Wanda Gierhart Fearing, Chief Marketing and Content Officer, Cinemark Theatres
The average American spends approximately eight hours per day online, scrolling social channels, browsing websites, and purchasing products. This is a significant amount of time for potential brand and product exposure, and companies cannot miss out on this opportunity. Gone is the dependence on paper mailers and catalogs—modern consumers are making decisions on the web, at their fingertips.
As marketers, we can do more than just communicate; we can create a holistic customer experience by cultivating a comprehensive marketing technology stack. With the tools available today, marketers have the ability to leverage data and enhance the entire customer journey from the moment of consideration all the way to post-purchase. A more personalized consumer experience reduces roadblocks and generates a positive association with your company while providing the entire organization with invaluable insights.
As keepers of this data, CMOs can shift our thinking and consider our roles to be that of a Chief Customer Officer—with the power to combine the knowledge about customer habits with business best practices to create an exceptional brand experience on every level. This begins with not only maximizing the utilization of consumer data but also working cross-departmentally to create a frictionless journey.
The Case for Specialized Customer Data
Customer data is critical, yet difficult to capture, as it requires diligence and investment from an organization. In that, one must start with a robust technology infrastructure combined with incentivizing communications to customers regarding the value exchange they receive from opting to share their information. Learning about your customer allows you to utilize their particular preferences to customize their digital experience. This makes it easier for them to purchase, bringing them back to your online channels and allowing you to learn even more. This cycle of personalization, purchase and return enables companies to continually evolve in a way that meets the needs and wants of today’s consumers.
Statista Research Department Study taken April 8, 2022
At Cinemark, we have dedicated resources to ensuring that we are getting to know our moviegoers on the deepest level possible.
Our first step in this process is fine-tuning our outbound communication to catch their attention. We have honed our push notifications and paid media to proactively engage with movie lovers outside of our website and app. In our email communication, we have combined the powers of a sophisticated customer data platform and a flexible email service provider to enhance our digital communication. This has resulted in thousands of versions of each message, based on multiple levels of personalization, including film genre, theatre location and day and time preferences, which increases overall engagement while motivating visits to our theatres and purchases on our website and app.
Specialized outbound communication cultivates data that can help brands determine audience needs before they even ask. Utilizing sophisticated MarTech, marketers can guide a consumer forward through proactive push notifications alongside application updates, delivering a personalized and seamless transaction with impactful brand engagement.
Putting Data to Work
Regardless of what industry you operate, today’s customers want what they want, and they want it now. The path of least resistance is so important, and organizations can optimize what they know about each specific customer to cultivate a seamless journey, generating more purchases and happier customers. This comes from storing what you know, so you can automate processes and eliminate the need for them to enter in the same information during each interaction. With unlimited options for consumers to allocate their time and discretionary income, having a frictionless purchase process helps mitigate the risk of abandoned transactions.
"As marketers, we can do more than just communicate; we can create a holistic customer experience by cultivating a comprehensive marketing technology stack"
Consolidating steps needed to achieve a purchase is a key competent of optimum functionality, and, at Cinemark, we have streamlined the movie exploration and checkout process for our website and app, resulting in higher conversion rates. We take the time to learn moviegoers’ preferred genre, movie times, theatre location and even concession purchases to serve them a simple, uniquely targeted experience. Based on previous movie going behavior, users are able to see films starting soon in their area and receive notifications of upcoming films they are likely to want to see but might not be aware of yet. Once a ticket is purchased, we ensure their digital tickets are easy to access, as well as any rewards they have earned. In addition, our Snacks In a Tap mobile ordering feature maximizes convenience by allowing guests to order concessions online in advance and either pick up at a designated in-theatre counter or have them delivered directly to their seats for a nominal fee. We also remember their order history so that the next time they purchase a ticket digitally, they can quickly re-order their favorite concessions – removing yet another step in the process.
Immediately after their chosen film ends, they are met with communication from Cinemark, giving them the opportunity to give us feedback while simultaneously helping them to plan their next visit through personalized recommendations of films they might like. Our top goal is to make the online experience so frictionless that moviegoers intentionally seek Cinemark’s digital channels for their next movie going experience.
All of this is cultivated through the continuous cycle of capturing data, simplifying a purchase and encouraging subsequent digital visits, which, in turn, deepens the personal data we have and helps to strengthen our consumer relationships, grow loyalty and ultimately drive revenues.