With such a plethora of options for entertainment, it is important for entertainment venues to make a strong impression with a well developed SMS marketing plan. Here at 3Seventy, we are fortunate enough to work with several clients in the entertainment industry – from bowling and sports to live music and more. In collaboration, we’ve implement smart SMS marketing strategies. Here are some tips on how to incorporate SMS marketing into your entertainment venue business.
1. Make the Most of Your Mobile Club
A great sms database is an effective way to keep customers in the loop about promotions, events, and giveaways. Invite your customers to opt-in by using an incentive, and keep them engaged by scheduling a bi-monthly text message update letting them know about fun things happening at your business and special offers.
2. Keep People Entertained Between Activities
Want to have your guests keep the fun going as they wait their next turn to putt, rock climb, or bowl? Make waiting time a little more fun with interactive text trivia and polls. Create a dialog campaign so that when customers see a question on the digital signage or tv monitors, they can text in the trivia answer and see the results on the screen in real-time.
3. Using SMS to Stay on Schedule
During peak times such as summer vacation, it is important to keep the traffic moving effectively in your entertainment venue. Set up a system where customers can receive an SMS alert with real-time updates about the next available go-kart, bowling lanes, movie showing, etc.
4. Try Out Mobile Coupons
Instead of having people fumble around with cutting out and bringing in paper coupons (and possibly losing them along the way), make the experience easy. When you provide customers the convenience of using mobile coupons via SMS, it increases the redemption rates and drives traffic faster to your venue.
5. From Text Message to Trophy
If your entertainment venue is host to a league or other competition, then consider creating a targeted SMS campaign for that competition. Participants can receive text messages each week with rankings, highlights, and upcoming events/tournaments. Send out a “Congratulations” text message to the entire SMS database too. This can increase customer satisfaction and leave a positive reflection of your venue’s brand with the competition participants.
A day to the rink, arcade, or alley should be nothing but fun for the people who come through your entertainment venue’s doors. You will roll a strike with your SMS marketing strategy when you provide an easy way for customers to engage with you business both in and outside of the times they visit.
Those who work in the music industry strive to create and intensify fandom for a particular entity: a band or musician, record label, venue, festival, etc. Text message marketing for music offers opportunities to engage with potential audiences at any time, from any place.
Engagement Intensifies with Text Message Marketing for Music
Musicians’ desire to cultivate an intimate relationship with fans undoubtedly stems from the need to feel their art is appreciated. But in an age where it’s possible to stream instead of own, to download instead of buy, and to watch the show on YouTube instead of live, this relationship is also vital for facilitating streams of revenue to make creativity financially sustainable. A friendly, relevant text message every so often can connect fans directly to the artists they choose to keep in touch with.
Imagine: a quick text from Kings of Leon reminds you they’ll be in Austin this weekend for Austin City Limits Festival and includes a link to Saturday’s schedule. Even if you already knew they’d be at the festival, this message is exciting. You follow the link to plan your day to be at the right stage on time. Maybe they’ll text the week before to ask which song you’d like to see live, with a survey-style response option. The week after, you get a link to pre-order the soon-to-be-released album.
Live-music venues are habitually hit-and-miss when it comes to providing quality customer service. Buying the ticket is a guarantee of attendance, and many times the venue doesn’t care if you know how much drinks are or the order of bands playing. Show-specific reminders can be texted to ticket holders the day before and include an option to respond with keywords for additional information: “DOOR” for what time the doors open; “TIMES” for the set times; and “DRINKS” to see what drink specials to expect. Having this relevant kind of conversation with patrons could increase perception of venue reliability and maintain interest for future events.
There are many incentives for fans to opt-in: getting discounts on or entering SMS contests to win concert tickets, band merchandise, song downloads, food and drinks, VIP passes, etc. By keeping it relevant and more casual than commercial, mobile messaging has the potential to be a great ally to those in the music industry.
Text Messages Boost Revenues for Entertainment Venues, Especially Bowling Centers
The arrival of summertime brings with it the tradition of many classic, American outdoor activities: barbecues, pool parties and Fourth of July firework shows. But most people can only take so much sun, and when it becomes too much they look for fun ways to beat the heat. Bowling centers offer all the necessities for a family summer hangout: air conditioning, food, games and fun. A variety of entertainment options are available to cool off – such as movie theaters and water parks. How can bowling centers convince this eager market to seek shade on their lanes? With the ping of a text message to boost attendance.
