Even Pro Baseball is Marketing in the Recession

If my last blog post is any indication, the March 2 issue of Fortune magazine is a goldmine of stories about the importance of marketing during this recession. Another article from this issue, “Baseball Battles The Slump”, caught my eye, about how the Arizona Diamondbacks keeps its fans loyal during these hard times.

According to the article, when a longtime season ticket holder e-mailed D-Back CEO Derrick Hall, informing him she’d fallen on hard times and asked his help in helping her hold on to her season tickets, Hall personally phoned her and arranged for her to share her season tickets.

In addition, with Phoenix having the lowest per-capita income of any Major League Baseball city, Hall wanted to insure the Diamondbacks retained the loyalty of their lower-and middle-income fans, instituting “kid’s pricing” for hot dogs and other concessions, and having pro shops where fans can buy D-Backs merchandise for about one-third of what other MLB teams charge.

What really impressed me was that when dining out, Hall picks up the tab of family whose youngster is wearing a D-Back’s hat; how Hall gives away free tickets to local schools; and that he praises players who mingle with fans before games and sign as many autographs as possible.

Hall demonstrates five valuable marketing principles we must never forget:

  • Know your customers;
  • Listen to your customers;
  • Appreciate your customers;
  • Instill a customer appreciation orientation in your employees; and
  • Give your customers a great experience along with a great product or service.

These principles work in any economy, but companies who continue to practice them during the recession will really score a home run!

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