It’s the Right Time

27 Jun

My uncle, Freeman Mast, was the most successful business person in my family – outside of my entrepreneur grandma who raised chickens and dogs along with the kids, a grandpa running Rudy’s Refrigeration , and a host of farmers. Uncle Freeman grew up in a town of 1000, got a business degree after serving in Vietnam, and landed a job with Marathon Oil. Before his career was done, he was in the top handful of executives for Marathon, creating a distribution system that earned him accolades and recognition beyond his industry.

When I was young, my mom proudly showed me a magazine clipping that had made it into the family circle letter. “Look at this article about your Uncle Freeman!” Fame was impressive to me at any level, and I read the article and still remember the single sentence that described his success:  “Getting the right product to the right place at the right time.”

Simple, right? If so, then, why all the attention and promotions for him when he got it right?

Get one of the three wrong, and time and money will be lost. Get them all right and it will be noticed.

A few months ago, my company, TicketForce, added Facebook Ticketing to our offerings – and in the footsteps of my uncle – it’s the right product in the right place at the right time.

The right product.  Facebook Ticketing is changing the ticket buying experience for both the patrons and the venue, team, or promoter. Typically, ticket buying is done in an unfriendly environment (searching for tickets…there are no tickets within your selection, please try again) between two parties with no relationship or connection. How many of us really want to Like the big ticketing agencies on Facebook? Or follow them on Twitter?

But the venue we love to go back to over and over, the team we follow closely, or the promoter who keeps bringing the shows we love? Buyers want to be in the know – and they will follow. Until it’s time to actually buy a ticket for one of those shows. Now – when the buyer is ready to commit dollars – they are routed out of the social environment and into the often unfriendly world of the ticketing agency.

Until now. Facebook Ticketing allows the buyer to purchase tickets without ever leaving the social environment, creating in interactive and familiar buying experience. This application allows the team, venue, promoter – to service their best customers in the social environment. Facebook Ticketing is all about the client’s brand, giving their customers a true relationship experience.

The right place. TicketForce is a small company, started with family funding in a garage office over 8 years ago, and though we have always managed to compete with the big boys in our market – in 2008, gaining 80% of our new business from Ticketmaster – we are now settling into our skin. New, streamlined technologies now give room in almost every market for the organic company to compete – and succeed – right alongside the big corporations. We know our place in the market and are happy to let Live Nation/ Ticketmaster continue to be so big they may try, but will have difficulty ever offering a relationship-based buying experience.

Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com

The right time.  There’s been a shift in the type of companies people want to buy from in the past several years. But nothing cemented the angst with Big Greed like the failing of the banks in 2008 that continued to post profits and give out bonuses, while thousands sat by and watched their futures disappear. A new demand arose for accountability, fairness, and connection from those we buy from – and continues to grow. Customer review sites are exploding, and points are gained for elements such as a local feel, fairness, and customer service. No one has redefined the business model better than Zappos.com and with his book, Delivering Happiness, Tony Hseih‘s happiness bus is one many are jumping aboard.

We gained a new client last year for these very reasons. And then we kept them by exceeding their expectations with the kind of support you can only really get from a small company. They wanted the kind of relationship clients can get with companies who keep it real, and grow organically.  A few years ago, our size may have been looked at as a weakness, but now – it’s one of our greatest strengths.

Today, I happily stand with other small businesses and welcome this time as a great time for innovation by those companies who are happy with who they are, boldly reject the pull of the Big Investors, and stay nimble enough to know when the time is right.

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One Response to “It’s the Right Time”

  1. Melissa June 29, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    Such a great story and so true. I love that a ticketing company has recognized the reality of how ticket buyers want to interact on Facebook. Keep up the innovation and the customer-focused approach and TicketForce will always be in the right place at the right time!

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