Wi-Fi Marketing, Does Experience Matter?
In 2016, there were over 7 billion mobile devices in the world and these devices require connectivity. It is not surprising that Wi-Fi is the most requested amenity because people expect connectivity almost as a right.
Connectivity has become as necessary an amenity as a bathroom or parking, reflecting directly on the overall experience of your visitor. Venues know that they need to answer this demand and invest substantial capital in upgrading and installing their Wi-Fi infrastructure to meet fan expectations.
How do venues monetize this investment on Wi-Fi while simultaneously improve the fan experience and build a digital relationships with each user?
The need for connectivity represents a unique opportunity for the venue owner and operator as it is very effective and efficient for live entertainment spaces to leverage this to identify, engage, and nurture visitor digital relationships.
Venue spaces such as stadiums and arenas have critical goals such as to attract and retain ticket purchasers, improve fan in venue experience, and provide a method of easily communicating with fans in the moment. Visitors to venues look for Wi-Fi for speed, to avoid data usage concerns and to take advantage of in venue services, information, offers, coupons, and contests.
Since Wi-Fi is absolutely necessary, how should a company investing in this area measure its return on investment? Companies find that rolling out Wi-Fi may be the most complex and expensive project an IT department will tackle. Too many venues set out without a clear business case for Wi-Fi and are uncertain how the company will measure its return on investment as well as the ongoing costs, such as help-desk personnel or annual licensing fees. The business use case for value generation beyond fan goodwill should include the gain in net-new promotable customers, advancement of corporate marketing objectives, the gain of valuable insights on behaviors, enhancements to the customer experience and creating promotable relationships. Vast value is created beyond simply being able to check off the Wi-Fi box in the list of amenities the venue provides.
What is the key driver in how much value a Wi-Fi investment will return?
The type of Wi-Fi experience that is offered to visitors. Yield is driven by thoughtful design.
What type of Wi-Fi experience should businesses provide to visitors to gather the most ROI?
An experience that is on brand, light weight, and hassle free to the end user while satisfying marketing objectives and ultimately adding new CRM entries and promotable permissions to contact visitors.
What options are there?
The first option is always an open Wi-Fi network, which allows customers to access Wi-Fi by simply selecting the network. It’s the easiest for customers to use, but many people don’t trust open networks due to security issues and there are zero opportunities to interact or build relationships with customers.
A second model is the simple sponsored splash page, which can help venues and teams stay on brand and collect email addresses, but doesn’t offer any personalized marketing or a touch point to connect with their visitors in the moment.
The third model is is the general advertising experience, which is typical when using outsourced hardware particularly. It allows venues to collect data on visitors, but not control the message as the advertising network belongs to the hardware company and not the venue owner/operator Marketing is not personalized and can be perceived as spammy from end users.
Finally, the fourth and most data driven solution, the personalized marketing experience. Visitors's sign in with email or social profiles and are then taken to a personalized experience curated by the sponsor of the Wi-Fi. This helps venues and teams stay on brand as well as create an opportunity to connect with visitors at a moment where they are most receptive to interact with you. A transactional email is sent after the experience, and the system remembers them by name the next time they connect, perpetuating the relationship and enhances the fan experience. The venue remembers the fan and automatically signs into the experience, displaying personalized marketing messages driven by their social profiles and prior actions. The most significant return on investment is found using this method.
The personalized marketing experience also provides another channel for sponsors to interact with guests as well as offer contests, promotions, and coupons both on site and after the visitor leaves. This is also a mechanism for fans to download venue apps and a way to remind fans to open and use the apps they already have installed. This is also another way to track “ghost fans” who do not purchase tickets directly from the venue but are on site and attending sporting events, concerts, and other activities.
Wi-Fi marketing gives venues another opportunity to identify, engage, and nurture visitors who may otherwise be unreachable.If done correctly, Wi-Fi onsite marketing can turn a cost center into a revenue generation channel.
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