Text Message marketing offers bowling alleys the chance to increase traffic and build relationships with consumers at any time of year. By adding text message marketing to your toolkit, you can also instantly send personalized offers and promotions – from free games to discounted pizza, to your customer database. This encourages your target to remember you for their entertainment needs on a regular basis. And mobile website allows people to easily locate your center, view food and game packages and find seasonal deals.
One of the greatest benefits of mobile marketing is the ability to target a variety of demographics, from families to college students to league bowlers. These flexible, affordable mobile tools are easily integrated into your existing marketing strategy and allow you to meet the current needs and goals of your bowling center through custom, targeted messages, from holiday specials to driving traffic on slower days with limited-time discounts. Having a strong mobile presence not only brings in new bowlers, but also grants the opportunity to build relationships with them as well as strengthen existing ones.
I have always wondered how NFL teams stay connected with their fans during the post-season. Five months is a long time to not communicate with your team’s fan base. Rather than disappearing for a long period of time, teams should use the off-season to try new promotions and ideas.
Keep the Conversation Going with Text
In 2012, several teams began using text message marketing and launching mobile websites. The Washington Redskins and the Carolina Panthers both began text marketing programs to drive fan engagement. More recently, the Tampa Bay Bucaneers announced plans for a text-to-win and text-to-vote program. These teams and several others are engaging their fans throughout the season with game-day information, team updates, sweepstakes campaigns and more using mobile marketing tools including text messaging and mobile websites. But what will happen after February 3rd?
My suggestion for NFL teams is to keep the conversation going. For the teams already engaging fans using text messaging, you can develop an SMS calendar with special promotions on merchandise and post-season events. Use the spring and summer for recruiting new fans to join your mobile club too. For the teams not yet using sms marketing, this is your chance to build up a mobile database and then kick off next season strong. Try running a text sweepstakes to win signed merchandise or a special meet and greet event. Collect names from fans who want to get seat upgrades and other VIP treatment.
While some teams may take the summer off, your team can stay connected with your loyal fans with just one text message campaign per month. Your mobile marketing can be that simple, but still highly effective.
The Power of Mobile Marketing
Today’s modern casinos operate with a great deal of technical power. They have tiny digital cameras everywhere tracking your every move and play. They are full of flat panel displays and digital gaming machines that are at the cutting edge of technology. They even use facial recognition software to track both known cheaters and high rollers. Yet even with all their cutting edge technology many casinos are falling behind on one of the most important pieces of marketing technology…mobile.
Casino Mobile Marketing and Operations
Large-scale casino operations are slowly joining the mobile marketing revolution. A few of the bigger brands such as the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas are betting heavily on mobile marketing. MGM is using opt-in offers for its guests at 6 of its properties in Vegas and Detroit. Guests at these resorts will get targeted special offers, alerts, contests and more. These promotions include real-time offers, property information and entertainment promotions such as deals on show tickets or meals in the hotel restaurants. MGM Resorts has also released a loyalty program app called Mlife. Mlife is a digital version of the popular players club loyalty program that many casinos rely on to track their customers spending habits.
Martin R. Baird, CEO of Robinson & Associates, a guest service consulting firm to the global gaming industry, recently put out a call to arms for the casino industry to get on board with mobile marketing. “It’s predicted that by 2016, 75 percent of cell phone owners will have smartphones,” Baird says. “This means that casinos must adjust their marketing now to accommodate mobile and be prepared.” Casinos should also use the power of mobile to turn guest feedback into a real time solution, according to Baird. “Many casinos still use antiquated comment cards and call it a guest feedback platform,” Baird notes. “That’s like thinking VHS is a video format. We saw the growth in mobile and realized that casinos need a way to collect real-time, actionable customer feedback using that technology.”
This year will be the year that mobile marketing dominates the casino industry. “Casinos that don’t embrace the mobile reality in 2013 will be left behind,” Baird says. “2013 is the year that mobile needs to be a focus for casino marketing and casino customer feedback.”