New SMG Research Evaluates How Blockbuster Premieres Impact the Movie-Going Experience

Summer blockbuster season is upon us, and Service Management Group (SMG), a global customer experience management, employee experience and brand research leader, has evaluated how blockbuster premieres impact the customer experience for movie-goers.

To get a read on what movie-goers thought of the in-theater experience during blockbuster premiere weekends, SMG used its customized market intelligence tool BrandGeek to capture real-time behavioral data that’s linked to consumer feedback. The research uncovered three key insights:

1. Higher traffic doesn’t always mean lower satisfaction

While it’s common across industries for overall satisfaction (OSAT) scores to decrease when traffic increases, the results weren’t that clear cut for blockbuster premieres. In comparing the change in traffic and overall satisfaction from opening weekend to the prior weekend for eight major motion pictures, OSAT decreased just half of the time. While there are numerous operational challenges associated with increased traffic, the data shows it doesn’t have to negatively impact the customer experience.

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2. Online ticket buyers are more satisfied

For movie-goers, the obvious touchpoints that contribute to customer satisfaction are in-theater elements, but the data revealed you can’t ignore what happens before the guest steps into the theater. Consumers who purchased tickets online were 3.5 percentage points more satisfied with the movie-going experience than box office customers. While cleanliness, quality of concessions and seat comfort are essential, today’s consumers have also grown to expect frictionless and convenient transactions.

3. IMAX customers are less satisfied with value and overall experience

While brands can’t control every aspect of the movie-going experience, it’s logical to assume consumers who pay for a specialized viewing experience have elevated expectations. While IMAX customers are overall more satisfied with their in-theater experience, this report showed a 3 percentage point decline in OSAT and 7 percentage point decline in overall value on premiere weekends. To leave customers highly satisfied, brands have to make the right investments and consistently deliver a remarkable premium viewing experience.

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“With an unprecedented number of entertainment options available to consumers—many of them at their fingertips—it’s increasingly important for theaters to understand what customers want from the movie-going experience,” said SMG President Michele Vance. “While it starts with listening, the brands that are winning with customers are gleaning insights from customer feedback and turning insights into action.”

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