While it would be fair to say that American Express is no longer the leader in its industry, VISA and MasterCard are clearly the big players, American Express still understands what it takes to reach out to people. The company has a two pronged approach to bringing new customers into the American Express fold while also battling to maintain their existing customers. Given the competitive nature of the credit card industry, retaining customers can be a challenge. It is easy to provide low introductory sign-up rates which entice people from other firms or to sign up initially but when the initial period is over, many will look to move away to another credit card company where they can benefit from the sign-up benefits on offer there.
This is where American Express knows that they have to provide benefits to existing customers that can also play a part in signing up new members as well. The notion of content in marketing usually centres on the written word and content on web pages. This is crucial for many businesses but it is also important to consider the sort of tangible content that can be delivered to users. Any business looking to properly engage and interact with their users should be able to provide them with benefits that they cannot get anywhere else.
American Express has focused on providing exclusive content to many of their users and one of the most successful approaches the firm has had comes from the American Express Unstaged campaign. This is where they stream live gigs by some of the largest names in the music industry. The company gets some of the biggest directors in the world on board to take control of the footage.
In addition to the concert footage being streamed, the company also provides exclusive videos before and after the gig. This provides people with an opportunity to see some of their favourite acts in a way that they would not be able to do so in any other way. The company caused a huge splash when they got Coldplay to play a gig for them in 2011. The show became the biggest single artist event that YouTube had ever shown and American Express was right at the heart of it.
It is also important to understand the importance of YouTube. It is the second biggest search engine in the world, second only to Google. It is also a place where people hang out, make recommendations and interact with their friends. In many ways, YouTube is the equivalent of Facebook but with added search engine capabilities.
Not only did American Express manage to score themselves some major celebrity endorsements with these gigs, but also the company’s name was displayed all over one of the biggest search engines in the world and it was in the place where millions of people were hanging out. This is the sort of promotion that money can very rarely buy and American Express owned it.
There is a lot being written about content at the moment and people tend to think of it in terms of articles. You have to ask how many more articles can the the Internet take. However, content is more than that. It includes music concerts and films and many brands are now looking for ways in which they can offer this sort of content exclusively to their clients in order to gain attention in the crowded market. Consider this; what if One Direction singles were only available to customers of a specific mobile phone brand? Okay, it may sound implausible and there are credibility issues when brands become too involved with artists. However, if American express can own a Coldplay gig what else might happen?