Data Driven Marketing – top tips for your cinema

Blog post by Annie Mannion

Annie Mannion headshot

Annie Mannion, Film Hub South East Co-ordinator

I’m privileged to be attending the Independent Cinema Office‘s Data Driven Marketing course in Leeds this week. I thought I’d use the opportunity to share some of the key lightbulb moments I’ve experienced while here, so far. In no particular order:

Young people: sadly, being in my mid-30s, I’m no longer defined as a young person (sob). But, when trying to find out how to attract and engage younger audiences to screenings, what I’d failed to realise until now was the wealth of people already available for me to ask. My friend’s daughter? The students eating their lunch on the bench outside my office? They’re right there. You probably have the same kinds of contacts at your disposal: GO ASK THEM. Chances are they’ll be able to tell you some really useful information about how to reach younger people at your venue.

Your ticket booking system: You can make quick wins by asking brief questions of those who are using your online booking system, without it seeming like you’re hassling them. Such as ‘How did you find out about this event?’ can tell you so much about the effectiveness and impact of your existing marketing efforts, and where you could focus your time and money in the future.

Find your receptive audiences for free: Log on to the Audience Finder website (it’s very quick and easy) and head to the Mapping section. Pop in your postcode and navigate the dropdown menus to identify the different audience segments in your town.  This screenshot identifies the top types of audiences for arthouse film – Metroculturals (just 5% of UK households) come first:

Arthouse film photo

What sort of people go to arthouse film?

Increase bums on seats: According to data from comScore (formerly Rentrak), 77% of UK adults say they DO visit the cinema. So, the audience is still there to engage.  They haven’t given up entirely. Your challenge is to make them go more often.

Simple ways to do this? Incentivise your audiences through membership deals, refreshments offers, say thank you for their custom, remind them of the ‘Last chance to see’ a film during the week it’s on, and send them a money-off voucher for their birthday (if you collect their birth-month information via your ticket booking system – and if not, build this in, for a marketing quick win).

A bit of useful information about the average cinema ticket booker:

  • books 6.4 days in advance of attending,
  • books 1.8 times per year,
  • spends £6.76 on each ticket, and
  • purchases 2.3 tickets per visit.