Tickets Now’s Mark Hodes on Loyalty Marketing
Loyalty programs can be an effective way not only to retain current customers, but also to increase your share of customers’ wallets. One marketer reaping these benefits is Tickets Now, an online marketplace for premium event tickets, based in Rolling Meadow, Ill. At last week’s DMA07 Conference and Exhibition, Mark Hodes, Tickets Now’s senior vice president of customer marketing, shared a few insights he’s gleaned from implementing a loyalty program.
Target Marketing: How did you implement a loyalty program for Tickets Now?
Mark Hodes: Originally, 25,000 [customers] were invited and 4 percent enrolled. However, the program was ROI positive even with such a small user base. The tiered loyalty program is called The InCrowd program, and there are three levels: Reserved, Club and SkyBox. The benefits increase as consumers move through that tier structure. Those benefits include free shipping, concierge services and organizing [an] entire event from transportation to seating and catering or reservations. We are working with the notion of an event experience; some consumers choose self-serve and put together their own package, and others use the concierge option to create an end-to-end solution.
TM: How do you surround the ticket transaction with a consumer entertainment experience?
MH: When customers are thinking about attending an event, we provide tools to enable them to understand everything there is to understand about the venue. For example, information about the seat they are interested in selecting, where is the best location if you have a business associate or, if you are with your children, how do you get in and out of the venue, etc. If you are interested in hooking up with other sports fans, we provide information about where would you find them at the event. We facilitate transaction and restaurant reservations, using either a self-service model or a concierge. So, rather than go to five to seven different Web sites, the information is right there. The experience also continues after attending the event. If customers are interested in sharing their experience, they will rate the event so others can see how that has been rated based on seat location. We provide them with information that creates the experience for them—where the best restaurants are, where the best tailgate parties are—to bring them into the experience and provide all the information they need to fully plan the experience.