Professional sport: how to better market your products to the general public?

How can you better market your products to the general public?

Ticketing, merchandising, TV subscriptions, access to premium content... there is no shortage of consumer products when it comes to consuming your relationship with a sports entity. They are even an integral part of your commercial policy. Thanks to digital tools, the purchasing process is simplified... no need to go to the ticket office, the shop or the training centre to consume your passion. This is where your commercial Eldorado lies.

Is unlocking that income one of your goals this season? You've come to the right place. Here are some ways to increase your consumer sales through your digital tools:

1) Capture unknown visitors
2) Convert your existing contacts
3) Provide the smoothest possible digital experience
4) Optimise your marketing

1. Turn unknown visitors into identified ones

You often see the visitor statistics on your platforms going crazy (fan engagement on social media, visitors to your website...). Admit it, it would be even better to be able to identify them and continue the discussion following their visit. Depending on the page they visit (homepage, article, transfer market news or ticketing page), provide well-marketed data collection areas to receive at least one email address. This is the case for Paris Basketball which offers a discount in the shop or participation in a competition in exchange for subscribing to the newsletter.

Subscribe to Paris Basketball newsletter
subscribe to the Paris Basketball newsletter

Ticketing is also an excellent way to attract prospects for future matches, especially through alerting. This is a process used for example by the UBB and FC Nantes for their home matches. To continue on the subject of ticketing, you have many anonymous spectators for different reasons:

  • They accompany a person who has bought several tickets
  • Some spectators bought their ticket from a "group" or "corporate" customer (works council, company, association, etc.)
  • They bought their ticket at a retailer (Fnac, Carrefour, Leclerc...)
  • Some spectators obtained their tickets through contests and giveaways 

Those people who attend your matches, are already interested in your events or are discovering your venue for the first time. However you will never be able to talk to them directly. To remedy this and get these customers into your database, pass on codes to be used at the ticket office rather than sending dry seats or encourage the buyer to fill in the emails of his compatriots by offering a discount on the drink on the spot for example. You can also collect email addresses in situ, through competitions or by promoting an online catering offer for example. This is what Stade Niçoisby placing stickers on the stadium seats, with a QR code inviting the spectator to order food online.

2. Convert people already in the database

To increase your sales, we advise you to always favour people who are already in your database than those who are not yet in your database. Qualified contacts in your database are contacts who have trusted you enough to give you their details. Show that you are worthy of this trust by pampering them and rewarding them with benefits they won't find elsewhere, and above all, mention this in your communications:

  • Advertise a preview of of an exceptional event
  • Opening of pre-sale only to subscribers of your newsletter
  • Reservation possible at the best current price
In the derby, the Brewers give priority buying to their closest fans
When marketing your events, which we have already discussed in previous articles, your prospects move through a buying cycle, from information to conversion. To save you time (and energy), this pattern can be automated, with ROI measurement at the end. What more could you want?
Part of the marketing tree for a match

Other mechanisms help you to improve your conversion rate: 

      • Retargeting Retargeting: you retarget people who have visited certain pages of your website by exposing them to relevant content in their web environment. These visitors may need a reminder or a push to complete their booking. 
      • Abandoned basket The abandoned basket: this involves sending an email to people who have started a booking for an event or product but have not completed it. Far from being a negligible quantity, people who abandon a reservation during the process can represent nearly 75% of the people who clicked on the "buy" button.

Generally more than 50% open, they act as a reminder for future spectators who have a real intention to book a match. Implemented at the Crazy Horse ahead of the reopening planned for September 2021, our automatic basket reminder emails have already produced clear results. Amongst the people exposed to a basket reminder email, 70% finalised their purchase in the days that followed.

      • Cross-selling When your customer buys a ticket for the next match, he/she will be taken on a relational journey that will send him/her hot content related to the event (team composition, access to the pre-match conference, etc.). You can then take advantage of these engaging touchpoints to promote the merchandising capsule for the match and the possibility of pre-ordering instead. You can thus increase the average spectator's basket. The same logic applies to your shop activity, with additional services.

3. Provide the smoothest possible digital experience

If there is one thing you need to work on to develop your sales, it is the buying journey. Do you want to encourage your customer to book a ticket on your website? Offer them a smooth, reassuring experience that is smooth, reassuring and free of irritants. In a word: the best possible experience, following the example of those who have set the standards for the digital shopping experience, Amazon, Booking or Airbnb. Your viewer must find the information they are looking for quickly and be able to pick up their tickets in a few clicks.

To optimise it, test your customers' buying journey. How many visitors arrive on the page? How many convert to a purchase? Count the clicks and try to optimise unnecessary steps. Clean up your texts, get rid of the red and capitalized text blocks, and make the buttons your customers have to click to book their tickets more visible and intuitive. Want to change something? Consider tryingA/B testingwhich will allow you, for example, to evaluate the best option between two versions of a web page.

Example of a 3D stage immersion in the buying process

4. Optimise your marketing

Your teams often have heavy workloads. That's why they need to work efficiently to achieve their goals. From the MKT newsletter1we are fond of the BACC (Goal, Audience, Creation and Distribution Channels) marketing method. It allows you to score each of your marketing activities (offer and content creation). This means that every action you take must have a specific goal and be part of a communication plan to achieve the desired results.

Thus, the questions you can ask yourself to define in 5 minutes the BACC of each creation: 

  • Goal What performance indicators are you trying to improve? What objective does it support?
  • Audiences What is the target audience? What is the profile of the person you want to reach? Are you targeting prospects, customers, or both?
  • Creativity How does it add value to your audience?
  • Channels Where does it go? How is it distributed?

To summarise, here is the order of operations: first define your objectives and a marketing roadmap or calendar. Then, for everything you produce (offer, article, video...), write a BACC, then create it, then distribute it.

More than ever at the heart of sports organisations' strategies, winning over new audiences and retaining existing ones are the two main threads of any marketing strategy. To take control of these issues, it is essential that you have access to the data that allows you to understand this audience and in particular their interests, their purchase history or even some socio-demographic information. 

In order to achieve these objectives CDP appears to be a solution that has proven its effectiveness in centralising and enhancing your data. Do you want to go further? I invite you to contact me to discuss the benefits of this tool.

Olivier Spaeth

Olivier Spaeth

Would you like to carry out a data & CDP diagnosis of your organisation? Take advantage of 30 minutes of free consulting by reserving your slot.

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