One of the newest features in the StellarAlgo Customer Data Platform (CDP) is an overarching Lead Universe Dashboard meant to visualize the size and growth of an organization’s fanbase. The feedback from our clients was clear. Teams need a way to measure how their audience is evolving, regardless of the acquisition or most recent engagement channel. The Lead Universe displays growth by acquisition channel over time, and can append existing or new demographics and engagement data. This new dashboard allows organizations to track their marketable universe and identify the channels that perform best for key segments.
While a great visual, why is this important for the modern sports business professional?
Digital is growing as an acquisition and engagement channel for teams, and even more drastically in 2020 with the disruptions of sports. Budgets are tighter and the expectation to show conversion is higher. By understanding growth channels across different segments of fans, marketers can better target their campaigns and further personalize messaging on the channels that specific segments are responding to most.
The pandemic is reshaping what sales departments look like and the focus on automation has never been higher. Gone are the days of having 75 sales reps blindly call everyone in the phonebook. It’s about being efficient. Knowing that most of your full season ticket members are over the age of 45 (for example) but most of my mini plan buyers are between 28 and 39means that the way you’re going to reach out to them should be different. Knowing how these segments are shifting in your fan base is key to tailoring messages and being efficient with resource allocation
Sponsors want to invest in a brand that shares a similar audience, or an audience that they want to break into. If you can provide data to show how your brand matches well with a sponsor’s ideal target market, you’ve just helped increase the value of that partnership. By creatively appending data points to a team’s lead universe, there is an opportunity to expose segments of interest for sponsors. For example, if your analytics team is able to track parking data, this could be a key data point to identify an audience for an auto-repair sponsor. These can then be activated by the sponsor looking for a more direct increase in value from team marketing activity.
The number of systems that we pull into a client’s CDP will determine how well-rounded their Lead Universe dashboard is, but even with just a few data sources, teams are uncovering some valuable information about their fans. We always recommend that organizations start by integrating their ticketing system, as it has historically been the data source found the most predictive of future purchases. However, current global events have amplified the need to supplement ticketing data with other fan-centric data sources. In the Covid-era, e-commerce, email, or sentiment data (like surveys) have proven to be quite valuable and can be tied back to a customer profile. Organizations with data warehouses or CRM systems can accelerate the completeness of their Lead Universe dashboard and single customer view by integrating those systems as well, which would allow for greater segmentation opportunities. This data is now crucial to have organized in a measurable and actionable manner, as teams plan for the return of sports and entertainment in a post-pandemic world.
With information on your fanbase, and news of sports returning across North American (even without fans in stadiums), it’s crucial to begin building a plan on how best to activate and grow the segments in your Lead Universe. Knowing where to start can sometimes be the hard part. There’s endless ways to segment and to slice your data, coupled with institutional knowledge that you possess. In this industry, there will always be a mix of art and science; based on what you know about your fans, decide on 1 or 2 areas where you want to grow and invest in that growth. Use that to test a hypothesis, determine if you’re getting value from the results, and either keep doing what’s working or pivot and try a new segment to grow.
To help ease the difficulty of getting started, here’s some basic tips you can use to take the first steps in understanding and making a plan to grow your lead universe:
Step 1: Learn about and identify different segments
- Where are most of my fans being acquired from?
The largest acquisition channel for teams will be ticketing, however growth rates reveal which marketing channels or other systems are showing an impact.
- What do my package buyers currently look like?
Is there a difference between my full season members and mini plan members? Can you identify and target key segments? (millennials, retail buyers, females, or other community groups that you want to connect with further)
Step 2: Determine why your target segment(s) is important to your business
- Do you have a lot of millennials moving to your city?
Are there different cultures or ethnicities that you haven’t done a great job engaging with in the past?
- How big are these segments and how do you classify who fits into these segments?
By asking the above questions, you can begin to narrow down and select the segment(s) that you want to focus on growing, allowing your campaigns and marketing efforts to be more personalized and connect with the selected audience.
Step 3: Track the growth in your target segment
It’s important to track how your efforts are helping grow your targeted segments in order to determine if you’re on the right path. One way to help optimize these efforts is by learning which channels are gaining the most traction. Are most people coming from Facebook? Marketo? SurveyMonkey? Use those learnings and spend more time connecting with fans in those channels. This can be done manually with a few channels but can be cumbersome with many.
Progression: Track growth or change in avidity of your target segment
You’ve identified a segment to focus on growing and then you’ve tracked the growth of that segment. It’s growing – congrats! The next progression is to measure how engaged or avid this segment of fans are. Avidity isn’t just based on ticket sales or overall spend but how they interact with your brand on multiple platforms and in what frequency. Avidity
These examples are by no means the only way to grow your lead universe but rather some suggestions if you’re struggling on where to begin. Growing your lead universe is a never-ending marathon and there isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. However, using data from both online and offline sources is how today’s modern and sophisticated professionals complement their institutional knowledge to begin to answer these questions.
If you’d like to learn more about how StellarAlgo can make these steps easier and help you reach your organizational goals, reach out to us.