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Movio View: Four Steps To Cinema Marketing Success Pt II

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In our previous blog post, we discussed the possibilities of encouraging moviegoers to attend one more movie in a theater each year. If achieved, this would result in an admissions uplift of more than a 20% per person. We then broke down the marketing cliché of delivering the right message to the right person at the right time using the right medium to describe tactics aimed at helping cinema marketers achieve this outcome with their loyalty members. 

In part one of this Marketing Success series, Head of Product, Ryan Scott and Movio Cinema's Global President, Matthew Liebmann, focussed on the right message and the right person. In part two, they discuss the importance of timing and finding the right communication channels to optimize engagement with your moviegoers. 

The right time

Matthew Liebmann: We consider the ‘right time’ in three ways. 

First, by identifying the best time to execute campaigns. This send optimization could be by campaign type, the nature of the offer, and/or the recipient themselves. Movio’s Data Science team is currently conducting analysis to see which of these meaningfully moves the dial in the cinema industry. 

The second way we consider the ‘right time’ is by being timely. In other words, being able to move fast enough to take advantage of the opportunities presenting themselves. That’s why the Movio Cinema platform was designed to allow marketers to go from concept to campaign execution in 15 minutes or less.

Finally, by increasing campaign automation, marketers can execute pre-configured offers in real time based on members’ profiles and activity. This not only relates to initial communications, but also contextually-aware follow-up messages.

Ryan Scott: The latter of these three points is where we see the most room for innovation. There are specific trigger points for communication along the journey to a moviegoer’s next cinema visit. Events such as a movie trailer release or tickets being on sale are examples of opportunities to build demand for movies at your cinemas. 

We see automated campaigns as being truly powerful only when coupled with other moviegoer behavior and propensity. An email that tells me Incredibles 2 tickets are now on sale because I went to the first Incredibles - or a movie with a high Similarity Score™ - is valuable. However, if I have never seen an animated movie or have a higher propensity to see another movie currently showing, then I shouldn’t be recommended Incredibles 2 - regardless of whether or not it is the biggest new release of the week. 

Not only is it important to send campaigns based on events, it’s equally important to know when not to send a campaign. Saying nothing sometimes says the most which, in our case, means knowing your moviegoers well enough to not bombard them with irrelevant messages. This type of noise can often prevent recipients from trusting you to send them something truly valuable. This is where Movio sees automation being the brains utilizing propensity and insights to work out what campaign to send - and when.

The right channel

Matthew Liebmann: Different media have different uses and today’s cinema marketer needs to be able to tap into all of them as needed.

Email remains highly relevant and compelling, especially since screens on mobile devices become larger and higher-resolution. In fact, for the studio-driven Movio Media campaigns we run via exhibitor loyalty programs, we have seen recipient engagement increase over time, with an average of almost 1 in 3 recipients opening these campaigns and, of these, almost 1 in 2 clicking through. 

At the same time, SMS is terrific for short-term call-to-action campaigns, for example, “Get $9 tickets for member preview of Mama Mia: Here We Go Again! at 7pm tonight here.” Mobile push notifications combine the immediacy of SMS with the ability to provide richer messaging than SMS, but don’t require moviegoers to first download an app and switch on notifications. 

Email, SMS and mobile push are all active media, meaning that a recipient has to opt-in to receive these campaigns. However, there are also passive media alternatives, where tailored content and messaging can be presented even when people have not opted-in or have provided incorrect contact information. 

Ryan Scott: That’s right. For cinema exhibitors, this may include websites, self-service kiosks, and point of sale screens. 

In addition, exhibitors may be able to onboard and make anonymous targeted groups for paid digital and social advertising. Social media channels allow movie marketers to reach moviegoers outside of their own ecosystems. Some moviegoers may have opted out of direct communication. They may only read your emails or visit your website when they want to see a movie. However, a well-targeted advertisement on Facebook or Instagram may create awareness as moviegoers go about their daily digital lives. In addition, exhibitors can take a targeted segment built amongst loyalty members and then create a lookalike audience amongst non-members, or even amongst those who frequent competitive theaters, to amplify their marketing.

Of course, this all depends on local regulations and legislation relating to privacy, and exhibitors should be across these requirements as they finalize their campaign strategies.

In summary

There are so many opportunities to increase the average moviegoer’s cinema visitation and spend – both in terms of the number of movies unseen and the number of days in which to see them. Over the past eight years of Movio’s existence, we have seen the effectiveness of getting the right message to the right person at the right time using the right medium, and have calculated the financial benefit of doing so against control groups. Incorporate these four steps to success into your own cinema marketing strategies, and an attentive, loyal moviegoer database will follow. 

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