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Movio View: Four Steps To Cinema Marketing Success, Pt I

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What if every moviegoer in your loyalty program came to your cinema one more time each year? An extra visit, on an average of 4.7 annually, is an uplift of more than 20% - and isn’t a difficult marketing feat. The key challenge here is getting the right message to the right person at the right time using the right medium. 

In this two-part series, Movio Cinema's Global President, Matthew Liebmann, and Head of Product, Ryan Scott, share their thoughts on breaking that challenge into its four components. In part one, they uncover how to deliver the right message to the right people, discuss best practices and explain how Movio Cinema will deliver these to our clients with future initiatives.

The right message

Matthew Liebmann: As my mother says, “It’s not just what you say, but also how you say it that matters.” And she’s correct: the right message is not just about the core content or offer, but also the way it is written with each recipient in mind. At Movio, we similarly believe the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ are equally important.

We typically consider the four broad message categories:

1. Movies - New and upcoming releases in cinema.
2. Exhibitor - New theaters, refurbishments, food and beverage items or menus.
3. Calendar events - Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Father’s Day, etc.
4. Member - Delivering relevant, timely communications based on member interests, driven by the desire to increase total spend, visitation frequency and circuit preference. 

Within these, the specific campaign objectives are virtually limitless. 

Defining the standard for ‘how’ is easy: your message must be personalized to each recipient. If you aren’t showing the recipient that you know who they are by name, preferences and activities, then you should really question your method. 

Even if the ‘what’ is the same for a group, the ‘how’ can be customized through A/B testing campaigns. Post-campaign analysis can also help to optimize this. We recently conducted an experiment for a client in which we tested the effectiveness of campaigns aimed at reactivating lapsed members. For those previously segmented as high frequency / high spend, we sent one sub-segment a concessions offer to encourage visitation. For the balance, we simply provided details of current and upcoming movies. The testing showed that providing basic movie details to these avid cinemagoers was more effective than a food and beverage offer. We repeated this across various value segments and determined that, even though we consistently wanted to reactivate members, the best approach ranged from discounted tickets and concessions, bonus points and movie information - depending on the recipient. 

Increasingly, propensity-based algorithms will identify the best offer and content to include in personalized emails. This may extend to the types of offers identified in the previous paragraph, but also to the best imagery, content, and content structure for each message. Nevertheless, automation will never replace a human touch, but rather give marketers more time to shine. Crafting the right message is the best place for cinema marketers to differentiate themselves; by writing in the tone of their particular brand and using creativity to design communications to maximize engagement.

Ryan Scott: Ensuring you’re clear on ‘what’ you’re trying to achieve with your campaigns is just as important as the content within them. That’s where the concept of campaign goals proves incredibly powerful. By stating a clear call-to-action, you can confirm how many people followed your direction and, in turn, the effectiveness of the campaign. For example, you may have a campaign with the goal of getting moviegoers to purchase concession items. Once that goal has been defined you can easily measure the success by comparing the difference in concession spend between those who received and did not receive the campaign. 

Yes and nos

Not only does this provide another level of personalization but, when coupled with the measurement of goal uptake, allows marketers to measure the effectiveness of types of incentives. This means testing different types of incentives against each other, such as a points offer versus a BOGO offer. These are the sorts of solutions Movio provides. 

The right person

Matthew Liebmann: The best-performing cinema exhibitor with mature loyalty programs have more than 1,400 active members per screen, and determining the best message for each of them is paramount. We often see exhibitors blasting messages far too indiscriminately. This means, when the right message is eventually sent to the right person, that person might have already switched off - by either unsubscribing or simply deleting messages without reading them.

Another issue we see is exhibitors using shallow or old data. This can occur if their data capture and data quality practices do not reflect best practices, resulting in empty data fields (age and gender are prime offenders), partial collection (e.g. not tracking website activity such as trailer views or only tracking ticket sales but not food and beverage) or poor rates of subscription opt-ins. The outcomes can be grating for members.   

Collecting rich member data is a fundamental reason for having a program and offering rewards in the first place. It must be considered upfront when first devising a program’s rules and operational practices because if you don’t know who your guests are, you’ll never be able to identify the right ones for each campaign!

Ryan Scott: Movio Cinema enables exhibitors to identify the right moviegoers for each campaign in a range of ways:

  • Audience Insights: Predicts which movie a moviegoer is most likely to see from those movies Now Showing or Coming Soon using Movio’s proprietary machine learning Propensity Algorithm.
  • Movie Insights: Determines how likely each member is to see a particular movie using Movio’s Propensity Algorithm.
  • Group Builder: Movio’s group builder provides advanced segmentation using 130+ filters that can be combined to form virtually limitless audiences, as well as with groups created via Audience and Movie Insights, for the most precise targeting. Our cinema-centric filter set allows marketers to know who their members are demographically, to understand what they want to do by tracking web behavior and web-based watch lists, what they actually did via their full offline and online purchase history, and what they thought about what they did via reviews and survey results. 

In summary

Our vision is to enable everyone to experience the magic of cinema. By ensuring the right message is being to delivered to the right moviegoer, marketers can optimize communications to moviegoers and ensure all marketing efforts are measurably successful - which equates to more people in movie theaters, enjoying films they wouldn’t want to miss.

In the second part of this series, Matthew and Ryan will discuss the importance of timing and channels when optimizing engagement with moviegoers. 

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