Welcome Lucy!

We’re not sure Lucy could pack more arts experience into her career, but we are certainly happy she has!

A big welcome to Lucy, who joins our Sales and Marketing team, from Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra, where she was project manager.

A fluent Irish speaker, Lucy has worked with The Ark Children’s Cultural Centre and with Ceoil an Gheimhridh, where she was an adjudicator.

With a BA in Irish Music and Dance and an MA in Arts Management and Cultural Policy, we are confident that Lucy will a great addition to the Ticketsolve team and our customers.

Pop her an email to say hello!

Welcome Siobhán!

Sometimes you just get lucky – we definitely did when we were looking to expand Ticketsolve’s Sales and Marketing team.

We are incredibly excited to welcome Siobhán to Ticketsolve!

Siobhán comes to Ticketsolve with a solid background in sales, marketing and PR.

Most recently, Siobhán worked with Irish Film & Television Network (IFTN) / Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA). As part of her role, she was responsible for pitching to potential advertising clients, as well as managing the social media accounts for the company.

Siobhán has also worked as a volunteer coordinator with Indiependence Music and Arts Festival managing and coordinating volunteers for the festival.

Her background in sales and management is outstanding, we are delighted to have her on board! Don’t forget to pop her a mail to say hello!

 

 

 

Why Did We Choose The New Brand Identity? Or What Have You Done to Louie!

Brands are funny things. Think about it. We take an icon, and fill it with meaning. Have a look at this:

You know what it is immediately – but more importantly – you feel something about it. Good or bad, you feel it. And we do it over and over and over again with brands. Apple, Coke, even brands in the arts industry – we pour emotion into them.

Because of this, rebrands can be risky. Remember Gap’s rebranding misstep?

That is why we have taken our own rebrand slowly. With plenty of time for research and feedback.

Our current brand – black and deep pink with Louie at the helm – has been with us for a long time. Louie has always been a part of the brand and we have tried our best to imbue him with a little personality when we can. But as much as we love Louie he couldn’t quite capture the company we have evolved into.

As we started to explore where we wanted to go with the new branding, the first step was trying to hone in on our core values – figuring out who we really are. Part of that process was also getting a better understanding of how customers viewed us.

Through our early research, there were three main ideas that stood out about the perception of Ticketsolve: our excellent customer support, our human approach to everything we do, and Ticketsolve as problem solvers.

These ideas really seemed to resonate with customers, but equally important, they resonated internally. Especially intriguing were the ideas around friendliness and solving problems.

The challenge was how to visually communicate these ideas. How do we encompass all that in a brand identity? Could Louie do that for us or did we need something new?

Working with a Professional Branding Company

Working with a professional branding company has meant we were able to explore these ideas further. They were able to bring our story to life exploring the idea of Ticketsolve as problem solvers, while still keeping the very human face of Ticketsolve intact.

The Brand Story

The idea we hit upon when thinking about Ticketsolve’s main messages, was around the idea of a puzzle. Puzzles are really interesting as a concept. There are many pieces, when put together form a coherent picture. They can be simple or complex. You can work on them by yourself, but it is much more fun to work on them with others. They require problem-solving skills, the ability to see the bigger picture and even creativity.

Puzzles are a great analogy to our Ticketsolve work.

The incomplete puzzle represents potential challenges and problems arts organisations face. Ticketsolve helps to solve the puzzle. We help arts organisations overcome these challenges, through a feature-rich platform, and direct collaboration and consultation with customers.

The Brand Identity

Our new brand id is a tangram (dissection puzzle consisting of flat shapes called tans). When the geometric tans are put together they can form a variety of different shapes.

 

For Ticketsolve, this works well on so many levels:

  • Features: Breadth and depth of functionality
  • Service: Working closely with customers to make sure they achieve their goals
  • Community: The Ticketsolve community
  • Development: All the parts working as a whole

Both visually and conceptually the puzzle can be an engaging a unique way to convey our messaging.

Tone

The entire tone of the branding is to build off of the Ticketsolve name; solving problems with a human approach. We wanted to communicate our passion for the arts, our drive to work together with arts organisations and make them stronger, and that we are always there to lend a hand.

