The XLIVE Data and Analytics Summit descended onto Los Angeles this week, bringing big names in live entertainment to the Paley Center For Media in Beverly Hills. With panelists from all areas of live entertainment, including sports first foray into XLIVE, the conference explored the collection of data and the best ways of utilizing the indispensable asset.
“In the last 24 months, almost $2 billion has been deployed into event technology,” XLIVE CEO and Founder Waco Hoover told Amplify. “Any time you have that happen, the natural thing is that everyone is going to have more and more data. So now what do we do with this data? How do we drive insights? How do we drive value from it?”
The main objectives for attendees were simply how to collect useful data and how to use that information to create and retain customers.
“I spent the last 20 years basically trying to figure out how to get the right ticket to the right person at the right time at the right price,” said VP/GM of Live Music at Vendini Mark Meyerson. “That is ultimately what we are all trying to do. The analytics on the data side has allowed us to be so much more focused and able to deliver those offerings.”
Many of the organizations present at the summit referenced the use of fan scoring to help them target potential ticket buyers and repeat customers. Ticketmaster’s EVP of Data Science and Engineering went into detail during his fireside chat about how the ticketing giant is using fan scoring to not only get more eager fans into the best seats, but to also weed out ‘bad actors’ like scalpers or bots. Their use of Verified Fan requires a lot of data collection from willing participants but results in more “verified fans” getting into the show.
Another panelist, Director of Business Intelligence for the Los Angeles Kings Kyle Burkhardt, said the organization sifts through key pieces of data such as income and whether or not the person has kids to determine who to target for season tickets or other high-end packages.
A repeated concern throughout the summit was also the importance of recent data. Considering the pace at which technology moves, people’s information changes regularly and keeping customers engaged is vital to data remaining fresh and relevant.
“This is one of the things that I think (LA Kings) struggle with and it is throughout the industry, is that data does get stale,” said Burkhardt. “You can collect information, it can be three-and-a-half years old, and if you haven’t had contact with that person, trying to market to them based on what their preferences were three-and-a-half-years ago is challenging. So we tend to work with recency.”
“One of the key metrics for us is how recently someone has interacted with us,” said Steez Promo partner Evan Weinstein. “Have they recently purchased a ticket from us? Have they interacted on Facebook pages or some of our content? And obviously looking at genre because we are trying to market directly to the people who are interested.”
Weinstein went on to say that his company disregards data that is over six months old.
Data plays a significant part in marketing to the ideal consumers. Panelists discussed the various methods of targeting customers and questioning the relevance of email in the age of social media.
“It is less about email being antiquated, but these broad emails that aren’t working. The segmentation that you are targeting has to be so much better and making sure the plan is right for that buyer at that time,” said Burkhardt. “If you can get those variables right, you can still find value in it. But if you are just blasting people to blast people and you hit them over the head five times a week and they are checked out of ever opening your emails, you’re not going to see any return on them.”
Another issue with the use of email is the lack of conversation. Unlike with social media, email doesn’t give the receiver the perception of a conversation. The communication tends to be one-sided and the consumer gets little reciprocated value from the interaction. Social media, however, is a great source for data collection and likes, follows, or responses represent value for fans.
Steez Promo explained that by replying to and liking everything on Instagram has resulted in a 300 percent spike in interactions on the platform.
The summit also detailed ways to use data and technology to your advantage once the consumer is at an event. Geo-fencing, RFID technology, apps, and social media are being utilized to change the entire live entertainment experience. Using information in real time can drive sales and customer satisfaction if utilized efficiently.
“What we did last year with our app was get a really good understanding of what the traffic is around the festival, how people are interacting with the app, and the use of notifications,” said Meryl Johnson, Director of Digital Strategy for the County Music Association. “The one thing about notifications is that you don’t want to over communicate with people.”
Johnson explained that at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, the organization use their app to collect information about what was important to their attendees and geared their messages and notifications to those interests. She said it was vital that notifications had a call to action and weren’t simply generic messages about sponsors.
She gave an example of their partnership with Anheuser-Busch, stating “We set up geofenced areas around the Anheuser Busch beer stations and places where people could buy food and beverage. We made it that within that radius they received a notification, usually at the hottest times of day, that would encourage them to head toward the beer garden. It would say ‘Click here to go to the map to find the location.’ It’s really about understanding the habits of the fans and being able to deliver appropriate notifications.”
Still, with the collection of so much data on individuals a reoccurring topic for the panels was the ‘creepiness factor’ of clearly knowing so much information about your consumer. The information that a client willingly provides holds a lot of value for organizations, so in order to receive that data many organizations agreed that they should receive something in exchange. Whether you hold a contest, offer a discount code, or give them access to special content, immediate reciprocation of value goes a long way in reducing the effect of intruding on private details of their life.
“There needs to be an effort to remember there is a human being on both sides of the equation,” said Meyerson.