November 17, 2016
A decade is a long time in any industry. Coming from a disruptive start-up to reputable market leader requires an evolution of marketing messaging and strategy whilst also retaining the essence that made us unique in the first place.
As you grow and become more visible, the marketplace becomes less forgiving. Something that would have only been seen by 500 people (and considered a success) starts being seen by 5000 people and this leads to inevitable “mis-steps” (we’ll get to that at the end).
With that in mind, I thought I’d pull out some of our key marketing moments over the course of our ten years.
Long before it was fashionable to use social media, and long before it had become dominated by Facebook, ticketscript was born from a community of like-minded individuals. In a standard forum thread (something else largely lost to the mists of time now), a discussion started about all of the challenges facing event organisers looking to sell tickets. It was in this moment that inspiration struck and the idea of selling tickets yourself was formed. With a dedicated community of event organisers and go-ers, eager to break away from the confines of traditional ticketing, the idea spread like wildfire. A simple ticket shop was thus created (a very early ancestor to our current shop). You can’t see it anymore, save through the magic of the wayback machine.
This showed us that activating your own fans through social discussion and word of mouth was incredibly powerful. We ran with this long before it was standard marketing practice and our product development followed suit with the first Facebook integrated ticketshop, and now our current ticketshop’s fully embedded use of social media channels.
Established as the choice of ticketing software for those that cared about events it was time to become a brand. This is something that starts organically and when done right appears effortless from the outside. We’ve definitely changed over the time as a brand…
Our core ideology of being an innovative tech company is something we’re keen to get across, with the addition of our commercial message in more recent years.
Getting our message across
At some point, you’ll reach a point of success where you look for incremental growth. We expanded across multiple countries and although word of mouth and cutting edge innovation gave us a huge market share in our founding country, it was time to ignite this in our new territories. It was time to invest in the message…
Maybe we’d been watching too much Minority Report, but hey, it was a popular movie. Regardless of the design, our message was clear and this is something we’ve continued and adapted…
Riding the lightning
Sometimes the best branding hits like lightning, by complete accident. This can lead to a negative moment…
Sometimes it’s a piece of impeccable timing…
Sometimes it’s a little from column A and a little from column B…
Testing ground breaking functionality sometimes go wrong. Sometimes what goes wrong, goes public. Sometimes it goes really public.
Maybe we could have picked slightly lower profile artists for our test. Maybe we could have made it clearer it was a test, although having the legendary Toto on the bill may have given it away.
Never let a thing like details get in the way of a good story. I mean, come on, who really thought Toto would be billed behind Beyonce and Justin? Toto share the headline with no one.
To quote Fatboy Slim, “you’ve come a long way baby”. We’re the baby, and we’re never in the corner. I know what you’re thinking, there’s a lot of culture references in those last two sentences. Hopefully you get the sentiment. Reinventing, evolving and adapting a brand like ticketscript is exciting, challenging, and a real thrill ride. It’s been great fun building a European brand over the past ten years and it’ll be even more fun to build a global brand over the next ten.