The Power of Selling an Experience in This Social Media-Driven World

October 22, 2018

By Kendall Fisher(opens in new tab), executive producer at Grow Wire

Whether you’re an established corporation or a 6-month-old startup(opens in new tab), it’s likely that social media is essential(opens in new tab) to your business plan. However, as the social media phenomenon is under 20 years old, not all businesses were built on this premise.

That’s exactly what marketing guru Kelvin Joseph addressed upon assuming the role of CMO and COO at Steiner Sports in 2009. 

Brandon Steiner founded his sports marketing company in 1987, and it grew into a $50 million corporation as the leading producer of sports memorabilia—that is, until social media changed the way they viewed their business.

On this episode of “The Grow Wire Podcast(opens in new tab),” our host Jason Maynard sits down with Joseph to discuss how and why Steiner Sports shifted from selling memorabilia to adding a layer of selling experiences (or selling happiness, as Joseph puts it). The company now leverages the power of sports to help other businesses grow, sending athletes to corporate networking events and sparking conversation between the company and current or potential customers.

“The world has changed to be a more experiential place,” Joseph says. “With social media, if I give you a signed autograph by Magic Johnson(opens in new tab), I have to come to your house to see it. But if you take a picture with him, that’s blasted all across your social media the next minute. So, it’s a much different world as far as being able to use that for business.” 

In fact, the experience-driven layer of Steiner Sports now drives an additional $10 million of revenue to the business annually. 

Joseph reveals challenges Steiner Sports faced during the transition to a new business model, providing advice for other business leaders on how to handle similar shifts. He also discusses his personal shift from CFO to CMO and COO and the benefit of diving into a role that’s outside of your comfort zone.

Finally, Joseph addresses the trend of businesses creating their own content and why that content simply won’t work unless it’s authentic.

For all of this and more, listen to the full podcast episode on Apple Podcasts(opens in new tab), SoundCloud(opens in new tab) and YouTube(opens in new tab), and as always, don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe. 

  Like what you hear? Follow Grow Wire on Twitter(opens in new tab) for future episodes.

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