A Look Back at TMRE: Applying an experiential-based approach to brands

In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be featuring insights from The Market Research Event 2012 attendees. 

In today’s update, Dave Gustafson shares his notes on Day 1 Track 3, Ad & Media Research Track, Movie Going in the Digital Age: How Changes in Media Consumption Have Changed the Movie Going Decision Making Process with Jon Gibs, Senior Vice President, NBC Universal 

Based on the data NBC Universal captures from Fandango, Jon identified two emerging trends affecting movie goers: 1) digital media is playing an increasingly central role in the purchasing process, and 2) fewer consumers are buying more tickets (10% of consumer purchase 50% of the tickets sold online).

Jon noted that with respect to movie going, online word of mouth is currently increasing in importance, while traditional motivators, such as the genre, the star of the movie and the level of special effects are decreasing in importance.

He suggested movie going today is akin to ‘a night out on the town,’ and it is vital for NBC Universal to tap into and appeal to that experience.

Jon differentiated between two segments of movie goers ‘ Avids and Casuals. Avids love going to movies with their friends on opening night and feeling the ‘buzz’ and anticipation ‘ they attend 17-18 movies a year. He described the build up and anticipation of a good movie (e.g., Hunger Games, The Hobbit) as something that is planned for as much as three months in advance. Since many movie theaters are located near malls, local eating establishments and retail outlets benefit from the ‘night out.’ Avids spend an average of $110 a night when they attend movies. Casuals, on the other hand, are much less inclined to plan in advance, and are less focused on the experience.

He reviewed the ‘Path to Purchase’ consumers take to buying a movie ticket, which consists of a 6-step process: 1) Discover (become aware of a particular movie), 2) Gather (conduct research), Influence (explore types of media), 4) Socialize (pass on what is learned about the movie), 5) Narrow (reduce the number of choices), and 6) Transact (buy the ticket).

Jon concluded that the Path to Purchase is increasingly driven by online information gathering.

What can we learn from the behavior of movie goers, and how can we apply that experiential-based approach to our brands?
To what extent can we define the path to purchase for our brands?
How can we leverage the experiential aspect of interacting with our brands?

Dave Gustafson is a career market researcher based in the
Philadelphia area. In addition to owning and running his own boutique
market research firm, he is the Chief Advisor at Spych Market Analytics,
LLC. Dave can be reached at dave@SpychResearch.com

Wish to submit your insights for inclusion in this series? Email submissions to Michelle LeBlanc at mleblanc@iirusa.com