In an upcoming post I’ll delve into the magnificence of “O,” one of the six Cirque Du Soleil resident shows in Las Vegas. But first I have to write a bit about how smart they are with their marketing and what you can learn from how they influence and use influencers to build their brand.
As a former Vegas resident for 20 years I know the impact Cirque Du Soliel has had on that town. It was a cultural wasteland when I grew up in the 80′s. When I left in 1990 shows like Phantom of the Opera and Cats were beginning to have short runs at the Thomas and Mack Center where college basketball is played. Beyond that the only “culture” to speak of was the Liberace Museum. Seriously.
The high-end non-kitsch Las Vegas you know today is a direct result of Cirque Du Soliel coming to town. It’s a simple fact. Their influence changed the image and perception of Vegas from the inside out.
The quality of shows and culture did not, and maybe could not, sprout until the seed of Cirque was planted in the desert soil to prove what was possible. Maybe I’ll write a book about how they transformed Vegas one day because it’s a spectacular story that few realize took place.
You can get a small taste of how revolutionary it was, and how brilliant Guy Laliberte, Cirque Du Soleil’s founder is, by reading Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant.
Point being, it’s not surprising that a leading edge imaginative and visionary company like Cirque Du Soleil is again leading in how to do business right in an evolving environment. They are influencers so they “get” the power of social media influence that is happening under the mainstream corporate media radar right now. This is what I mean:
My good friend Dave Taylor mentioned over lunch that he received free tickets to Cirque Du Soliel The Beatles Love after mentioning on Twitter that he wanted to see the show when he was in Vegas for Blogworld. (Here’s a link to his story and review of The Beatles Love. Also see Dave’s great post and pictures of being behind the scenes at “O”)
I figured it was worth it to send a Twitter direct message to @CirqueLasVegas and ask for free tickets to “O” in exchange for Twittering about the show and writing a review on my blog.
If I didn’t ask then the answer was already no so I had a 50% chance of getting tickets just by asking. Within a day I received a reply saying, “Sure, let me know which show and which date you would like.”
Many people ask me why it’s worthwhile to be on Twitter, have their companies on Twitter or to have staff “waste time” on social media. Here’s a great example of how valuable relationship marketing and social media are:
Cirque Du Soliel’s marketing department was participating in the conversation on Twitter. They have a strong Twitter presence and were alerted, either by using Tweetscan or Twitter Search, when Dave tweeted their name.
By the way, Dave has over 4,000 Twitter followers with tens of thousands more who read his two blogs. Those people have friends that they talk to and those people have friends too. Word of mouth is the best promotion or worst condemnation a business can get. Would you want Dave telling people positive things about your product or service?
Beyond this, Cirque Du Soleil starts and participates in Twitter discussions daily which makes people like, trust and buy from them. It also makes influential people talk about them and write about them like I’m doing now.
This is the second blog post I’ve written mentioning Cirque Du Soliel with backlinks that will be on the internet 24/7 from this day forward. I’ve also written over two dozen Twitter posts on them that also posted to Facebook - all with backlinks. And some of those posts were re-posted by other influencers on Twitter to their thousands of followers.
Now I’m an evangelist for Cirque Du Soleil and I use them all the time as an example of a business to learn from. I loved them, attended five of their shows as a paying customer and admired their entrepreneurial skills before, so my enthusiasm is not just because they gave me amazing seats for “O.” If the show sucked I would say so because my reputation is on the line.
But they know their shows are awesome so they had nothing to lose aside from being able to sell the tickets they gave me. If two tickets are sold as a result of any of my Twitter or blog posts then they made a profit plus they’re getting ongoing promotion.
It cost them less than maybe 10 minutes of their Social Media Director’s time emailing me back and forth and two complimentary tickets that every show keeps on hold for press and VIPs anyway. Does that seem smart to you?
Panasonic just paid to have bloggers attend the Consumer Electronics Show and review their products. Do they know something you don’t?
How are you spending more time than money creating permanent promotion for you or your company online?
Are you like most companies – spending a lot of money on untraceable temporary marketing efforts when you could be utilizing free social media to build raving influential fans who promote you in permanent internet posts read by thousands for free?
If that describes how you’re still doing marketing, branding, promotion and advertising, then it’s time to start using 21st century tools and techniques to build your business along with the 20th century methods that are costing you more while losing their effectiveness by the minute.
Don’t resist the present and the future and end up like the the record industry. You’re better than that.
Instead, follow the leaders like Cirque Du Soleil. Study how they build their business and do your own version of that. Cirque Du Soleil redefined how Vegas does business by being adventurous yet grounded pioneers. Their success made the entire city choose to make itself over into a better version of what it was.
No matter the size of your goals they’re probably smaller than the original goals of 20 street performers in Quebec in 1984 that now have 19 shows in over 200 cities on 5 continents that have been seen by over 90 million people. If street performers can do that, just imagine what you can do!
1. ALWAYS ask. If you don’t, then the answer is already “no.”
2. Monitor what positive and negative comments consumers are saying about you and your company.
3. Be a part of the online discussions about you & your company since they are happening with or without you.
4. Follow how @CirqueLasVegas, @comcastcares, @BrettGreene & @zappos use Twitter & do what they do
5. Invest a little time and money on online relationship marketing (Social Media Optimization) or your customers will continue to define you in permanent online posts which readers trust more than your ads. It costs less money and is infinitely more powerful and lasting. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more.