Getting to Fan Understanding 3.0

Fan Understanding


Jun 03, 2019


What does Fan Understanding 3.0 mean? At StellarAlgo, we define it as having an advanced understanding of your fan universe across all (or most) of your channels, which allows sales and marketing teams to easily segment fans via multiple audience factors (think fans’ motivations, interests, etc.). At the 3.0 stage, organizations communicate “with” their fans, not “at” them, and connect with them in the right way at the right time. It isn’t an easy journey and many teams are still in the beginning stages of their fan understanding – resourcing, organizational structure and culture, and technology all play a part in where you’re starting from. It’s nothing to be ashamed of if your organization is in the beginning stages, every incremental improvement means happier, more engaged fans and higher lifetime values.

Where does your organization fit in terms of Fan Understanding?

How do you get to 3.0 and beyond?

Read on to find out.

Fan Understanding 1.0

This is the spray-and-pray stage. We’re marketing and selling to everyone – new, seasoned, potential fans – in the exact same way. At this stage, teams aren’t segmenting at all or very little and inconsistently. Here’s how to tell if you’re in this stage:

  • Your organization has a very basic understanding of its fans

  • Email and sales campaigns are batched with little content personalization (inserting the “First Name” tag into your emails is not personalization)

  • There is a heavy focus on selling and marketing “at” your customers (don’t understand their interests and deaf to their wants, needs and where they are at in their customer lifecycle)

  • There’s no contemplation about fan journeys or engagement levels – we don’t know when the best time to contact fans is, what they’re interested in purchasing, or what “level of fandom” they’re at

  • Organizations find it very difficult to understand their fan universe because their fan data is separated across multiple systems and departments

 Opaque and undifferentiated view of fans at the 1.0 stage

Opaque and undifferentiated view of fans at the 1.0 stage


Fan Understanding 2.0

At this stage, we’re starting to segment and personalize our message to fans. It’s still pretty basic and large opportunities are being missed, but we’re moving in the right overall direction. At this stage, organizations experience the following:

  • Some understanding of the fan universe – usually limited to the products and events fans have bought and when they bought them

  • Some systems are integrated together for jobs such as pushing lists from ticketing to marketing automation but data can still be difficult to pass between all systems and data integrity issues are common

  • Email and sales campaigns are more personalized but based on product only (individual event/ game buyers, group purchasers, season ticket members for example)

  • There’s difficulty segmenting audiences, pulling lists is manual and time-consuming, and analyzing results happens sporadically

  • There is little visibility into fan journeys across systems and time

  • Static retention and lead scoring exists but lead prioritization and sophistication/ integration of models is low

  • There’s an inability to easily match and automate fan touchpoints with interests

  • Sales and marketing teams are learning more about their fans but learning can be measured in days or weeks without an ability to do more of what’s working and less of what’s not on the fly (immediate feedback loops)

 Some segmentation, typically at the product level begins to happen at the 2.0 stage

Some segmentation, typically at the product level begins to happen at the 2.0 stage


Fan Understanding 3.0

This is where organizations have their data sources fully integrated and automated, providing actionable insights, and are actively using this information to make data-based decisions.

Here’s what capabilities look like in fan understanding 3.0:

  • Marketing and Sales teams consistently and easily segment their fan bases beyond just products (2.0 stage)

  • Organizations understand audience propensities for products, events, and promotions and tailor messages based on advanced understandings of these segments

  • Organizations have high visibility into fan journeys and use predictive behavioral attributes to find new fans that are similar

  • Robust, actionable single customer view across systems

  • Organizations have an automated feedback loop on what sales and marketing activities/ touchpoints are working and why

 An expanded Fan Cluster view from StellarAlgo

An expanded Fan Cluster view from StellarAlgo

Getting your organization to the Fan Understanding 3.0 is a journey and an aspiration to keep driving toward. Although this might seem like a utopian state, there will always be more data to integrate which will allow you to better understand your fans. When 86% of consumers say that personalization plays a role in their decision making, it’s worth it to take the time to better understand them. Organizations that are reaching and going beyond Fan Understanding 3.0 use systems (we’re biased towards our customer data platform) to automate insights and close the feedback loop on what’s working in regards to sales and marketing efforts. As organizations progress through each stage, they’ll capture additional ROI by retaining current fans and nurturing new ones. We find that teams that focus on better understanding their fans through segmentation and personalization are able to recapture anywhere from 5-15% of individual game buyers that historically churn and increase retention rates by 3% to 10%.

The idea is always to use the data you have to give your fans the best experience possible – from the time they begin to think about attending a game, their purchasing experience, their overall game day and in-venue experience, to how they’re nurtured afterwards – you want to be working to give your fans the right information, the right way, at the right time to build more of those unforgettable memories.

We’re focused on helping teams maximize the potential of their data via our machine-learning powered Customer Data Platform that leverages behavioral data points to segment your audience and identify the why behind customer engagement and conversion. We do this in an automated way, so you get the answers to your questions immediately, when you need them most.

Ready to start progressing to a Fan Understanding 3.0 stage?  Let’s chat.

More fans.

Better Engagement.

Stellar Results.

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