A few months ago, my little brother was traveling for work and he happened to be flying on his birthday. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines had a card and gift waiting for him when he got to his seat. After a long week of travel, this ‘surprise and delight’ moment made his day!
My marketing brain loves the brilliance of this simple gesture, which leveraged data to increase customer loyalty. And when I heard the story, I couldn’t help but think that KLM’s unexpected ‘thank you’ could easily translate in a meaningful way to the live entertainment industry.
Here are five other amazing ideas that live entertainment businesses can adapt to send big – and sometimes unexpected – thanks to their customers.
- Reward their Public Adoration. A blogger I adore, Happy Soul Project, has spent years talking about her love for Snickers candy bars – both as a treat and go-to comfort food in challenging times. Imagine her delight – and mine as a loyal reader – when she posted about a gift pack of Snickers bars and goodies that showed up at her home after a particularly tough week. All this took for the Snickers marketer was some active social listening and perhaps 30 minutes of an employee’s time to put together and ship the package.
From Snickers’ perspective, this blogger is an online influencer. It was a fairly sure thing that she would write about their generosity, which generates amazing, low-cost brand PR. I also like to think that Snickers just really wanted to make this woman’s tough week better for her.
How can you bring this to life? Listen on social media for your rabid/engaged fans, especially those with a meaningful following. Then, come up with creative ways to surprise and delight them – like experiences, memorabilia, themed gifts, free or upgraded tickets, or a trial membership.
- Celebrate Mutual Passions. In the city where I live, a local business called Snuggle Bugz is doing an incredible job with customer social engagement. What are they doing that’s so special? Among other promotions & programs, they have recently asked customers, who are new parents, to share photos and stories about something they all love dearly – new babies. In exchange, the store offers prizes of varying value.
How can you bring this to life? Encourage your customers to post pictures from a play, concert, tailgate, game or any other type of live event at your venue. Incorporate a hashtag and then make it a conversation by engaging with customers online. You could even draw for a prize that will entice more people to participate – and it doesn’t have to be expensive. The content will showcase your events, generate excitement and online engagement, and create third-party credibility too.
- Recognize Milestones. Facebook, for one, does a great job of celebrating their customers’ milestones. How many times have you seen a notification in your timeline that you’ve been on Facebook for X number of years, or that your friends have liked your pictures a certain number of times?
How can you bring this to life? Use your customers’ purchase history to send a thank you note after every show, for their years of loyalty or any other milestone you can dream up. Accomplish this by automating thank you emails for attendees after every event or donation. Track their birthdate on the advanced customer page and send personalized birthday greeting emails using your AudienceView CRM functionality. You can also send personalized special offers – like an invitation to a backstage tour, artist meet and greet or post-game VIP event – to higher-value customers by building lists using specific criteria.
- Create an Exclusive Customer Event. During the recent wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, AudienceView client Mirvish Productions hosted a viewing party at the Princess of Wales Theatre, which is named after the late Princess Diana.
Tickets were free, but season subscribers got priority and snapped up 75% of the tickets before any were made available to the public.
The event was a significant investment for Mirvish, but it generated significant media coverage, enhanced their brand and added significant value for subscribers.
How can you bring this to life? A royal wedding is rare and may not resonate with your customers, but it could make sense to leverage other newsworthy or cultural events. If cost is a factor, look for partners to help mitigate costs. Reach out to local media with your story too and see what kind of coverage you can generate. Consider offering unique experiences to your season ticket holders or top supporters/donors first. And, don’t be afraid to let the public know that membership has its rewards.
- Say Thank You the Old-Fashioned Way. Did your mom make you write thank you notes to your grandma and aunts like mine did? The thought and effort it takes means a lot.
I recently bought a handmade cutting board and got a handwritten thank you card the next week from the maker along with a discount offer for my next purchase. It was thoughtful, unexpected and meant a lot to me. The personal touch worked – I now also have salt and pepper shakers from this Etsy vendor.
How can you bring this to life? Thank your VIPs. Thank your major donors. Thank customers who come to one event or game, especially if they fit the profile of someone who may be interested in a future purchase. This takes some effort and intentional awareness, but you can achieve it at a low cost – starting with your time, a card and a stamp.
Are you a current AudienceView customer who would like to learn more about how email marketing, reminders and segmentation tools in AudienceView can help you thank your customers? Take a look at our ideas in the AVConnect Portal or the AudienceView Customer Success hub.