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SeatGeek channels 50pc of spend into mobile to reach millennials

Sports and concert tickets platform SeatGeek is spending approximately 50 percent of its advertising spend on mobile, proving that booking excursions on personal devices continues to gain traction among millennials.

SeatGeek recently teamed up with mobile marketing solution AppLovin to bring a more mobile-first approach to the event brand?s marketing efforts, particularly as ticket providers have been somewhat slow in their mobile adoption rates. The joint campaign culminated in SeatGeek discovering that video advertisements are paramount in acquiring new customers, while banner ads still maintain relevancy for retargeting.

?For a brand like SeatGeek, targeting is really important to success on mobile advertising campaigns because their users have to be into going out, entertainment or sports, and enjoy live events,? said Adam Foroughi, CEO of AppLovin, Palo Alto, CA. ?Targeting is a larger factor to success than the type of ad unit being shown.

?One example is that we found that sports fans who were on weather apps tended to be high quality users for SeatGeek. Those users had a significantly higher likelihood of both downloading the app and actually purchasing tickets to sporting event shortly after the download.?

Advanced user acquisition
SeatGeek?s partnership with AppLovin found that various types of creative resonate better for different marketing efforts. Banner advertisements, alongside interstitial ads, tend to work better for retargeting purposes, despite many marketers turning their noses up at the idea of a stagnant unit with little consumer interactivity.

However, this caveat may be superseded by offering a direct call-to-action in the advertisement. If a user has previously been looking at New York Giants season tickets, he or she may be prompted to return back to SeatGeek?s platforms if a banner ad displays the dwindling amount of tickets left.

?Most important is trust that SeatGeek or any ticket vendor will deliver what is promised,? said Jeff Hasen, founder of Gotta Mobilize, Seattle. ?Super Bowl customers were burned when tickets purchased weren't available.

?The next key is personalization. Frankly, you can offer me Tampa Bay hockey tickets for a nickel but I'll pass because I live in Seattle and don't dig hockey.?

Conversely, video ads are the brand?s go-to strategy for acquiring new users. Mobile video is becoming increasingly more popular as a means of grabbing time-strapped millennials? attention, particularly if the ad arrives as snackable, bite-sized content with an interesting twist.                                   

SeatGeek currently sees half of its users active on the app, suggesting that the 50 percent of ad spend on mobile is well-allocated.

?Much of the value in retargeting comes from increased brand awareness with our users,? said Sam Arnold, senior marketing analyst at SeatGeek, New York. ?In that sense it's more important to get SeatGeek in front of a high value user whenever we can, instead of highlighting app features in a full screen interstitial.

?There is simply more inventory available in banner ads, especially in the types of apps our users tend to frequent, so that's what works well.?

The marketer has also previously turned to social media to spread the word about its digital platforms.

Last September, SeatGeek used promoted Tweets that included targeted offers based on users? favorite sports to promote its mobile application (see story).

Event marketers on mobile
Major event ticketing platforms such as SeatGeek cannot risk alienating millennials and younger demographics who are more active on mobile channels by eschewing apps or responsive design on their sites.

Fellow tickets marketer StubHub?s mobile and tablet apps have undergone a significant update to customize the process of purchasing event tickets even more, including adding a personalization algorithm to recommend activities, ESPN content for sports fans, enhanced mobile ticketing options to replace physical tickets and mobile payment options for Android users (see story).

SeatGeek?s mobile app enables users to browse local events, sort deals from best to worst, browse interactive seating charts and view photos from sections of stadiums and arenas prior to purchase.

Although power players such as Ticketmaster and StubHub may reign supreme in the sector, other ticketing platforms including SeatGeek may grab the upper hand by offering consumers additional features on mobile as well as competitive pricing.

?SeatGeek is still new to mobile video acquisition, so we're still working on figuring out what works best,? Mr. Arnold said. ?That being said, video provides so much more opportunity to highlight some of the most compelling features of SeatGeek than a static ad ever could.

?The UI we've built around shopping for the right ticket is one that requires video to fully demonstrate. Being able to illustrate that value proposition to a potential customer is incredibly valuable to us and is a reason why we are so bullish on video as a medium.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York