You might be wondering what an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher has to do with integrated marketing communications (IMC). Well, I consider Galileo a dot connector and integrated marketing communications is about marketers connecting dots so that your customers, prospects, communities, etc. don't have to. And you know me, my marketing brain only thinks one way, integrated. But there's more to this post than that...
A few weekends ago we drove past a billboard for the Galileo, the Medici and the Age of Astronomy exhibit at The Franklin Institute. I hadn't heard about the exhibit so the billboard did its job, I was hooked, I checked it out online and we made plans to see the exhibit this past weekend. (Amazing, isn't it?! A billboard! See push marketing still works.) I even talked about it on Twitter.
Even though I have lived my entire life only 25 miles from The Franklin Institute I had never been there (true!), so I was really excited to check it and the Galileo exhibit out...the notion of history, politics and science intrigued me to say the least.
To prepare for our trip we checked out The Franklin website and made a list of everything we wanted to see in addition to the Galileo exhibit. The one other thing that we were completely jazzed about was seeing "The Sky Tonight" at the Fels Planetarium. Just think about it, sitting under the night sky during the day, how cool, right?
The weekend rolled around, chores were done, and errands were run. We set off for The Franklin. Finding parking was a breeze (which is never the case in Philly), we didn't have to wait in line to buy tickets, and everything was perfect!
And then it got a little bumpy...
After we bought or tickets, the girl behind the ticket counter shoved a little schedule towards us and we immediately looked for the 4:15 time slot for The Sky Tonight, but it wasn't listed. Surely this had to be wrong, right? We checked their website schedule twice during the week and once before we left. It was listed on their site...they even offered the ability to add it to my calendar. But no. The girl said that was the schedule for the day. We were so bummed, but off we went to the Galileo exhibit and we picked another show at the planetarium.
Wait! What's this? The sign above our heads as we entered the planetarium said "4:15 The Sky Tonight." Excellent, she was wrong! It was back on.
So, we sat through Cosmic Collisions, which was amazing and actually made you feel like you were moving, which was a bit freaky. Afterwards, I figured I'd ask the guy "in the know," the one running the planetarium shows. It was one of those typical "Hey Mister!" scenarios. I asked and he said, no it wasn't showing. Naturally we asked why the sign said it was...he said "good point, I guess we never changed it."
Hmmm, interesting. Onward and upward as they say. We left the planetarium to see what other goodies we could find to entertain ourselves with.
Organizations, like The Franklin, that require flexibility typically have a "subject to change" on their website. While I get that as a marketer, but as a consumer, I really don't. I wanted to see what was advertised. It's that simple.
What's the point to all of this? It's the little things that matter. Organizations need to make sure that they have all areas of marketing integrated...no matter how small the details. Because if you don't your customers will notice.
If it's Twitter, tweet me back and let me know that you're excited for me to come visit (The Franklin didn't); if it's website make sure your schedule is reflecting the very latest, up-to-date information (honestly, we would have picked another weekend to go); if it's a lobby sign, make sure that's up to date too (don't tease me!).
While the overall experience at The Franklin was a great one, it would have been excellent if only The Franklin delivered on what they advertised.
And as you know, it's also a lesson in customer satisfaction and social media. I have a voice and, for better or worse, I am using it here on my blog. Will I go back to The Franklin? Absolutely. Even if annoyed, we still want to see The Sky Tonight and we'll give them another shot to make good on their advertising. Will I tell others how cool The Franklin is, you betcha! But I'll offer this word of advice, if there's something you really want to see...call first to check the daily schedule.
What do you think? Should we marketers worry about every little aspect of integration? Is it the little things that create or enhance a customer experience or affect a brand?
[Image: Discovery Magazine]
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