Photo courtesy of Garry Knight
Turning a casual fan into an engaged patron is one of the most important transitions in the lifecycle of a patron. But how do you ensure that you’re reaching out in a way that helps move this transformation along? Advertising leaders created a concept called “the moment of truth” in 2005, and once you learn about it, it will influence the way your theater thinks about the patron experience and the way you interact with them at the most critical moments in the purchase cycle.
At first there were just a handful of moments, most notably at the point where a customer purchases a product, and at the point where they use that product for the first time. But the way consumers make purchases now has increased these moments, while also creating experience gaps that didn’t exist before.
Patrons don’t become lifelong fans after making a single purchase, and to transition them you’ll need to accommodate them before, during, and after the event.
The rise of technology in a consumer’s life has increased the amount of potential moments of truth. In 2011 Google introduced the “zero moment of truth,” which accounts for the way that consumers discover products online. But the advent of online shopping also created an experience gap between a customer making a purchase and receiving the product. Minding this experience gap and actively engaging with it is one of the most creative ways to captivate a new customer and keep them coming back.
Closing the Experience Gap
When a patron purchases a ticket for next week’s show, there’s no reason they shouldn’t hear from you until that week. By extending a warm handshake between the purchase and the event, you show the patron what they should get excited to see. Providing information in the form of directions, nearby dining options, or a digital program of the event is not only a way to close that experience gap, it gives you an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell.
A personalized experience is the best way to create lifelong engagement with your patrons, and it also allows you to get more familiar with the people you want filling your seats. Creating excitement in a new purchase lets you get creative. Maybe a patron who just purchased a ticket to a show is given the ability to view lightweight content surrounding the performance, like rehearsal footage, or a detailed look at costume and prop design. And after the show, you have the ability to offer them something of value that will make it easier for them to return for another show in the future. Increasing the touch-points also lets you gauge how involved this patron is, and will equip you to make better future marketing campaigns more tailored to the individual.
By fostering an environment that supports a direct pre and post-purchase experience, you’re enabling your patrons and turning them into advocates. How you choose to frame the activities in these experiences is up to you, but it allows you to get creative with how you engage with a consumer to make them a lifelong patron.