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Virtual Pins or Actual Pins: I Know Which I’d Prefer a Resort to Pass Out

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It’s not exactly an even comparison, but it’s a comparison nonetheless.

On the one hand, EpicMix rewards skiers and boarders with pins when you reach certain levels or accomplisments. For example, if you ride every lift at resort X in one day, you may get the Beaver Creek Conquerer pin (unless of course, the gantries fail to scan you on one ride, not that I’d know).

On the other, are real, actual pins, attached to freebies and deals passed out randomly to guests: no mile-long traverses required. Like this:

Virtual pins are free to distribute and release a small amount of dopamine.

Real pins (plus a freebie) cost something to distrbiute but likely trigger a larger response from the recipient.

Get People Talking
As I’ve said before, EpicMix isn’t an app, it’s a content factory designed to get people to share their skiing experience. And it does. Thought I don’t know the numbers exactly, I’d guess most of these shares are automated which may decrease the authenticity.

In the other boat are things that are so surprising, so fun, and so “neat”, that people can’t help but talk. This is the category I’d place these buttons in. Similar to Bristol’s “Random Acts of Kindness” promotion, they provide an experience that, when quickly calculated in the recipients head, doesn’t make financial sense for the resort which increases the cool factor.

It’s a tradeoff: virtual is free but less “I’ve gotta tell me friends about this” worthy. Real costs, but carries a greater possibility of spreading. I don’t see a right or wrong, but if my EpicMix pins earned me real-world benefits, I may think differently.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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