Cover Story: Pats' Pact: Fans Are Family
Granted, this is a team in the enviable position of having constantly sold-out home games and fans so loyal that the average wait for season tickets is 10 years. But, she says, KSG wants to make sure the current season ticket holders stay happy.
To that end, the Patriots set up a preference center where fans could choose how and when they'd like to be contacted. But it was about more than which physical mailbox or email address fans wanted to use for the newsletter, according to Daniel P. Smith, senior vice president of marketing at ClickSquared.
"I think the biggest challenge was just one of creating a common identity," Smith says. "Because what we saw is that a single person may use one email address when they buy things on Ticketmaster. And they may use another email address when they get their fan communications for the fan newsletter. Then they use another address when it comes to, for example, the season ticket holders maybe bought through business, and now they're using a business email address. And then, obviously, there are those who don't have any [email access], so they want a physical address."
So the Patriots chose to communicate with fans on their terms.
Relating to that theme, Gelman says, KSG discovered that some of the older season ticket holders didn't have computers, but still wanted to receive timely communications. "We created a program a few years ago where a season ticket holder could have other people receive the 'insider' emails we send. For example, if a grandparent is a season ticket holder, their grandkids or kids can also get the emails, which highlight all the benefits of being a season ticket holder."
The 2009 software upgrade improved further on that season ticket holder insight. Gelman says, "ClickSquared is the centralized system into which our other databases funnel. This enables us to see how one customer interacts across all parts of the organization."