Cover Story: Pats' Pact: Fans Are Family
KSG can see, for instance, if a Patriots season ticket holder purchased from patriotsproshop.com, saw a concert or watched the New England Revolution soccer team at Gillette Stadium. That helps the organization tailor communications appropriately to each fan, providing what it considers "benefits" rather than pushing upsells or cross-sells. Gelman notes, for instance, that season ticket holders who've attended a U2 concert may be interested in pre-sale tickets to another U2 concert. Or someone who bought a jersey at the ProShop may like to learn about discounts available specifically for season ticket holders.
"We did a deep dive into understanding who our customers are, both in their behaviors and feedback," Gelman says. "While we can market and communicate many things, we are using analytics to focus those communications. We are prioritizing areas that will impact our business across many dimensions, including operationally, by improving the customer experience or generating revenues."
Gelman says analytics helped the organization select two major behavioral groups and target communications toward them that improved the season ticket holder renewal rate for 2010.
For the first group, potential season ticket holders just coming off of the wait list after 10 years, may have been in college when they signed up and may have moved in the intervening years, she says. So email and postal addresses may have changed.
Enter the three-channel contact approach. According to Gelman, the Patriots first tried email, then direct mail and then, a month later, a phone call to alert the newest permanently seated fans to the "Rookie Season Ticket Holder Orientation." (Those who responded by one channel were not contacted through subsequent channels.) This generated a 200 percent higher attendance rate than in 2009, and email open rates were two times higher than those of veteran season ticket holders.