Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Topps Is Engaged AND Listening . . .

Topps recent embrace of social media is not by chance. They have actually hired someone with a social media/marketing background to help them connect with their customer base through multiple venues like Twitter, Facebook and the recently launched Topps Blog. This week they solicited bloggers, via Twitter, to engage in a round table discussion. Of course, for them, this is very cost-effective market research as compared to a focus group. For myself and other blogger/collectors it is the opportunity to have our thoughts finally heard by a trading card manufacturer. Time will tell if this new level of engagement is just fluff and simply an attempt to pacify the vocal minority, however, based on some of the existing exchange of dialogue, which appears genuine, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Below are the questions myself and 12 others have been asked to respond to. I'll share my answers with you when they are published by Topps, however regularly readers of this blog will be able to discern from past commentary what some of my answers will be.

1. How long have you been collecting? What are your favorite players, teams, sets, etc. to collect? Which card in your collection means the most to you and why?

2. In the time that you have been collecting, what is your favorite story, memory, experience, etc?

3. What are the effects on the hobby of major card companies moving toward exclusivity deals with sports leagues? Given that this could be the direction that the industry is headed, what should card companies do to continue to provide a quality product to collectors.

4. Pick a time frame- 5, 10, or 20 years. In that time frame, what has been the single best and worst development in the hobby?

5. What are your thoughts on prospecting? Do you do it personally? Why? Has the clamoring to find the next big rookie affected the quality of products, either positively or negatively?

6. We are collecting tangible products in an increasingly intangible world. As our lives move more and more online, what will the effects on the industry be? Will the next generation of kids be as excited about collecting cards as we are? How should the major card companies respond?

7. How has new media changed the way you collect? How should the major card companies utilize new media to connect with their consumer base? How can new media change and/or revitalize the hobby?

8. How has the recent rise in counterfeits and scams affected the way you collect? What advice would you give the major card companies to help combat this?

9. The poor economy has affected all of us in recent years. In what ways would you like to see card companies respond to provide interesting, affordable products for collectors?

10. We’ve done autographs. We’ve done just about every kind of relic/game used product you can think of. What’s next? Where do we go from here?

11. If you could say one thing-anything- to Topps and know that the CEO will read it, what would you say?

Feel free to share your answers to some of these questions in the comments section.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm in on this. I'm writing a novel in response...

Gellman said...

ive been writing for three hours and I am at four pages already. this wasnt a good idea for topps to unleash with limited space. thank god I have my own blog to post every word.

Offy said...

I've been very impressed with Topps increased online presence as of late. Great job on their part. Now all they need to do is get a new redemption fulfillment company, improve their terrible website (get rid of the ads at least) and hire some people from Upper Deck once they go under who know how to do high end products properly and I think they'll be able to please the majority of the hobby.

James said...

This is great - it seems like they "get it." The best part (and under-used) aspect of social media is the listening. Credit to them for getting feedback from the online community.

Anthony K. said...

Like the Wombat, Gellman and yourself, I am in this as well.

I haven't started writing.....yet, but I plan on fully making Topps aware of what has been done to this fantastic hobby of ours.

Hopefully this is a start in the right direction for Topps.

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