Getting cross channel right is key to selling more tickets. In simple retail terms, cross channel shoppers are those who investigate before buying, relying on the full triangle of information triggers: the store, the web site, and the catalogue. And in the retail business, it has been pretty well proven that cross channel buyers spend more, are vastly more loyal, and make more frequent purchases.
So how do the arts create good cross channel buyers?
1) Think about how the catalogue (brochures) support the web, and how both are supported by the store (destination/box office.) The messages, the look, the call to action, the ability to satisfy the customer should be consistent. That means regular updates to the web, matched by periodic updates/new versions of the catalogue. Yup, new covers and inside front pages of the “catalogue” a couple of times a year, to drive people back to the web site, also with fresh content.
2) Think about prompting purchases at key times during the year. Did you know that good cross channel shoppers are 110% more likely to purchase from catalogues than non-cross channel shoppers? Basically, that catalogue you get from Restoration Hardware is prompting you to get back on line, check things out in depth, and then finally make that purchase you’ve been putting off.
3) Make the web experience terrific, fresh, and deep. There are many tremendous arts web sites with great content. (The Mesa Arts Center’s interactive brochure this year is terrific! Fabulous job, Randy!) Think of the customer who looks things through in the catalogue, goes on line, zeros in on the lamp he wants to buy, zooms in for a closer look, gets to then zoom in for detailed product information, more background and even more background, until he is satisfied that this is indeed the lamp to buy rather than that other lamp over at that other store/catalogue/web site. Don’t imagine for a monent that your customers aren’t doing exactly that kind of comparison shopping! They are, even for a $25 ticket for Saturday night.
4) Knowth thine customer. The more you know about the customer, the more you will be able to segment your customer base into four or five manageable slices and target them with the right catalogues at the right frequency. This isn’t always as easy to do as it might seem. Right now, we’re working at creating a single analysis database out of one major presenting organization’s three years of Ticketmaster box office transactions – none of which are linked together. (More on creating a viable customer database at another time… Sometimes, the back office is the most important office in marketing.)
There are real implications here.
1) Question the viability of a single season mailer. Would you buy as much if you only got one Bloomies catalogue a year? Make them different sizes, different thickness, different content.
2) Change the web to match the changed catalogue. Allow for new zooms in, more depth, special deals, new features. Assume that at this point your buyer is actively doing comparison shopping.
3) Build customer intelligence files.
There’s a great IBM publication on cross channel marketing. Check out the link to the left.