Kicking Off a Cross-Channel Segmentation Strategy

Whether you want to call it omni-channel, multi-channel, or cross-channel marketing, the modern marketer’s goal is to reach people wherever they are and drive conversions on whatever the right channel might be. You’ve done the work to identify those channels, and you’re even probably taking it further by personalizing on those channels: resending emails that haven’t been opened, retargeting past visitors of your website with offers on display networks, etc. But now it’s time to kick it up a notch.

With a treasure trove of data on each of these channels, many marketers stick to segmenting audiences within a channel using data from that same channel (e.g., using email data for email segmentation and personalization, using website data for website personalization). But with now nearly 7,000 marketing technologies available to combine data in nearly any permutation for nearly every channel, marketers who aren’t leveraging data beyond the artificial confines of its channels are truly missing out on engagement and conversion opportunities.

Ideally you’ll have a single identifier (e.g. email address) that will track someone through their entire journey online, your social channels, even your turnstiles. We know, though, that many organizations with smaller marketing teams and budgets aren’t quite there, still struggling with silos and spreadsheets scattered among them. If you’re looking to start creating a true cross-channel experience, here are some ideas to get your team or event started.

Ticketing Data for Email Offers

Let’s start simple. Previous ticket sales make the foundation for some of our favorite audience segments, and for easy outreach on email—after all, most people purchase their tickets online, and they offer up their email either specifically for future offers or to receive their tickets that are increasingly going mobile.

Download Our Guide to the 13 Most Valuable Audience Segments in Sports

Ticketing-based segments can be used for campaigns both hyper-targeted and broader outreach. Below are a few examples for driving email campaigns with ticket sales data:

  • A drip campaign for people who have purchased tickets in the past—possibly the long distant past—but have yet to purchase anything this season, including discounts to bring them back in.
  • An email promoting a family package to those who have either purchased a package in the past or purchased 3-5 tickets to multiple games in the past.
  • Reminder emails that a specific team is coming to town, targeted to someone who has bought tickets only to matches against that team.

Email Opens for Social Retargeting

Whenever a prospect opens a marketing email, that information is sent back to your email/marketing automation solution (along with additional details such as clicks or forwards). Within your email provider, you can use that data to either create new segments (e.g., target an “Are you still there?” email to contacts who haven’t opened the last five emails you’ve sent) or change actions within existing campaigns (e.g., increase the speed of a drip campaign if someone clicks in every single email).

But who says email needs to live inside email? Uploading Custom Audiences on Facebook, Tailored Audiences on Twitter or using Google’s Customer Match allow you to use email addresses to reach audiences on social networks or ad networks across various sites. Instead of uploading your entire database, uploading those “more engaged” segments and targeting those fans with large numbers of opens or clicks can mean you’re not only reaching people familiar with your organizations—you’ll reach people who can’t wait to hear from you.

Social Data for Sales Outreach

No, we’re not talking stalking Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to make a sale. Social channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow companies to learn about fans through social login or authentication when those fans want exclusive access to exclusive content, to enter a contest, or to gain access to venue WiFi. These data points can include traditional demographics like location and age, but also specific brand affinities such as favorite players, local restaurants and other conversation starters.

By integrating social data into your CRM, you can arm sales teams tasked with selling valuable season tickets, corporate packages or suites with equally valuable data on prospects. This can help warm up leads so your salespeople have something as a frame of reference—without resorting to time-consuming social stalking. The beginning of a conversation about a player whose page they’ve liked could lead to the season they’ve had and eventually getting the prospect to see that whole season live from the stands.

In addition to offering salespeople conversation breadcrumbs, use that same data to segment just as you would for email. We’ve found combining social data and other data like past purchases can create tiered lookalike lists that help salespeople find who on their prospect lists most closely resembles past big-ticket buyers.

Live Event Attendance for Mobile Experiences

Marketing and ticket sales teams know that their jobs aren’t done after they fill the stands for a game. After all, there’s next game and the game after that and the game after that…

With other options to watch the game in the comfort of your home or at a bar, teams pull out all the stops to bring fans back, including giveaways, extravagant halftime shows or celebrity appearances. As fans continue to consume more sports content on their phones, teams have continued to emphasize the mobile experience at live events. That’s through fans sharing the experience on social media, but also through the increased focus on sports teams’ apps.

Teams encourage fans to download apps for a wide range of reasons, including exclusive replay content, sweepstakes, concessions ordering, and mobile ticketing. When venues implement geofencing and beacons, they can send push notifications to drive people to specific actions in the app.

In-venue history can then create new segments beyond the event:

  • Fans who didn’t buy a ticket directly from the venue, but interacted with the app in the building that you can now target for future ticketing promotions.
  • People who engaged with the app (aside from pulling up their mobile ticket) but only at games, for retargeting promotions around app features they can use outside the venue.
  • Users who used the app to order a large number of concessions to target for ticket packages that include a discount for pre-purchase of concessions.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of the segments you can use from in-venue actions, and there are many more opportunities to create segments to engage fans wherever they may be. Start with your fans and see how these ideas might apply to them, and what new segments you might create specific to your fan experience. And the best part? Every time you segment across different channels, it’s a new opportunity to discover more about your fans, segment even further, and keep them engaging season after season.

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