GeoMinds: How Location is Aiding Music Marketers in their Quest to Reach Millennials this Summer
Geo-fencing isn't very effective within outdoor venues; but xAd's John Duncan shows how brands can find their target within a crowd.
Days are getting longer and summer heat is soon approaching. In anticipation of the feel-good summer weather, music fans across the country are making plans and buying tickets to this year’s swath of outdoor music festivals. In recent years, attendance to these festivals has exploded almost quicker than organizers can make room.
Take for instance the Southern California festival Coachella. The festival showcases everything from pop to rock, rap, to electronic and more. When Coachella began in 1999 the festival hosted 25,000 fans. By 2014 attendance had grown to a combined 579,000 over two weekends. That’s more ticket sold than 75 percent of NFL teams during the entire 2014 season (Coachella would land just above the Atlanta Falcons in this list published by ESPN). And major festivals are not limited to pop/rock concerts; bluegrass, blues, classical, and jazz genres are also setting attendance records in recent years. For instance CMA Music Festival, a country music festival, saw more than 250,000 fans over 4 days.
Who is driving this increase in attendance? Like many recent consumer trends, this boost is coming from the up-and-coming generation. Research from Eventbrite and Harris Interactive found nearly 8 in 10 Millennials believe their best memories come from an event or live experience, and 3 in 4 Millennials would rather spend money on a desirable experience than purchase a desirable thing. More than half of Millennials reported they plan to spend more on events than before with no sign that their spending will slow (PDF).
As more Millennials attend concerts, smartphone penetration among concert goers increases. According to research from Live Nation, smartphone ownership among concertgoers has risen from 65 percent in 2011 to 84 percent in 2013. The same report cites, 7 in 10 mobile owners using their smartphone at least hourly while in a concert. Equipped with mobile technology concert goers are finding ways to enhance their in-concert experience and record the memories they make – or at least share selfies in their trendiest festival gear.
The chart above shows findings from Live Nation for in-concert mobile use. Taking pictures, texting about the concert, and posting on social media topped the list for mobile use during concert.5 A similar survey from GroupM found (PDF) 52 percent of concert goers use mobile to look up details about a concert and 47 percent are buying tickets for another concert while in attendance.
Seeing the opportunity, brands are seeking to engage this valuable audience while they are tuned into their mobile devices on-site. For example, in Q4 of 2014 an international fashion retailer ran a Proximity Targeted campaign on the xAd platform to serve ads to mobile concert attendees at different venues. These mobile-active concert goers were targeted in and around select venues across the country during performance times. The strategy ensured the message was seen by the right audience at the right time, and a click-through rate 72 percent higher than industry benchmarks.
Outdoor concert festivals are creating a fantastic opportunity for brands to engage with consumers. It’s no wonder they are quickly becoming an important part of many marketer’s campaign strategies.
So how can your brand or business get on the ticket this summer?
When dealing with large outdoor venues and migratory concert crowds it is important to remember status quo geo-fencing will do little to successfully target consumers. The fictional example below shows the migration of concert goers in the morning vs evening and how a traditional geo-fencing (white circle around the street address) misses a lot of the actual foot traffic. For the average festival, early morning crowds will be waiting outside festival grounds, in line and in parking lots, at sponsor showcases or retailer outposts. As the day progresses to evening, crowds will be drawn to headliner stages. As the crowd moves, the traditional static geo-fence around the venue becomes irrelevant. With this in mind, it’s important to understand the real-time movements of mobile users on-site in order to effectively and accurately target these important audiences as they move from band to food stand to experience tent and beyond.
*As xAd’s Data Analyst and lead Data Geek, John Duncan’s undying curiosity for location and marketing analytics has led to the development of some of the organization’s most in-demand client and public reports. Prior to xAd, John worked as a Statistical Analyst building models to predict consumer preferences for top brands in CPG, Auto, Finance and Technology. John holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Utah.
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