In our last blog we talked about the benefits of segmentation and personalization. To quickly recap, personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend, and can lift sales by 10% or more.
But how do you do this at scale? You can’t possibly send 1000s of different emails to each individual fan for everything. That’s where machine learning comes in. A customer data platform (we think ours is a great option) is able to integrate with systems (including existing data warehouses and infrastructure) and determine your most distinct fan clusters in order to tell you what’s unique and interesting about them. At StellarAlgo, we call this capability “Fan Understanding 3.0” because you’re going beyond just segmenting fans by what products they buy (individuals, mini plans, full season, half season, corporate full season, etc.) and other simple transactional or demographic data.
Sometimes fan segmentation gets confused with fan personas. Segmentation is generally a way of cutting up your market universe into smaller, more manageable pieces. Fan personas, on the other hand, add a qualitative layer of understanding around the aspirations and desires of fans. Although it’s great to understand qualitative personas, building and assigning these to individual fans and fan clusters at scale can be more nuanced. It takes asking the right questions as you look to segment your audience and build a deeper understanding of their needs, goals, interests and behaviours. As you know, these answers aren’t binary which is why powerful technology gets results when looking at a multitude of factors and making them easily interpretable.
These are some examples of good segmentation questions to ask your team as you seek out what messages to send to which fans and for what purpose:
How do they get to your venue? (can they take transit easily to the game or will they need to drive? Are they coming from home or work? Is ease of parking important to their game day experience?)
What do they like about your team?
What are their interests outside of your team?
How do they prefer to consume their team content? (email? Phone call? In-seat visit? Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? What’s the best time of day/week to contact them?)
What types of tickets are they likely to purchase? (are they price sensitive or are they more likely to purchase VIP experiences?)
How do they prefer to be contacted and when?
What types of events or promotions are they most likely to be interested in? (family games? Charity-focused events? Fan forums? Player meet and greet contests?)
By having answers to even just some of these questions we can understand fan engagement levels, motivations, propensities and overall customer lifecycle position, all of which are critical when it comes time to reach fans in an educated, personal and authentic way. We love to put sales messaging in every email we send but when is a specific fan ready for that conversion moment? What steps are needed to get them there without eroding trust?
For the most innovative and progressive teams who are well on their way to “Fan Understanding 3.0”, they not only ask themselves the questions we bulleted above, but they also automate the process for getting these answers. They’re finding ways to personalize the fan experience at scale so that each person who walks through their doors not only has an amazing shared experience but they also get to interact with the team in a way that best suits them.
The good news is there are tools that can help you get answers to those questions using the data you already collect from your customers. By bringing together your ticketing, marketing automation, CRM, survey, demographic and social data you have the ability to get answers at scale by using the power of machine learning in a customer data platform like StellarAlgo’s to organize all the insights that answer most of your segmentation questions. You can then use those insights to recommend products or deliver experiences that engage and retain your fans.
Our Customer Data Platform empowers teams to maximize the potential of their data and segment their audience beyond transactional and demographic data in order to more effectively personalize messages and convert buyers. We do this in an automated way, so you get the answers to your questions immediately, when you need them most. Want to find out more about how we can help you? Contact us today!