I’ve often opined in this space that the intersection of big data and traditional marketing research can birth incredibly actionable insights. Several of our clients in the casino, resort, and sports property space have wisely invested in CRM systems that collect and output a vast array of customer behavior.
Whether it’s as simple as tracking RFM (Recency of visitation, Frequency of visitation, Monetary spend/lifetime customer value) or more granular behavioral tracking through loyalty program smart cards or mobile apps, the leisure space has never before been as flush with behavioral data. With all of this information, these properties are able to understand how, when and where guests are spending their time while on property or at an event.
Where this data falls short is in uncovering the motivations behind the behavior and in capturing reactions at critical consumer touch points. This can be particularly informative in those instances where the guest comes into contact with key customer-facing staff, be it concessions, guest services, parking, etc. An abundance of research has shown that these interactions often have greater impact on the overall guest experience and subsequent future visitation and loyalty patterns.
One way that cutting-edge experiential marketers are bridging this gap is through the efficient deployment of both qualitative onsite intercept work coupled with short, near real-time satisfaction surveys that are typically deployed to guests or fans within 24-72 hours of their visit, either via email, text or through social media. The qualitative component ideally derives motivations, visceral reactions and the emotional articulation of guests/fans that can inform the development of cutting-edge creative, and provide actual voice-of-the-customer sight, sound and motion for property management.
The online surveys are ideally programmed with algorithms that pipe condition-appropriate questions based on those different customer-facing moments that a guest experienced on property. The researcher then melds this data with the qualitative and behavioral tracking captured and delivers customized and succinct insights in near-real time, often through a proprietary online dashboard. These highly visual dashboards portray and normalize performance metrics for key operating areas, as well as for the property as a whole.
Applications also abound that can deliver insights to in-venue sponsors, particularly when the behavioral data can track actual guest traffic patterns. Where this is present functionality can be built that automatically triggers conditional questions in the surveys to gauge for specific activation recall and then measure the resonance of key message points, comparative brand perceptions and product interest in comparison to those fans not exposed to the activation.
In our related experience, trends are often then analyzed and updated on a custom client dashboard portal, ideally integrated with the ability to deliver immediate direct communication to guests, if desired. For venues, this can allow real time tracking and flag variations in customer service delivery, allowing department leaders to efficiently track service gaps and recognize “star” performers.
For one client we’ve worked with, the dashboard was developed in a way that provided the ability to review individual guest experience history and respond directly to specific high-valued or highly engaged guests, just a mere two clicks away from the dashboard home page. In one instance, the solution provided a relatively lower cost and low maintenance turn-key CRM solution relative to the abundance of high learning curve technology-based (rather than research based) solutions, now on the market. The ability to parse results by daypart or event date adds to property management’s ability to identify specific operational strengths and weaknesses.
Integration of behavioral and attitudinal data helps marketers gain a better understanding of how and why consumers are or aren’t spending their time with your property and how different touch points affect their overall satisfaction and experience. With so much sports marketing investment in optimizing the live, in-venue fan experience, it behooves properties and those activating within them, to accurately and efficiently measure the impacts of these investments.
The infusion of geo-location technology and behavioral data into the traditional mix of qualitative and quantitative guest satisfaction research, should make both the data collection and analysis process even easier. Delivery of this analysis through well designed user friendly dashboards can make the derivation of actionable insights even more seamless, as well.