The tone of voice is passionate, positive and friendly.

One glaring problem with the puzzle idea was that it needed a bit more personality. So, we opted on a second level of imagery using photography to capture the human side of Ticketsolve. This combination of people plus the tans really captures the people plus problem-solving brand ID we wanted to communicate.

Where Are We Now

We are now in the process of designing and developing the imagery for the website and collateral. Our mid-March deadline was a little ambitious, so we are a ways yet from completion, but we needed to make sure we got it right.

We hope we’ve given you a better feel for the branding we have chosen. We’d love to hear your thoughts on our new look!

Welcome Ben!

We are delighted to announce a new member of our support team – welcome Ben!

 

Ben is an arts guy through and through, having worked with Spektrix prior to joining us. He has been involved in projects with Sheffield Theatres, Chichester Festival Theatre and Town
Hall Symphony Hall in Birmingham to name a few.

 

We are incredibly delighted to have him join Ticketsolve where his in-depth box office and ticketing experience will be an amazing asset for our customers, especially during onboardings. His experience includes project management, customer support, as well as direct box office and systems management experience (when he worked with The Lowry). In his spare time, volunteers on the management committee of an amateur dramatic society where he helps out backstage and with sales and marketing.

 

Ben is based in the UK, so we are certain you will be seeing a lot of him – if you have not already.

 

Drop him a line to say hello!

Does Real Social Media ROI Exist?

There is a lot of information on social media ROI, finding it, measuring it, and maintaining it. How do you best measure it? What about other “fuzzy” benefits? In this post, we’re getting to grips with the beast that is social media ROI.

 

First . . . Goals.

Before even starting to think about ROI, we need to consider what our goals are for each social media channel. Customer acquisition, clicks, offers, competitions, etc. Clearly knowing what you expect from each channel – and knowing what success looks like is our first step. In the case of venues, theatres and festivals those goals might be to increase customer service, boost ticket sales, see a rise in offers or discount use, online contest signup, membership signups, video views or something else. Not everything need be a sales goal, but all your content needs to be ultimately driving to a sale. And remember that some channels are good at driving sales, while other channels might be better for customer service. For example, Twitter is a great channel for running contests, offers and managing some aspects of customer service. 

 

Which Platform?

Well, that depends. Where is your audience? Who is your audience? When are they on social media? They might be spread out or they might all really live in one place. Using some analytics, get into your data and find out where your audience and fans are – that is where you need to be as well. That said, some channels are definitely better than others depending on your goals. So for example, Facebook is ubiquitous – this is one channel you have to be on. Pintrest? If your audience is mostly women and you are focused mainly on lifestyle or products – then it is definitely for you. For most Ticketsolve customers, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram work best. But again – take a look at your audience personas – where ever they are is where you need to be. We can email you Ticketsolve’s Creating The Perfect Campaign Playbook which can really help you devise the best strategy.

 

Get Tracking.

For years, we’ve attended the AMA conferences and Theatre Forum conferences, where the virtues of social media have been – very rightly – touted. But measuring the success of these campaigns has been notoriously difficult. But with the right tools, you can start to visualise how successful your campaigns are. Our next step is to start building a picture of ROI for your campaigns. In order to do that you need some tools. Ticketsolve’s Facebook and Google Analytics integrations mean you are already on your way to getting rich social media data. There are a ton of tools for tracking and measuring your data – some free, others not. Our suggestion is to start with the basics and build up from there as you gain understanding and determine exactly what your arts venue needs.

 

How Ticketsolve Can Help You Determine ROI.

So now let’s take a look at how to determine ROI from your social media campaigns, using a real Ticketsolve customer as an example.

Using Ticketsolve’s integration with Facebook, our example 300+ seat theatre is able to take a deeper view into their ROI to understand which campaigns are working and which ones are not. This focus on ROI means that the theatre can adjust their social media activities quickly. Utilising Facebook so efficiently means they save time and money, and get much better reach. For example, in the last year the theatre ran 719 campaigns on Facebook with a reach of almost 400,000 people. The ROI from these campaigns? From the 719 campaigns they saw an ROI of 338%. One campaign saw an astounding ROI of almost 3900%.

