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Movio Marketing: We Discuss The Future Of Cinema Marketing With Screentrade Magazine

Published in Screentrade Magazine May/June 2015.

The future of cinema marketing is behavioural data.

Movio has a passion for three things:  moviegoers, analytics and targeted marketing.  And it’s the intersection of these passions that has positioned the company at the center of the worldwide movie business.  Its Movio Cinema platform provides in-depth movie analytics, customer intelligence and marketing solutions exclusively tailored to exhibitors. Leading cinema chains around the world leverage the data available within Movio Cinema to activate marketing campaigns tailored to groups of moviegoers based on their movie-going habits and interests.

Prior to CineEurope, we met with Movio Chief Executive Will Palmer and his Director of Strategic Partnerships for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Sarah Lewthwaite.

“Movio’s mission is to revolutionise the way the film industry interacts with moviegoers,” says Palmer. “Our flagship product, Movio Cinema, provides a comprehensive customer-analytics engine and campaign management software specifically designed for the cinema industry.  With our enormous global footprint, we think we understand the theatrical audience.  And with great information comes great decisions, which empowers everyone in the cinema world to make better content. And at the core of all we do is real data from real filmgoers, over 30 million of them.”

Reporting on the success of loyalty campaigns has traditionally been a complex and difficult task for cinema marketers. How effective are campaigns? How can you grow loyalty programme revenue?  Having the right data makes it possible to accurately see the effects of campaigns, measured against control groups who don’t receive offers. This means cinemas are increasingly able to design more effective campaigns, targeting the right customers with the right offers and messaging.

Palmer adds: “Movio Cinema has this unique capability of calculating the actual return on investment of the targeted campaigns sent to members by integrating with the exhibitor’s POS system. By analysing the overall activity of one of our long-standing users, we found out that members spend at minimum $0.38 USD more on average when targeted by a campaign. This is astonishing when you scale this number to your loyalty programme.”

So how does the cinema analytics DNA of Europe compare and contrast to other markets around the globe?  Sarah Lewthwaite offers some insights. “The European cinema market is complex, competitive and diverse with a unique set of challenges.” Before joining Movio, Lewthwaite was Vice President of Marketing for the leading Canadian exhibitor Cineplex Entertainment and a key player in the success of its SCENE loyalty program (joint venture with Scotiabank), which accumulated an impressive six million members during her tenure.

“It is safe to say that a full commitment to data analytics by exhibitors can be both daunting and somewhat intimidating,” says Lewthwaite.  “But if you capture that data effectively and exploit it fully by applying best business practices, such as those offered by Movio, it can be an enormous boon to the ROI.”

A good example of Movio’s turnkey services making a difference in a burgeoning market is Mars Entertainment Group, which was named International Exhibitor of the Year at CineEurope in 2013.

Mars operates Turkey’s leading cinema chain, Cinemaximum, with more than 500 screens in 24 cities.  The chain accounts for 60 percent of all digital screens in the country.  Mars was Movio’s very first European client and was keen to fully exploit the data analytics capability to strengthen its loyalty programme..  “Rather than keeping data in a marketing department silo, Mars achieved competitive dominance in part by applying customer intelligence gleaned from Big Data across all departments and decision-making,” reports Lewthwaite.

Kurt Rieder, CEO at MCG, comments:  “The aim of our loyalty programme is to use analytics to increase film going frequency and customer retention. To create exclusive and “specific to guest” offers, we needed to know, understand and analyse the behaviour of our guests. The Movio Cinema platform provides us with film-centric intelligence necessary to understand the guests and make offers customised to their needs. Guests receive campaign messages that are relevant and meaningful for them. We have decreased the number of messages received but increased the efficiency of communication.”

Another challenge specific to the European market is the demand for localised content across the sector.  “In Europe, loyalty members engage most powerfully to content that speaks to their national as well as regional identities,” says Lewthwaite.  “It’s not one-size fits all when it comes to Europe and the most successful cinema chains leverage all available methodologies to discern and satisfy those local preferences.”

“The time of programming and running cinemas based solely on demographic data is over,” concludes Palmer.  “It’s a much sounder strategy, and more forward-leaning, to engage customers directly and anticipate their needs by the content they are demanding, rather than the number of years on their birthday cakes. That’s truer in Europe than any other region that we work in. Our goal is to create a single view of a moviegoer across all channels, including mobile, web, social, and offline in-cinema transactions.  Once the exhibition business understands its customers better the entire value chain is positively affected.  Customers only receive relevant information about content that they are likely to engage with.  Exhibitors will market more efficiently, increasing ROI on each campaign.  Exhibitors also schedule content in a more scientific manner.  Distributors will target the most avid moviegoers with relevant campaigns around the world, and will refine their marketing spend to precise audiences.”

By combining Big Data with cinema-centric customer intelligence, Movio facilitates greater understanding of audiences around the world.

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