What's it with going to a game?
There's something common to my three year old, and fans at an IPL match. Both, the way I see it, turn out to be avid participants in the shows they watch.
Jaden's hooked on to Ben 10. And every time the show comes on Cartoon Network, he demands that I get him his Omnitrix. He insists on watching Ben 10 do his stunts while wearing the watch. In fact at times I see Jaden waving his hands the way Ben does. In doing what he does, Jaden's trying to participate. Its much more fun that way. Its greater fun participating than being just a passive viewer.
Now its the same with the guys who go to a game. I sometimes wonder who in their sane senses would pay money to watch what I believe is one the most boring games on planet earth, namely cricket. But then I get it. Getting into a stadium and screaming your lungs out gets you to be a participant. Guys like me who face the telly are just passive recipients. There's nothing much we can do than down the popcorn and watch. But for the guys at the game, they can participate in the jamboree.
There's marketing lessons to be learnt from what Jaden and the fans do. Its a lesson of 'participation'. Turing a consumer into a participant from just being a passive recipient goes a long way in delivering an experience far beyond the bland. Imagine if a salesperson were to ask us how they can improve on what they do, how good we'd feel. I bet we'd turn pink with pleasure should we know someone's keen to have us participate in what they do. Even in the business of business. I remember while I used to work at the Taj hotels, the month before Christmas. There would be a fruit mixing ceremony for Christmas cakes and our guests would be invited to participate in this mixing. Boy, did they love it!
For a marketer to deliver an enhanced experience that leads to a lingering memory, the consumer must be turned form a passive recipient to a participant. For Jaden its the Ominitrix, for the fan, its the screaming and the placards, for the consumer it could be anything from a feedback, to an invitation to be a part of product design.
Whatever, remember its the participant who leaves with a delightful experience. And that is the recipe to a crafting a lingering memory.
Which one would be better?