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4 Key Takeaways From My INTIX Panel on the Customer Journey and Embedded Protection

On January 26th, 2023 at INTIX, I led a panel with Joe Calanan from Cover Genius, Jo-Ann Chiam from AudienceView, and Kelley Monts de Ocas from Playhouse Theatre to discuss the impact of embedded protection as tool to get customers buying tickets again.

From marketing perspective, there were some interesting takeaways that I wanted to share:

61% of ticket buyers are going for the content, not the price:

This is consistent with my research. Price is a terrible driver of demand.

The lesson here: focus on the performance not how “cheap” it is.

A focus on price makes people question the decision.

  • “What’s wrong with this show?”
  • “If its cheap, it can’t be good?”
  • “This is too expensive, it isn’t for me.”

Focusing on content frames the sale in a better light.

Peace of mind and risk are top-of-mind issues for a lot of ticket buyers:

My conversations tell me that there are a lot of people that are not buying tickets because of their fear of getting COVID, having to cancel their night out, or just lack of certainty around some part of their life.

That shows up in an incredible number that Kelley shared: 48% of ticket buyers were opting for refund protection.

It is the largest number I’ve seen.

In the months after lockdowns ended, I saw refund protection uptake hit 33%.

The norm before COVID was about 15% in the United States and around 10% in Europe.

These purchases are actions that indicate folks are still uncertain or want a sense of security.

Clear as day.

My favorite part of any panel are the numbers: Numbers don’t lie…but they need context.

Some of my favorite numbers:

  • 61% of ticket buyers put content as their number one consideration. (You need to pay more attention to your customers to figure out what they are really buying.)
  • 48% of ticket buyers are getting refund protection at Playhouse Square. That’s half the buyers at one venue and in a recent survey 41% of people said they weren’t even offered refund protection on their last ticket purchase. (There is a perception gap between what your customers want and what you might imagine they want. To put it another way, there isn’t decision fatigue or too many clicks when it comes to refund protection. Where else are you misunderstanding your customers?)
  • 62% of customers are more likely to complete a ticket purchase if offered refund protection. (This goes back to the peace of mind. Your opinion on safety doesn’t matter, the customers’ does.)
  • +65: that’s Cover Genius’s NPS score. Why does this matter? Because in marketing, everything matters. Having a positive experience throughout the customer journey makes people more likely to come back. (Also, I love the NPS score as a tell for the health of your business. The ‘Talking Tickets’ newsletter has a +42.)

I also have an incredible revenue number for venues offering refund protection that I don’t know if I am allowed to share…if I am, I will update the post.