Attending a business conference this month, one of the panel discussions was on the importance, and distinct differences, pertaining to culture and strategy. The overwhelming conclusion was that building the proper culture is critical for any strategy to succeed.

So I aligned that thought with how we consider, and then market to, the most important clients any sports team has – the season ticket holder. I kept coming back to the question of what is most important; giving the STH account what they want, or getting them to buy in to what we prefer to give them.

What they want seems like a lot, but really isn’t surprising. (All) they want is a hassle-free way to get into a game, perks for being loyal to their team, thought of as a partner and not a patron, and inclusion into the ‘club’, a feeling that they are part of the team. What the team gets is a warm welcome to its strategy relating to how they market back to the STH account.

I’ve seen a lot of teams do a wonderful job of STH outreach, and those teams end up being able to ask the patron to change their behavior, even if it’s only a bit. That change in behavior usually translates into the patron sharing more about themselves and who else ends up using their game tickets. They opt in for messaging, marketing, updates, and offers.

But launching a strategy that asks those things of your customers before you build a culture of inclusion with those fans runs the risk of looking to be self-serving and opportunistic.