Ticketmaster champions trust as it looks to win over ‘hearts and minds’

Ticketmaster has faced a difficult time as its brand is impacted by a data breach and scrutiny of the secondary ticketing market, but says that makes it more important to communicate what it stands for and improve the customer experience for fans.

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Ticketmaster believes it will “win over the hearts and minds” of consumers if it can champion the importance of trust, safety and security while personalising the conversations it has with fans.

More than half a billion tickets are processed on the world’s largest ticketing marketplace every year, with 15 tickets sold each second. That means the ability to have bespoke conversations with consumers at scale is a major challenge for Ticketmaster as it looks to remain on top of a booming sector, according to its executive vice-president of growth and insights Kathryn Kai-Ling Frederick.

However, Ticketmaster’s relationship with its customers has been tested in recent months. In June, the company was hit by a major security breach and had to warn tens of thousands of customers that their personal payments information may have been accessed by a third-party.

The breach is understood to have impacted its customer support chat application, made by third-party supplier Inbenta Technologies. The technology is used to help major websites interact with customers.

One of the most revered qualities about Ticketmaster is trust. We continue to underscore trust, safety and security, and will always invest in that.

Kathryn Kai-ling Frederick, Ticketmaster

It has also been impacted in both the UK and US as secondary ticketing sites come under increasing scrutiny from fans and regulators. In the UK, Ticketmaster made the decision to shut its two UK resales sites, GetMeIn and Seatwave, in favour of a fan-to-fan exchange.

When asked how Ticketmaster rebuilds consumer trust following such scrutiny, Kai-ling Frederick declined to answer directly, citing her North American remit, but said trust is vital to its brand.

“One of the most revered qualities about Ticketmaster is trust. We continue to underscore trust, safety and security, and will always invest in that,” she says while speaking to Marketing Week at Dreamforce.

“There is an understanding among consumers that we focus on these things. We’re also the biggest marketplace and because of that we’re known to be highly convenient, safe and secure.”

The scrutiny has, however, led Ticketmaster to work to bolster its brand message and it is working with a number of communication and creative agencies, integration partners and tech companies to do that.

“We’re constantly evaluating the needs of the business from what we need from a brand perspective to what we need from a campaign perspective.

“If we deliver great experiences through that fan journey and put fans first, we will win the hearts and minds of our customers as well as market share across the ticketing sector,” she adds.

Making the fan experience relevant

Putting fans first means making the fan experience “relevant and valuable” to its customers from the moment of awareness, to the point of consideration and after they’ve made a purchase.

“Not only does remaining valuable and relevant help with customer retention, it also drives the cycle of commercial impact for our business. That is why we invest in a fan-centric view,” she adds.

In order to create personalised journeys, rather than looking at moments in time Ticketmaster considers the profiles and personas of the fans. This approach takes into account the specific fan base they’re talking to and their interests and needs.

“Talking to a theatre patron is very different to talking to a sports fanatic. You have to think about how to talk to them in a language they’re most receptive to; it becomes a very personal conversation from start to finish,” Kai-ling Frederick says.

To do that, the business has invested millions in technology that she believes is at the “bleeding edge” of innovation. She explains these companies help Ticketmaster handle the amount of data it creates, saying there would be no way to reach consumers at scale without data and technology.

“Marketers in this industry have so many events to market and fans to talk to that the match-making of those conversations can only be activated with data and technology,” she explains.

“Technology helps us collect the wealth of data that we have available to us to really activate the best experience possible for our customers on that fan journey.”

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