The Mystery of Ghost Customers
Imagine a stadium, arena, concert hall, music venue, theater, or any other venue packed for an event. Hundreds, if not thousands of people all there to experience the same thing at the same time. No seat left unsold. If you are the organizer, congratulations, it must be so fulfilling to see everyone engaged at the moment. Most marketers would be drooling with excitement to interact with everyone at this event. Given that everyone is there to experience the same event, they all must be similar in their needs, wants, and desires. Right?
Of course not. Even two people that go to an event together might desire different experiences. We’ll come back to this later.
Now, imagine being told you can only engage with a third of your audience. Unfair, right? Unfortunately, that’s the reality for most events. This is where the term “ghost customers” comes from. See, most events only capture data on the person who purchases the tickets and does little to understand more about the people coming to the event. Many times the ticket buyer isn’t even one of the people going to the event.
Ghost customers represent all the passionate individuals at a live event who are complete and total unknowns to the event organizer, who can sometimes represent as much as 70% of your event attendees! That means engaging directly with 7 out of 10 people at your event is impossible. Sure, you can cast a wide net in a few ways: hand out a program, make an announcement over a PA system, flash something up on a scoreboard, or hope that a scrolling marquee catches their attention. The problem with this approach is that most broadcasts need to be generic to appeal to the masses.
Alternatively, you can try and communicate through the messenger – i.e. the one who bought the ticket, but that comes with additional problems. Sure, messaging can be more targeted to a smaller group of people, but, that comes with some large assumptions as well, such as a family of four loving the same things (like the same Taylor Swift song) or that the ticket buyer is even at the event.
Doing this successfully will allow you to create the best possible event experience and will set you up for much more success in the future.
Solving the Ghost Customer Dilemma with AudienceView Spotlight
This is why AudienceView Spotlight, our consumer-facing white label app, fits together so nicely with AudienceView Unlimited. Our largest clients with large venues face this problem every single event. The addition of Spotlight, a branded app experience that is triggered by a ticket purchase, gives clients a natural path to turning “ghost customers” into personal relationships.
It’s really simple. Customers continue to buy tickets like they normally do. Then, when it’s time to access their tickets, they can do so and easily share these secure tickets with whoever else is going to the event – even if they aren’t going themselves! This act of sharing a ticket prompts each attendee to download your app (again, your brand not ours) and accept that secure, digital ticket to attend the show. Each time that happens, you’ve just grown your database by one person and reduced the number of ghosts you have to contend with. Now you can communicate directly with this person through the app. This unlocks personalization and engagement that you can only design with a mobile app. The best part is that not only do you increase your reach, but you also generate more money at every single event. Customers that use Spotlight have attributed a minimum of $1 increase in each event attendee that downloads their app. That adds up fast!
It’s hard enough to get people to come to your event, but to see people constantly coming through your gates and right back out without even an introduction is something this industry needs to change – and fast. There’s too much competition for consumer interest. So when you have someone, you have to capture them and establish a relationship. This is why we’ve combined AudienceView Unlimited and Spotlight, giving the industry something it desperately needs – a powerful and configurable ticketing platform that the most complex businesses can run along with a mobile-first approach to e-commerce and consumer engagement, all served up with a business model that puts you in control of your brand and your data.
It’s time to stop fearing those ghosts and start turning them into engaging and profitable relationships with real humans at your event.