Speaking to Marketing Week at Dreamforce in San Francisco, the club’s internet marketing director David Ball said experiments to sell tickets direct on Facebook and Twitter have not resulted in success, which he puts down to consumers not being in the right mindset for ecommerce on those platforms.
He said: “Whenever we push ecommerce on to our [social media] fans it doesn’t resonate. This may change over the years just like with email marketing when at first people did not trust the [the platform] to purchase from.
“But we find email is the best marketing platform for direct marketing, we see great conversion because people are used to it. They can delete it if they are not interested but if they are they know they can get a discount to a game in their city because they’ve registered with us.”
Instead, the club has learned from these experiments and plans to use social to build out its CRM database to assist its email campaigns.
He said: “This year I want to get to know our customer better and segment and target the right messages at them, whether it’s a discount, tickets or our summer schools. Our email subscribers are typically our ticket purchasers – parents and grandparents – and social has a much younger demographic.”
Harlem Globetrotters is to begin experimenting with using Facebook’s recently launched Custom Audiences tool and the Salesforce platform to supplement the data it holds about its customers.
Ball said: “I think Facebook Custom Audiences is super cool, especially because we are only in a city once a year or an international once every three years, so It’s important for us to stay in contact as much as we can and have a real relationship with those fans to get them excited about the next time we come by their city.”