The events industry is booming. According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, your event will be one out of 25 million in the United States by 2020. This case study will provide insights to a real-life example of an event venue’s success with the adoption of a customer engagement and declared data strategy. Drom, a live music venue in New York City, started leveraging customer data through Poltio’s platform to create an engaged community: Friends of Drom.

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There are thousands of different events going on every day, from networking events and conferences to live concerts and Broadway shows. In New York City alone, there are 2,400 establishments that organize these events; including concert and entertainment venues, independent venues, informal cultural and performance spaces. With the abundance of options, the venues struggle finding ways to reach their audience. In fact; most venues send the same newsletter to all of their customers, do paid advertising on social media, or at most send targeted newsletters based on the type of show the customer bought tickets to.

The lack of personalization prevents the venues from getting the most out of their existing customer base. In addition, publishing events through social media is useful but even if the venue has a a lot of followers on social media, the organic reach of these event posts is at the mercy of the social media platform; often times causing a low reach.

As we mentioned in our article about the value declared data can provide, the growth of a business depends highly on increasing the value of its existing customers. With the help of Poltio, Drom was able to do just that by creating personal relationships with customers through the collection of declared data.

Source: Poltio

Venues have a competitive advantage in reaching their audience.
Event spaces, live music venues, theaters or other ticket-issuing organizations have email lists of participants that is far more comprehensive compared to those of companies in other sectors. On the other hand, the real question is whether they make good use of that information.

An individual who regularly participates in different events gives his or her email to many different venues during the purchase of tickets, and receives a lot of distinct newsletters every week. An individual like this probably wouldn't even open these emails since they are full of stacked up events that don't necessarily capture his or her personal interests.

How do venues differentiate themselves?
The answer in this case is quite simple: making connections with customers through targeted communication and segmentation through data. How do they gather this data? By directly engaging and asking questions to customers. The case with Drom epitomizes the gains of such differentiation.

Connect and understand
Using Poltio's platform, Drom started communicating with its customers with a completely new approach. In addition to creating an engaged community of regulars, "Friends of Drom", the venue started to receive a whole new level of customer data and feedback through tests with prizes. This new communication channel allowed them to:
• Ask for input and receive the most relevant feedback,
• Offer benefits like meet and greet events or discounts to create an actual sense of community,
• Get a deep understanding of individual customers and create detailed segments,
• Use this knowledge for targeted communication.

Drom was able to collect highly useful first-party declared data through these interactions. With a 74% completion rate, the survey on Drom’s website to join Friends of Drom was able to reveal information about who “Friends of Drom” are, their age, where they live, their favorite types of music, types of perks they are interested in, what they like and dislike about the venue, and many more to be used for segmentation.

By connecting with and understanding customers through the collection of declared data, Drom’s email open rate went up to 39% in the segmented community compared to the general 19%. The click through rate (CTR) is now 18% compared to the general 4.4% before the venue started using Poltio.

Challenge and incentivize
With the use of quizzes, Drom started creating engaging interactive content. The venue published quizzes with prizes such as free tickets, giving its audience a chance to showcase their knowledge about a subject they care about while also promoting particular events. Since the individuals who engage in the content are actually interested and the content is actually entertaining, the social media reach is much higher.

Before an 80s and 90s night, Drom published the quiz below to engage customers in addition to attracting an audience who might be interested in the event.

Thanks to the fun interactive content, Drom's social media reach is now 5 times higher whereas the cost per click (CPC) is 10 times lower.

The bottom line
The adoption of a customer engagement and declared data strategy was a significant success for Drom. Friends of Drom is now a close-knit community of customers who know their voices are being heard, and the venue has a more comprehensible understanding of its audience.

Personalization is changing the face of marketing. Venues need to give themselves an edge for differentiation by leveraging segmentation through declared data in addition to behavioral or transactional, and start to actually get to know their customers.

To learn more about how the Poltio platform works, visit Poltio.