Data that drives ticket sales: Music to a marketer’s ears
With live performances accounting for the largest portion of an artist’s income, it’s no wonder that selling tickets is high on their priorities list.
In the digital music era, listeners are prioritising experiences with their favourite artists. But while other industries have committed to data-driven marketing techniques, there’s been a disconnect between the data collected via ticketing platforms and an event manager’s ability to use the data to drive ticket sales. These platforms are built for facilitating sales, not customer relationship management (CRM).
It’s the data collected on ticket buyers – from demographic information, to merchandise purchases, to past ticket purchases – that holds the secret to personalising marketing efforts to increase ticket sales.
In fact, a personalised fan experience is expected by concertgoers. An artist’s biggest fans want to be recognised for their commitment with limited-edition merchandise and meet and greets to stay engaged with an artist performance after performance. It is only through the careful analysis of fan data that these super-fans can be identified and given the special treatment that will encourage ticket sales for years to come.
With the right tools and marketing strategies, artists and event managers can get more concert and event tickets into the hands of fans.
The goal is to collect as much data as possible on past and potential concertgoers
Data integration tools
First and foremost, a robust data integration tool is required to take the data captured via a ticketing platform and integrate it into the tools used to automate sales and marketing processes. Because ticketing platforms were never intended to be CRM tools, more often than not, the most basic information that could personalise an artist or event manager’s marketing campaigns, like birthdates, geographic information and past ticket and merchandise purchases, are only available within the ticketing platform.
The proper data integration tool should remove the manual work that is the current standard for connecting ticketing platform data to a marketing campaign. Data on demographics, attendance, purchases and more should regularly and automatically update as ticket purchases are made.
Customer relationship management
Just as important as the data integration tool is the CRM that it’s integrated into. This is the tool that is most important to a ticket seller’s marketing journey – though it can’t function properly without the data integration tool it’s paired with. A CRM should allow for the development of marketing initiatives in tools like Marketing Cloud, Pardot, HubSpot, Eloqua or Marketo and automatically send emails and text messages, as well as target customers with social media ads.
Ticketing platforms were never intended to be CRM tools
With the proper data integration and CRM tools in place, data-based marketing strategies can be put in place. The goal is to collect as much data as possible on past and potential concertgoers in order to use that information to personalise outreach ahead of an event.
Begin by using previously collected information
When an event attendee purchases a ticket online, it is likely that they have already submitted key information like their email address, phone number and address. They also have given information on the area they are likely to attend in a concert in. Using this data, automatic marketing campaigns can be targeted to fans that are likely interested in seeing the artist again.
Move merchandise ahead of the concert
Merchandise sales are a reliable indicator of a strong relationship between a fan and an artist. Fans who go to an artist’s website to purchase merchandise will likely be interested in joining the artist’s mailing list for insider information ahead of a tour. Take this mailing list a step further by collecting data on those willing to buy merchandise ahead of an event. This data can then be used to retarget an artist’s biggest fans with early-bird access to tickets, meet and greets and more.
Offer preferred access to previous concertgoers
Using the data collected within a ticketing platform, past ticket purchases can be viewed, evaluated for patterns and used for personalised campaigns. By leveraging already available data, an artist or event manager can offer personalised messages to those who meet certain criteria.
Of course, an artist’s most loyal fans deserve special attention when possible. Using attendance data, it is easy to identify committed fans and offer them an unforgettable experience. This data can also be used to identify not-so-committed fans and reengage them with the artist – securing ticket sales for this event and increasing likelihood of purchase of another ticket in the future.
Leverage social media
Any marketer worth their salt understands the value of a robust social media strategy ahead of an event. Targeting social media ads to those who already like and follow an artist is obvious, but lookalike ads can be created to target new fans.
A Facebook event for the concert can help target fans in the area of the event. Creating a robust mailing list can also help identify the accounts of fans and reach them on their social media channels, in addition to appearing in their inbox. With emails receiving only a 20% open rate, the more channels used to engage with fans, the better.
An artist’s most loyal fans deserve special attention when possible
Once the hurdle of connecting data to a CRM and marketing tools is overcome, data-based strategies are much easier to implement.
By personalising outreach to an artist’s biggest fans, potential new fans and touching them through as many mediums as possible, the gold mine that is ticketing data can be fully realised.