This ROI translates into Facebook campaigns generating real revenue of almost 10% of their online sales in 2017.

In addition, the theatre uses Ticketsolve’s Facebook Pixel integration. This allows them to monitor their data even more closely, and make adjustments to campaigns to improve ROI. Ticketsolve’s Facebook Pixel integration data, also gives the theatre an accurate representation of their audience’s behaviour, helping to close the loop on the customer journey and experience online.

Finally, using Ticketsolve’s Google Analytics integration, the theatre tracks and reports website traffic, and can begin to make direct correlations to social media links and purchases. Coupled with Google Adwords, they can review online marketing campaigns and review landing page quality and online conversions, across desktop and mobile. The ability to really dive deep into their data, and tweak their campaigns has allowed the theatre to see a sizeable lift in their ROI on social media and Google Adwords in the last 12 months.

 

Closing the Loop: Remarketing.

One the key benefits of tracking and measuring your data so finely is the ability to remarket to your customers. In order to remarket, you need to be able to understand where customers are falling off the purchase process. Ticketsolve is fully integrated with Google Analytics, and Facebook Ads giving you full visibility of your customers’ journey. This high level of clarity allows you to adjust marketing campaigns and events to improve your ROI.

With this data, you can then re-engage customers with Google Remarketing Ads, even within MailChimp, to draw them back in. Remarketing really boosts your ROI – maximising every pound or euro you spend on social media and beyond!

Why not try measuring ROI, and remarketing now? Try these tips from Mailchimp on making the most of social ads during the holidays.

 

 

 

 

Box Office ROI: Is Your Box Office Delivering Value?

You and your teams work hard every day. Putting in time, energy and effort into everything they do. The technology your teams use needs to work hard as well, and it needs to help not hinder your team. What happens when your critical systems are not delivering on their promised returns? Your team will end up spending time and energy (and money) on work arounds, instead of where they really need to focus. In this post, we’re asking . . .is your box office platform delivering real ROI?

The basics of ROI

When we are looking at ROI, we can look at it regarding positive ROI and negative ROI. Negative ROI is when, for example, your team spends all its time dealing with email broadcast issues rather than it being a simple process. Technology, in this case, is wasting time and money – and giving not much back. Positive ROI is when your team can use technology efficiently, and your return on investment is equal or more. Technology, in this case, is giving a lot back.

Looking at ROI is useful for when you are planning on changing your platform of course, e.g., is this new provider worth the money.  But looking at ROI can also help analyse past investment decisions rationally, and help you move on if you must. Ask yourself: is what you’re doing/using now helping you reach your goals? How is what you’re doing/using augmenting your digital strategy? Are you building more meaningful relationships with your customer base.? Are you re-engaging effectively with lapsed customers? Are you being informed about best practice?

Get the whole picture

Keep in mind when evaluating ROI you need to take a look at the whole picture, not just the impact of a particular technology’s affect on one area of your theatre or venue. For example, box office platforms and solutions, impact much more than just the box office. A well-integrated platform can have benefits to marketing, management, and even help support your brand. Conversely, a poorly implemented solution can negatively impact all areas of your arts organisation.

Lifetime cost

ROI also goes beyond just cost versus net gain. Take for example, for a box office platform with license fees or user limits. As your box office grows, so do your costs, thus increasing the lifetime cost of that investment. While that will always happen to some degree, it should not hinder your growth. Consider also any added support plans or maintenance and upgrade costs. These can all impact the total ROI from your investment over time.

Opportunity costs

Opportunity cost means the missed chance to do something else that might have saved or made your venue money. For example, if your team is spending too much time on work arounds for example, instead of being able to work on other areas of your organisation, this could significantly impact your revenues. Consider as well, any downtime due to upgrades or support issues. Again, these can adversely affect your venue.

