group’s marketing

by Josef Katz on September 23, 2013

in Marketing,Marketing Strategy

A month or two ago I was asked by an industry friend to look at the Blue Man’s group website and review some of their marketing.  Sure, no problem.  If only every request was that easy. They have some great creative (as you would expect) and brand relevant marketing but that is where it ends.  From the outside it appears that no one is minding the online marketing efforts.

For this post I am just going to focus on some basic online retargeting efforts that I have been seeing.

They get an ‘A’ for effort but please someone make them stop.  I have been retargeted on Facebook and across the internet multiple times a day every day since I was on their site (over a month ago).  At this point I don’t want to open a new browser window since I can almost assure you a Blue Man Group ad will appear.

You don’t have to be a math or economics expert to understand the laws of diminishing returns.  Has anyone reviewed the click through data?  How about some conversion rate information?  Let’s not forget that since they run live shows my interest for a particular date is probably long past.

blue man group 2

The creative – all brand compliant (to the best of my expectations) but with such a powerful tool why are you serving me the same 1-3 ads without any customization and a call to action that blends into the banner?  I only noticed the call to action a few days ago since after 200+ impressions I thought I should take a closer look.

Let’s for a moment consider, what I would do differently if I was running marketing for Blue Man group?

1 – Retargeting would be evaluated for click through rate performance by creative, by impression, by time from last visit and if possible ticket purchase (the “conversion event”) rates.

2- The call to action would be strong and in your face (even a blue face…) Don’t you want the viewers to buy tickets?  Why not tell them to buy in a way they can’t miss it?  As you can see there is a call to action in the ad but with all the blue (and I understand why they use blue) it blends in and doesn’t grab the user’s attention.

3 – Relevance – If a visitor goes to a local page on the site (which I did) why not promote an upcoming event and try to get me to purchase tickets.  If the user didn’t go to a local show page why not create a call to action to move me down the purchase path (“find a local show”)?

4 –Impression capping – once the data from #1 was reviewed we would implement caps for #impressions, # days being retargeted, and optimize around creative.

5 – Testing.  Let’s assume for a moment that everything they are doing is working, but how well?  Given this brief analysis there are some easy tests we could run.  Let’s run some tests and improve the marketing.  I have never found a “perfect” marketing program so there should be room to make this marketing more effective.

Yes, I love retargeting but only if done correctly.  It is an extremely powerful marketing tool but like any tool the person using it must know how to use it or “someone could get hurt” (in this case the budget).

Blue Man Group – give me a buzz* if you want to talk in more detail about how I can help you improve your marketing efforts and fill some seats at your shows.  We can have some fun in the process.

*no risk no obligation offer but time is limited…. (Do you like the call to action?)

BTW – I have been filling physical and virtual seats for a variety of businesses for over 15 years.  I know how to fill a room and running the same ad over and over is not going to do it.

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