CinemaCon: The True Value Proposition of a Cinema-Goer: It’s Time to Cultivate a Lifetime of Support

By | May 5, 2015 5:42 am PST

If the first step of a recovery is admitting that you have a problem, then this year’s CinemaCon did a good job of aknowledging the stagnation of cinema youth attendance (in mature markets – no such problems in China) and looking at what could be done. International Day kicked off on Monday with several good speaker. Here is how the session was described in the program:

“The average cinema-goer in their lifetime generates surprisingly only around $1,700 operating profit to a cinema. This session takes a look into the implications of this and shows with examples why developing and implementing a long-term ‘Customer Roadmap Strategy’ can radically change your marketing and programming approach to drive significant incremental revenue. We also demonstrate why it is so critical to build a strong cinema going habit from a young age and suggest some solutions how this might be done.”

Here is how the session went (as typed up in real-time).

Mark de QUERVAIN, Managing Director, Action Marketing Works (session Moderator)

$1,336 is the liftime spend of a cinema goer. Seems low. Does it matter? Yes. Create KPIs, more focused on customers, stop short term actions by chasing small incremental revenue, think about sustainable revenue over time, think about roadmap for customers.

Customer roadmap –
1. Cinema attendance/frequency;
2. Retail spend;
3. Value perception, make them less price sensitie and get them to spend more money;
4. Loyalty;
5. Word of mouth.

At some point in the journey we have to build in a measure and set ourselves targets and measure success.

Use net promoter scoring (NPD) methodology

Food industry roadmap comparison. Frequency – Retail – Value – Loyalty – Ambassador.

Frequency Planning for a Roadmap. Most people say “if only people went to one more film per year.” But there is no strategy to this kind of thinking. Over five years that would represent 37% growth going from $1,663 to $2,643.

Customer roadmap for cinema – Who:

Customer segment – Who can you describe
Can talk to and measure responses.
Provide a clear journey and map for each.
That has a clear goal.

W. Europe Teens generate around 114m admissions per annum (approx 8x annual frequency)
That’s more than all the attendances in Germany!
By 2025 there will be approximately 1m less teens in Western Europe. (source UN).
Getting cusotmers young will drive value over time, because it is a chance to develop their love for business.
Now is the time.

From CinemaExpo Amsterdam study in 2006 to Coca Cola 2014 study in 2014 – cinema is declinng in importance and as a priority to young people.

Ratest second highest/most important after “Friends” in 2006. Now it is ranked/rated lower than “Youth clubs/Scouts”.

Cinema going has dropped 10 places in under 10 years in things they like to do.

60+ growth is compensating for the drop of teens (but they won’t be around forever.)

By 2025 there will be 27m less admissiones per annum. That equals -27%. That drop will not be linear. By 2044 there wil 60m less admissions.

Jacob ELKÆR-HANSEN, Sales & Marketing Director, Nordisk Film Biografer

I’m here to talk about teens and how we look at them in Nordisk Cinemas. Present in Denmark and Norway. 18 cinemas each. 45%/30% market share. 2.4 times per year average country attendance. Most tickets are 15-20 euro.

We are looking at teens walking away from cinemas. We are 20% up on teens, but this will drop over next 10-20 years. They are moving from high to medium frequnce. This is a problem because 30% of revenue from tickets and concessions come from teens. “Guest Lifetime Value” from teens is bigger than adults.

Teen entertainmen options have exploded: YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, HBO, Pirated content all represent entertainment satisfiers. Free continues to be a strog parameter for this audience.

Small (younger) teens – Position themselves:  On their own (parents, peers), Referencing (building identity for reference), social (with friends, online & offline). Not impossible to drag to cinema. “Insurgent” example – “we want to see how they solve a problem,” in the film, even though they know what is going on [from the book]. They want the experience, not the story.”

Big (older) teens – Social (with friends, organizing), Dating (ritual, high stakes), Sharing (Facebook/Instagram “Like” hunting). They are recoding themselves going to the cinema (not pirating the film). When you do specials like “Fifty Shades” to provie something that is unique, they turn out in great numbers.

Offerings that match!
Price – Teen packages, make parents pay (tickets online);
Timing – Young ones early in on school nights, public transportation home available;
Content – Discovery of content, Eventize screenings,
Social – Encourage sharing, competitions;
Group – 4-or-more rewards

Turn visits into habits. We are priviledged to have new goods on the shelf every week.

Think careful about the shape of the tree.

Action Marketing Works –  Segmentation by Taste (coffee taste example).
Make it easy for people to find the content they will like (Odeon website example).
Recommendation: Peach Digital –  insert recommendation panel.
Don’t think just about this visit but also about the next one. If you don’t, frequency won’t increase.
Click the “I’m interested” button. Customer interested to purchase.

Stefaan CLAES, International CRM & Digital Marketing Director, Kinepolis

Talking more about recommendations. Kinepolis 34 sites, 388 screens, Belgium, Spain, France, Poland and Switzerland.

Strange things in cinema marketing
– Trailers  (you are running an advert for a product that is not available – for several months)
– Real frequency < Desire frequency  (people want to see more films than they actually do. Improve communication.) Missed movies
– Communication as a service (respect for your customers. Originally permission-based marketing, no unlimited license to bombard with marketing. Switch to prefereance –  driven marketing, based on understanding of customers. Raised it higher yet and aim for communication as service.)
– Humanizing automated communication. (Using more intelligence, data and computers. Get to point where customer doesn’t think that this can have come from a machine. ‘Someone at Kinepolis knows me and is sending me this.’) CSi  – Customer Satisfaction index.

Survey Q: Are the movies we recommend in your top 5 also of movies you want to see: Sure: 49-53% increase 2012-2014. Neutral: 21-22%. Absolutely: 9-16%. “More than I expected.” 7 out of 10 customers we know which films they want to buy tickets for. Not at all gone down 15-2% and Not: 6-6%. Neutral 21-22%.

Back to Mark –  Summary. End. [Very fast-paced session.]

Patrick von Sychowski
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Patrick von Sychowski

Patrick was a Senior Analyst at Screen Digest, went on to launch the digital cinema operations of Unique and Deluxe Europe, then digitised Bollywood at Adlabs/RMW, and now writes, consults and appears on panels about cinema all over the world.
Patrick von Sychowski
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