Other hard to measure costs

Taking a hard look at time and effort costs is also a useful measure. For example, you may feel that it takes too much time for your team to manually set “go-lives” for your full programme, but how do you measure it? Maybe try and time how long repetitive tasks take, versus using a system like Ticketsolve where those tasks can be automated.

Intangibles

We’re all for data, but sometimes it is the intangibles that are the real heroes of an ROI story. For example, maybe being able to capture richer customer data will allow you to broaden your reach to new audiences. Or maybe working with an easy to use system like Ticketsolve, improves everyone’s work experience, boosting morale. Perhaps your membership team loves the type of functionality in Ticketsolve because it just makes everything easier to do.  There is no concrete number you can attach to intangible benefits, but these sorts of benefits still add to overall ROI even without hard and fast numbers.

Take some time and reflect on ROI, are you getting the most from your box office?

Why Net Neutrality Matters

You may have seen the news coverage or maybe you saw the front page of Reddit yesterday. Americans are fighting hard to save net neutrality. We wanted to take a moment to explain why net neutrality is important, and how the goings on may effect the UK down the line.

What is Net Neutrality?

From Wikipedia: “Net Neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs), and governments regulating most of the Internet must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.”

In other words everything is equal on the Internet. Net Neutrality ensures data equality in a sense.

Without net neutrality, ISPs could block, slow down or charge for certain content on the web. For example, Verizon Wireless has been accused of slowing down Netflix and YouTube speeds, while no other sites were effected, and Comcast was also accused of purposely blocking P2P networks back in 2009.

Without net neutrality, ISPs could act as gatekeepers to information, allowing them to control which websites load quickly, which load slowly and which do not load at all. And this is before we get into charges to the consumer. This would allow ISPs a huge amount of power over content.

Are your alarm bells ringing yet?

What is the situation for Net Neutrality in Europe?

In 2015/2016, Europe had a similar net neutrality fight. In the end, thankfully, net neutrality was strengthened and protected in the EU, and has been lauded as a triumph in European digital rights. It would be incredibly difficult for net neutrality to be rolled back in the EU.

In a published open letter calling on European regulators to “save the open internet.” signers stated:

“Strong guidelines will protect the future of competition, innovation, and creative expression in Europe, enhancing Europe’s ability to lead in the digital economy,” the letter said. “They will ensure that every European, no matter the color of their skin or the size of their wallets, has an equal chance to innovate, compete, speak, organise, and connect online.”

So, “we’re fine, what’s the big deal”?

Yes and no. There are a few examples where net neutrality doesn’t exist, and we can see what ISPs have done. Portugal and New Zealand have bundling already, and the UK, where there is some net neutrality, ISPs have been experimenting with bundling. This effectively creates a “two speed Internet” – the haves and haves not if you will. Depending on the tier you pay for you, you will get certain bandwidth, or specific sites – for a price of course.

So for the moment, in the UK, EU net neutrality rules apply. However, with Brexit, those rules can be amended or even rolled back. Observers are concerned about some of the long term impacts of bundling experiments in the UK, stating that while in the short term they may seem like good deals for consumers, (notwithstanding having to pay for something that was once free) they can stifle competition.

What does it mean for arts organisations?

Did you know that a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions? Page loading speed can hugely impact your revenues. If ISPs relegate certain websites to the “slow lane” – and your site happens to be in that category – that will impact your organisation for certain.

So while the net neutrality fight is won for now in the EU, for the UK, it is something we all need to keep a close eye on.

 

Cutting Through the Social Media Noise

We talk a lot about the benefits of digital marketing, how to use it and how to optimise it. But your customers have to sift through a lot of information before they can even begin to hear your message. How do you cut through all the social media noise?

This week, we are going to look at how best to stand up, stand out and get noticed in the sea of digital media marketing.

Even if you try to keep to the minimal of just Twitter and Facebook, the amount of digital noise can be overwhelming. It can feel like a daily barrage of offers and ads, without ever really resonating with you. Your customers are in the exact same boat, the difference of course is that you have to play the other side as well and get your message heard. In order to get heard, you have to first be relevant.

What are you selling?