Jon Robinson is the president of Lunar, a Salesforce consulting and SaaS product development company that automates and integrates technology to get more out of its clients’ existing sales and marketing. A Ticketmaster Nexus partner, Lunar uses its product TicketBeam to integrate Archtics and Salesforce to help the entertainment industry visualise and take action off of customer data without having to leave the Salesforce environment.
Beyond the Tracks: We want to be B’ham’s flagship fest
The man behind Birmingham’s first three-day rock festival has told IQ he hopes to turn Beyond the Tracks into the “flagship festival” of Britain’s second city.
Event manager John Fell – who is also event manager/head of booking for Moseley Folk Festival and Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul, both in Moseley Park, Birmingham, and Lunar Festival, held in Nick Drake’s home village of Tanworth-in-Arden – says he hopes the new event will become Birmingham’s leading festival – and that, if ticket sales are any indication, it’s off to a good start.
“For an inaugural event we are delighted with the ticket sales so far,” explains Fell (pictured). “We have certainly sold more, at this point, than predicted, so we are excited to see how the trend continues. We would be over the moon with a sell-out in the first year, and with the line-up we have it is quite possible.”
That line-up is topped by Orbital, Ocean Colour Scene and Editors, who respectively headline three themed days of music: electronica on Friday 15 September (Leftfield, Faithless, Jagwar Ma) indie rock on Saturday 16 September (Maxïmo Park, The Coral, The Twang, The Libertines’ Carl Barât) and alt-rock/shoegaze on Sunday 17 September (The Jesus and Mary Chain, Wild Beasts, Slowdive, Peter Hook of New Order).
Fell says the booking philosophy behind Beyond the Tracks was was to “create three diverse days for music fans”. “The programming is definitely different from our other events, but it has given us the opportunity to offer something different,” he explains. “The prospect of putting on Orbital, Leftfield and a Faithless DJ set in Birmingham city centre on a Friday night is something we are all far too excited about!”
In addition to being his first festival targeted towards towards a primarily adult audience, Beyond the Tracks is Fell’s inaugural event in Eastside City Park, a 6.75-acre urban park in the Eastside district of Birmingham. The park, which opened to the public in 2013, has yet to host a festival, and Fell says the city-centre location is a major selling point. “We have secured the perfect grassed area, surrounded by the iconic buildings of Birmingham,” he comments. “I think this one is about location, location, location.”
“The prospect of putting on Orbital, Leftfield and Faithless in Birmingham city centre on a Friday night is something we are all far too excited about”
Fell says a large proportion of ticket sales so far have been to people outside the local area – something he also attributes to the Eastside location: “Ticket sales so far are showing a large percentage of people attending are coming from outside Birmingham. We believe the location and the convenient transport links make it an easy festival to attend, attracting people from the north, south, east and west [of England].”
The past few years have seen an increase in the number of greenfield, city-centre festivals in the UK, with DF Concerts’ not-a-T in the Park-replacement Trnsmt, Goldenvoice’s Demon Dayz at Dreamland Margate and LWE’s Junction 2 in London all making their debuts since 2016. Fell attributes this to a “combination of festivals abroad offering a cheap option with the guarantee of sun [and] the convenience factor. Inner-city festivals offer great transport links and the option to go for a single day. Plus, when the festival finishes at 22.30 there is the option to head to the local pubs, making it a great day-and-night option.”
Greenfield festivals, being located in residential areas, present a different set of challenges for promoters, but Fell says Beyond the Tracks has been “very lucky with how accommodating the council have been”.
Aside from the logistics of putting on a 10,000-daily cap. music festival in Birmingham city centre, what has been the greatest challenge in getting Beyond the Tracks off the ground?
Probably artist fees, says Fell, which are “becoming more challenging each year, as the bigger festivals with bigger budgets are able to lock artists in early on”. He is, however, confident that will become easier as the festival finds its feet, with pressures on booking “naturally eas[ing] as we become a more established festival”.
“With that said, we are delighted with our inaugural line-up,” Fell concludes, “and think it’s up there with the best.”
The inaugural Beyond the Tracks runs from 15 to 17 September. Weekend tickets are priced at £145, with daily tickets available from £54.45.
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