Comparethemarket.com’s brand chief on why it’s taking over Orange Wednesdays

Fresh from the announcement that it will be launching its own 2-for-1 cinema scheme, Kay Parkinson, head of brand at Comparethemarket.com, tells Marketing Week why she is confident the cinema offer will help it build customer loyalty and become the price comparison sector’s leading brand.

The scheme, dubbed “Meerkat Movies” after the price comparison site’s digital characters, will be available from 3 April for a year to anyone who buys a “qualifying” product or service, likely to include credit card switches and  insurance bought through the site. It will offer 2-for-1 cinema tickets on Tuesday and Wednesday’s, filling the gap left by the end of Orange Wednesday’s.

“This is about acquiring new people, but it’s also about delivering a sense of membership and having a longer relationship with our customers to make them feel like they belong to the membership of the brand,” said Kay Parkinson, head of brand at Comparethemarket.com. “It gives us the opportunity to reward our customers’ loyalty.”

Although Comparethemarket has enjoyed a successful last couple of years – growing customer numbers and its product portfolio – there is little evidence of loyalty in the market. A 2013 report from Consumer Futures, now part of Citizens Advice, found 83% of price comparison customers visited multiple sites when hunting for the best deal.

“We’re trying to package up the wonderful formula of bringing people in to save money, offering something that’s quite generous and flexible,” added Parksinson, who believes the deal’s two day duration will give it a uniqueness over the previous Orange Wednesday’s.

“It’s a generous proposition in the market, Tuesday and Wednesday every week. Ultimately we want to achieve that sense of membership and people wanting to choose us as a brand. We’ve always been about making it easy, and we want to be that number one choice.”

Over the coming months, Meerkat Movies will see the brand’s animal mascot Alexi pop up in pre-film trailers to promote the service.

The price comparison website appears to have more faith in cinema goers than EE, which recently launched Film Club, a replacement for its discontinued Orange Wednesday’s.

The service, which allows the phone network’s customers to stream one movie per week for just £1, was created to ‘evolve with changing customer viewing habits.’

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Are we about to see the launch of ‘Comparethemarket Wednesdays’? The price comparison site has confirmed it is in discussions with cinema operator body the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association to take up the baton from EE, which announced yesterday (11 December) that it is to end its ten-year 2-for-1 weekly promotion after concluding that the cost of re-signing outweighed any loyalty benefit. Particularly as take-up was on the wane.

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