Speakers in this panel all emphasized the need to engaged with new partners to make the multiplex more interesting to consumers and to also connect better with consumers as well. “We think about cinema differently than we did five years ago,” said David Sieden of the Walt Disney Studios. “We are working more with partners to reach our shared objectives.” Some recent initiatives include special events on the opening night for the uber fan of certain movies. Options can include giveaways, special content, or concession offers – all for a price premium. Sieden said this is only a domestic program right now but may be expanded internationally.
Valerie Shortall from Cinemark noted:, “We want to focus locally with partners using analytics and loyalty programs to offer better content to segments of customers.”
Stefaan Claes from Kinepolis Group said they have two data sets for customers. One is acquired via a questionaire and another from their buying patterns (he did not say how this was acquired). These are merged to help tailor messages to consumers.
Luke Mackey from Event Hospitality & Entertainment in Australia said they are working on the analytics from their loyalty program and have increased ticket sales by two times using tactics including “women’s nights”.
All agreed that using “big data” to grow the business was going to be a key strategy going forward, but we are still in the early stages so there is a lot to learn and few cinemas are even starting to look at this yet.
Online ticketing is also a feature that helps make the ticket purchasing easier. Some chains are allowing the use of third party providers like Fandango, Movieticket or Atom, but others want to keep the customer on the theater web site.
From these discussions it is clear that leading exhibitors are getting smarter in developing profiles of their customers and targeting offers to increase sales. But it is early days and most exhibitors don’t yet understand the need for and benefits of such approaches. – CC