Who is your ticket buyer?
By Mats Thorbjornsen, head of ticket sales, SK Brann
Prior to each season we add all our matches to the TicketCo platform. We adjust fields and ticket types to secure the best possible insights into which tickets and season passes are most popular.
We prepare plans for our outward communication and execute information and marketing campaigns to remind our supporters a new season is coming up. The excitement is rising, and we are looking forward to get rolling.
Who is dropping off?
Then we start full marketing – in our local newspapers, and on Facebook, Instagram and in Google’s Display Network. But does it work? Who is responding? Who is buying tickets? Who is dropping off in the middle of their purchase? Where are the ticket buyers bouncing? Is the landing page good enough? Do our ads do the job they’re supposed to do?
Is it still so that only 50% of our advertising spend is hitting the target, but we don’t know which 50%?
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” John Wanamaker (1838-1922)
Forward leaning, caring, honest and targeted
At SK Brann we have four values we live by and talk about at a daily basis. We are forward leaning, caring, honest and targeted. Our values are a commitment to how we operate. They are decisive for everything we do, and when it comes to marketing and ticket sales the most vital one is targeted. To be targeted we need defined goals. To know if we are close to reaching these goals, we need to measure. And for all our marketing campaigns we are measuring, making adjustments and then doing it over and over again.
Our very first paid marketing campaign on Facebook was executed October 2016. Since then we have established a set-up which secures a continuously improvement of our communication and marketing. We’ve been laying the bricks as we’ve walked, and we have failed, made adjustments and tried again along the way.
A huge turning point
Prior to last season we signed up with TicketCo, and during the season we made remarkable improvements within our ticket sales. The 2018 season was our first with a ticketing system that pays our ticket buyers respect. Finally we have a sales platform with a well thought-out user experience, which was also compatible with mobile phones. It was a true turning point.
“The 2018 season was our first with a ticketing system that pays our ticket buyers respect.”
From an average of 25% digitally purchased tickets the season before, we made a giant leap to 75% – and the number is still rising. We managed to change the way our supporters buy their tickets, and we made it easier for them to choose to go to the match instead of staying home and watching it on TV.
Return of investment
But it also meant less direct contact with our supporters. They were no longer dependent on our ticket office. They managed all by themselves. This means that SK Brann as a club is more dependent than ever before on high quality communication and insights.
It is critical for us to know what is working, and not least to know which marketing campaigns give the best return on investment. We need to track, measure, and make adjustments. And then do the same thing over and over again.
Everything is being traced
This season we have made another change within SK Brann. In previous seasons our marketing campaigns were executed in-house. However, this season we partnered with digital marketing agency Synlighet and results have significantly improved. Now everything is being traced. We know in detail exactly where in the purchasing process buyers are bouncing, and even more important: we know how to reach them with remarketing messages. We know which ticket has been purchased and he exact return of investment for our marketing spend.
Finally we have a set benchmark on our marketing. We know our marketing costs down to each sold ticket. We have solid proof of what is working and what is not, and we no longer need to speculate. We are able to do testing, and to adapt to the test results.
Google Tag Manager
Our digital marketing agency is supplying us with all the knowhow we need to make our systems deliver. It tracks across all channels and resulting measurements give us a great overview. To use an analogy, you may say we have signed a star striker, and we no longer need to fear lack of goals and so can focus on our own tasks.
Today SK Brann have a set-up that is quality proof, and built from scratch. A system that combined with the TicketCo platform will help us sell even more digitally purchased tickets.
This huge improvement for the club was made possible when TicketCo added Google Tag Manager as an integrated feature. Google Tag Manager is used to manage and distribute tracking codes and pixels. This allows us to track sales and traffic with Google Analytics at our TicketCo site. We challenged TicketCo on our insight, and TicketCo came up with a solution even better than what we asked for.
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Customer driven development
The perfect sales platform does not exist. This is an everlasting development process, and these kinds of processes are dependent on a true partnership. You need to be able to challenge, and you need to be open for a challenge in return. While additional partners such as Synlighet may add yet another perspective to the discussion.
Together we are developing an ever better platform. Together we are making it even easier to visit Brann Stadion. Together we are each making our own contributions to get the Norwegian league trophy back to Bergen. It’s about time.