Be like Google and Uber and use your own data to drive sales.

Since the stock market and mortgage meltdown of 2008, consumers have demanded more transparency from their banks, their politicians and their brands.

The smart brands (and hopefully Broadway becomes one of these) flipped the tables on transparency, and instead of revealing what was behind their business curtain only when asked, started dripping out data in smart and well controlled drops in order to drive sales.

Here are just two examples from last week . . .


Uber sent out an email with the curiosity piquing “Where is everyone going?” subject.  Inside that email was this message, “On January 29 we lowered uberX rates by 15%.  Since then demand for rides has increased across all 5 boroughs.  With more New Yorkers using Uber more frequently, we wondered, ‘Where is everyone going?’  To answer, we took a look at the data.”

What I love about this marketing missile is that before Uber even gets to the data part, they push every single marketing button that Cialdini teaches in Influence. They remind you that they just reduced their rates (reciprocity).  They tell you that demand has increased (scarcity).  They talk about more New Yorkers using it more frequently (social proof).  It’s incredibly efficient marketing.

And then they get to the good part!

They tell you where people went . . . including the top destinations for certain categories like top hotels (The Standard, High Line), the top restaurant (Vandal), the top nightclub and more.  Click here to see the juicy data deets.

It’s fun learning about what other people are up to, and by opening up their hard drive of data to their customers, they not only showed transparency, but they got a nice, big, long, juicy impression out of it.  Tell me after looking at all this stuff you’re not more inclined to use your Uber app next time you want a ride?  (If you’re not an Uber user, click here to get a free $15 ride – yes, they are also good at customer acquisition.)


Shocker, Google does the same thing . . . and more frequently.

Although Google guards certain parts of their business, like their search algorithm, more closely than Donald Trump guards whatever the #@$% is under that flossy mess on his head, they are happy to let you look under their hood at their search traffic.

Google has a blog called Think With Google and each week they send out a “weekly thought starter” article with subjects like:

“The 5 Auto Shopping Moments Every Brand Must Own,” “Why Gamers Should Be Part Of Your Audience Strategy,” and the simply titled “Shopping Insights.”

What’s in these articles? How about where in the U.S. the most searches for “hoverboards” occur?

Since we live in a DIY world, we are all obsessed with how things work.  Or how YouTube Gamers are 1.5x more likely to purchase electronics than non-gamers.  Or how conversion rates on mobile travel sites have increased 88% in the past year.

All of this info is marketing gold covered diamonds.  Google is helping you hone in on your target market and more efficiently spend your advertising dollars.  Where are you going to spend that money?  On Google of course.

And again, it’s fun finding out what the most watched movie trailer was on YouTube, and how half of the searches related to college basketball were on mobile last March and April (Madness, anyone?).


We live in a DIY world.  But that doesn’t only mean our customers like to do things themselves . . . it also makes them hyper curious about how other people are doing it.  Showing them how YOU are doing it can lead to deeper, more impactful impressions and stronger brand loyalty.

Could a non-profit theater show a report of who their donors are and where they are coming from?

Could a Broadway show release the demographics of its individual audience?

Could a Producer reveal the stats from his recent livestream of his Off Broadway show Daddy Long Legs?

(See what I did there?  And you didn’t even know that was part of a marketing strategy now did you?)

Collect your data.  And then, well, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it.”


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.