What Would You Do Differently If You Personally Knew Your Customer?

Coming out of a discussion recently with one of our Museum prospects, a point was raised about the difference between Members and out-of-town patrons. The discussion was centered on engagement and what could be done to drive incremental revenue. The conversation shifted to “knowing your customer”. Our prospect replied, ” that won’t matter as that patron won’t be coming back.”

We completely disagree with that comment. “Knowing your customer” is more essential than ever to engage with relevance and capture every incremental revenue opportunity available.

We came across the following matrix recently from the Cutter Benchmark Review and feel it’s an approach that today’s sports, leisure, entertainment and cultural institutions can embrace:

Clearly our prospect views his out-of-town patron as having a low theoretical repurchase rate. If viewed solely through the lens of a ticket or GA admissions purchase, the answer could be yes, pending what “out-of-town” means. But let’s go down that path and agree that that patron is from out-of-town and will most likely not be physically returning soon. If this is the case, are there not high repurchase opportunities on at least two other fronts?

  1. Driving additional, incremental engagement and repurchase during the patron’s actual in-venue visit
  2. Driving additional, incremental engagement and repurchase during the patron’s out-of-venue digital visiting


IMS believes that there is a huge opportunity for relevant behavior-based, real-time engagement with the patron, as long as you’re leveraging all of your in-venue assets including (but limited to):

  • Exhibitions
  • Digital content, included mobile content
  • Educational or Asset Collections
  • Retail merchandise
  • E-Commerce
  • Food & beverage
  • Parking
  • Coat check, etc.

It’s important to call out that leveraging these systems does not mean that they must all be run on one platform, system or software. That is a fallacy. By integrating all assets at your disposal and utilizing them effectively, you can and will drive significant incremental in-venue revenue. Systems and Data Integration allows for real-time engagement and promotion based on what the patron or fan is actually doing, and you can manage and track every element of that activity. You can now “Know vs. Guess” what is happening and proactively use that to your advantage.

IMS’s STADIS© has been the leading systems and data integration platform in the sports, leisure and entertainment industries since 2004, and is expanding its services to cultural and performing arts venues.

If our prospect really does not care about driving additional revenue and engagement with patrons, then does “knowing your customer” still have relevance?  We answer with another question, “does efficiently attracting out-of-town patrons matter?” If yes, then data and knowing your customer matters. Knowing who patrons are, having them ID themselves, allows for an integrated approach to acquisition segmentation. Segmentation success lies not just in improved response rates, but in value creation per patron, and ultimately, repurchase rates.

IMS would love to discuss your approach to data use and how our portfolio of products and services, including STADIS© , can help.