Close your eyes and imagine the last time you sat in your doctor’s waiting room. What was playing on the TV? Judge Judy reruns? What if while you waited for the doctor, the TV ran valuable content that could help you get more out of your doctor’s visit?
UPShow is here to introduce a new approach to screen time — one that connects brands with customers in a more creative and informative way while driving business results.
“UPshow is a platform built to inspire, drive more content, and more business outcomes inside of your venue,” says Matt Gibbs, UPShow’s co-founder and CMO.
Powered right here in Chicago, UPshow services 12,000 screens around the world —
ranging from local trivia nights and fitness gyms to bars, clubs, and music festivals. Since successfully raising $6 million in capital last March, UPshow has been growing like a weed. Here are some highlights of their growth journey.
When UPshow got its start about three years ago, it was basically a social TV platform.
“The whole pitch was, ‘If you’re at Crunch Fitness Gym working out, share on Instagram or Twitter, use the hashtag, and you’ll see yourself on TV,” says Matt. “It was a shiny object, and we were selling the cool factor.”
The cool factor eventually lost its shine, Matt explains, since UPshow just wasn’t reaching its fullest potential.
“We’ve really evolved to become a full consumer engagement platform,” says Matt. “We’re focused on conversations with every potential partner to be about the business and marketing outcome they want to drive.”
Not all customers are created equal
Matt remembers UPshow’s early days when pulling any client — no matter how small — felt like a big win.
“Back in the day it was like everybody got the white glove treatment,” he says. “But that’s not sustainable at scale.”
As it’s grown, UPshow has learned to prioritize some clients over others. Today they batch and automate the on-boarding process for the tier-three customers who drive less revenue. But Matt says their core customers “still get the white glove service,” with dedicated staff responsible for a seamless ”post-sale” experience.
“To really minimize churn and attrition in a business, you have to make sure that the post-sale process from step one is essentially perfect,” says Matt.
Narrow your niche
“It’s the transition to a value-based sale,” he says. “And focusing on what are the verticals that matter to us.”
Today, UPshow’s three major verticals are hospitality, fitness and healthcare. Even though each vertical is “essentially using the same platform, different things matter to each of them,” says Matt. But no matter the vertical, UPshow aims to create clever and creative content that meets a company’s marketing goals and adds value for customers.
“I think the key to success for UPshow in any vertical is we know the perfect recipe to grab the customer’s attention,” he says. “And once we have their eyes on the screen, we can hit them with the right marketing message.”
Customize your content
From Matt’s perspective, UPshow’s success lies in it’s choose-your-own-adventure approach to immersive marketing.
“Whether it’s a doctor, a gym, or a bar, our partners control 100 percent of the content that’s going to be on the screen.”
Matt explains that UPshow offers three “highly customizable, easy to curate” content models:
- User generated content: UPshow’s platform pulls content from social media onto their customers’ screens in real time. With one of the world’s largest content moderation operations, actual humans review everything to ensure content stays on-brand. They’re keeping things appropriate too, making sure all content is PG-13.
- Digital signage, brand marketing, and promotions: Whether it’s a photo, video, or template graphic, “every one of our users has a control panel that they can easily manage from their phone, tablet, or computer.”
- Entertainment suite: Matt says that the entertainment capabilities work well for national brands looking to customize their messages for every single location they’re targeting.
“It’s like a Netflix menu for how you want to program your TV,” says Matt. Add the ability to mix-and-match, and the end result feels like “a brand’s own TV channel.”
The rise of the micro-influencer
Research shows that 92 percent of people trust a recommendation from a friend or family member over a standard advertisement. That’s why Matt believes that sparking authentic engagement goes beyond hiring mega influencers with millions of followers.
“No matter what your business is, if you can inspire a customer to share on social media from inside the four walls or of your venue, that is a win.”
UPshow tracks everything, so they tap into data to advise partners on strategy that will make them most effective.
“We’re trying to help our partners understand that the more you can inspire customers to share on their social channels, the more free and authentic word-of-mouth marketing you’re going to get.”