NCM To Position As First-Party Data Company

Focused on building out many in-theater consumer apps and platforms, one of the goals of National CineMedia, the in-theater advertising company, is to position itself as a first-party researcher.

“That is a our game plan; NCM is going to be a first-party data company,” says Cliff Marks, president, National CineMedia. “This isn’t data we are buying from syndicated sources. This is data we are originating and tracking ourselves.”

Much of this movie-related research will come from consumer in-theater data, as well as its growing array of consumer apps -- including Noovie ARcade, an augmented reality in-theater gaming platform, which has over 1 million downloads; its Fantasy Movie League, which has around 500,000 users; and a movie trivia app debuting in November.

“We will have first-party data of our customers and their movie habits,” says Marks. “And we will use that data to retarget customers. This is cinema 2.0. Don’t just think of us as a big-screen media company.”

NCM also owns Cinema Accelerator, a first-party tool for retargeting customers after they leave NCM cinemas. It helps its in-theater marketers buy advertising inventory on other consumers websites.

For example, NCM can measure if a person walks into a dealership days after being in one of its theaters. Marks says NCM has worked with Toyota, for example.

Another effort comes with a quick-service restaurant marketer. Working with location-based social networking company Foursquare, NCM measured whether moviegoers were in restaurants “three days after they were in our theaters.” -- through theatergoers' phones.

It’s all about attribution -- research which NCM marketers desired. “We have been challenged on this more and more,” says Marks. “Part of the retargeting strategy ties into our desire to be able to improve attribution."

NCM's total revenue for the second quarter was up 17.1% -- $113.7 million over the same period the year before. The company expects total 2018 revenue between $430 million and $450 million -- up from $426 million in 2017.

NCM's “Noovie” in-theater pre-show, where marketers display their messaging, is in 55 leading national and regional theater circuits. Overall, NCM’s cinema advertising network is on more than 21,100 screens in 1,700 theaters in 188 DMAs.

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