This may seem like a basic question. It is and isn’t. Of course what you are selling is a show/an experience. But, if you dive a little deeper, you can really hone into the right audience with the right message – helping your message to get views. For theatres and cultural organisations, you might think about what specifically makes your venue different, what is on offer that might really draw in your audience. Is there an opportunity post show for people to hang out your cool bar? Promoting that to the right audience can do wonders for your visibility.

What content do you have? What can you repurpose?

We’re all for reusing and repurposing content. Think about how you can take an email campaign and turn it into an Instagram story, as well as a live twitter chat. There can be a multitude of ways to repurpose even old content and make it new again. Not only does this save you time, but it allows you to use your content in different ways for different audiences. One bit of content for many!

Who is the target audience?

Not every show is perfect for every person and audience. Aiming your content at the right audience helps to grab attention and cut out the noise. Don’t use the same content and messaging for everyone, change it up to fit the audience profile. Try a few tests as well. This doesn’t have to be super formal, you can even test it with friends that fit the user profile. Testing helps to hone your message so you know it will get through.

Make it connected – online and offline need to be on the same page.

If you are also using offline marketing channels, be sure to coordinate them with online channels as well. Consistent messaging across all channels, plus a coordinated effort both online and offline helps to surround your customer and get your message through.

Remarketing and retargeting

Some people use remarketing and retargeting interchangeably. While they are similar in what they want to achieve (bring back a non-purchaser), they are a little different in strategy. Typically retargeting using cookies to drop relevant ads to bring customers: 1. User comes to your site 2. User browses away from your site without purchasing 3. Cookies drop an ad while user is away from your site 4. User comes back to site. Remarketing usually uses email to bring customers back: 1.User comes to site 2. User browses away from your site without purchasing 3. Triggers an email workflow with offer or similar to bring customer back.

Retargeting and remarketing can be used in combination or separately. What is great is that both strategies are targeting customers who have shown some interest, and can be enticed back – a much easier proposition than finding cold customers.

While Expedia is clearly not an arts example, their remarketing ads have hallmarks of the three things your ad/post needs to do to get attention.

The ad/post, is well targeted and engaging (last minute deals), uses an eye catching image, and has a simple CTA (book now).

Real time marketing

Oh man when it works it is brilliant and when it doesn’t well . . .

Real time marketing uses current happenings, holidays etc., to create engagement. TV events, major and even minor holidays, milestones, politics, newsmakers and even witty retorts are all great examples of real time marketing. The best ones feel real, unforced and are typically funny. Use with caution of course, but certainly worth a try when the opportunity presents itself.

Some brands that have really done this well have been FlightRadar24 and their tweet on Friday 13th and flight 666 to HEL

This is a great timely, funny tweet that got a great amount of viral attention.

Or how about Stoli’s great Instagram post on Donut Day featuring an espresso cocktail paired with a donut. A great way to take a random holiday and grab attention.

Personalise content

Personalised content is a powerful way to stand out. Using data to help build personas, you can change your content in subtle and powerful ways to make it personalised and meaningful to customers.

Some great examples of personalised marketing are Spotify recommended playlists or Amazon recommendations.

Ticketsolve’s recommendations feature is another great onsite way to market other products and shows to customers already on your site.

Personalised marketing is an area we will explore further in another post, as it is an up and coming area in marketing.

Engage Influencers

Influencers are people in your fan base or elsewhere that have sway in your target audience. The trick here is to get influencers to share your content to get more impact and more eyes and more traffic. For example, if you use Pinterest, good news! Pinterest has low comment levels – though high views. If you comment on an influencers post, they will likely get seen – and can help boost your engagement level on that platform. Taking a closer look at your followers and fans may also dig up influencers, allowing you to engage with them better.

Don’t leave good old discounts!

And remember traditional discounts work wonders as well! Weaving old ideas into new ones is a great way to get noticed. For example, consider a “tweet your pic” campaign with an offer of a discount for the most votes/best pics, try location based texts to draw people in. Even a Twitter based customer support strategy can help cut through the digital noise, building your brand awareness and increasing customer engagement.