Our LA-based Movio Expert, Matthew Liebmann, is often asked about the impact of the Movio Media dataset and how it’s used to successfully develop and market movies to the broad audience of moviegoers. We sat him down to discuss the most popular topics of interest amongst studios and distributors.
From your experience, what are the key questions studios are asking about their movie’s audience?
Studios tend to have three main focuses; who are their audience, how they can be reached, and are their marketing efforts effective.
Who is our audience? Recently, Disney’s Chairman and CEO Bob Eiger told an investor conference, “We don’t have any idea of who went to see Star Wars in the movies. And I think there are opportunities that we need to figure out how to take advantage of.” Well, Movio Media can provide complete demographic, transactional, behavioral and movie-going habits for audiences and on a scale never seen before in this industry. We draw upon 1.6 million records to analyze the audience of Star Wars: Rogue One. We have 50,000 records for a smaller title like Moonlight.
How can we establish direct communication with our audiences? Via Movio Media, studios can communicate with approximately 15 million active US moviegoers in 45 states for the purposes of direct, targeted marketing and market research. Looking at our last 15 marketing campaigns, we achieved an average unique open rate of more than 31%, a unique click-to-open rate of 47% and an incremental uplift in box office of 33%.
Is our marketing effective? Movio partners with exhibitors and integrates with their point of sale systems, so we can see the transactional behavior of those contacted and whether those transactions occur in cinema, online, via mobile or are paid with cash, credit, or gift card. This gives a holistic online and offline transactional profile. We can then compare the actions of these individuals to a similar group who did not receive the campaign to calculate the incremental uplift in admissions and box office. There’s the cliche, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half”. Well, with our platform and approach, we know which half.
Movio Media provides a level of data insight previously unattainable by movie studios and distributors. How has the market reacted towards moving away from unreliable yet accepted data currencies?
We have received overwhelming support and have ongoing relationships with the marketing, exhibitor relations and research departments of many of the major and mini major studios, as well as screen advertisers. There are a number of reasons for this:
We use cutting edge data science. Our proprietary ‘similarity score’ identifies the most likely audience for a movie and scores the the strength of that similarity on a 0-10 scale. Our comp movie methodology is more advanced than traditional approaches. Rather than comp movies based on tone and content, we look at audiences based on their transactional history. This results in often broader but more accurate comp movies. For example, if you were to find comp films for Sausage Party, you’d typically form a list of gross-out R-rated comedies. However, our similarity score algorithm identifies the five movies with the most similar audience to Sausage Party as (in order) Don’t Breathe, Suicide Squad, Neighbors 2, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Deadpool. In other words, a horror title, two edgy comic book movies and just two gross-out comedies, which many might not have expected.
We have true nationwide coverage. We can reach active moviegoers in 45 US states and can communicate with them directly for research and marketing campaigns. From a research perspective, this means that we move away from the views and perspectives of a few hundred people based in New York and LA only. From a marketing perspective, we can communicate with and motivate people in the heartland, who often have very different tastes and preferences to their coastal counterparts.
We are fast. Whilst we do prefer a longer lead time, we can go from concept to execution within three business days, and have been able to be even faster to help a client in a bind.
Knowing the vision and 2017 roadmap for Movio Media, what are you most excited about?
We have some terrific enhancements to expand the number of communications channels we support and the scale we can reach. We will also be introducing additional demographic and transactional data points to make for richer audience profiles for even stronger targeting. It’s going to be a big year!