Marketing and promotion involves ensuring that each cinema engages with the widest possible range of customers. Cinemas need to understand what customers want at present as well as what they might want in the future. Marketing teams have a fundamental role in communicating clear messages about why people should choose to spend their time and money at the cinema and why the big screen experience remains the best place to watch a film.
Marketing in cinemas includes film, brand and retail marketing. As well as internal communications there is also a wide range of external communications which need to be managed via consumer and trade PR, local area marketing – particularly for site openings, and directly to customers through a variety of channels including social networking and mobile technology.
There are lots of reasons why someone may go to a particular cinema, from convenience factors such as transport links and parking, accessibility, safety of a locality to more subjective reasons such as pricing, offers, customer service, comfort and quality of the facilities. Marketing teams work hard to ensure their overall offer is clear to customers and the best it can be.
Cinema as a business is continually changing, now more than ever. Digital technology has brought major opportunities for cinemas to broaden their offer to customers, making it much easier to show a wider range of films and, with the ease of moving films around screens, making it easier to respond to audience demand.
Delivery of content via satellite has also enabled cinemas to show a range of so-called ‘event cinema’ such as opera, ballet, theatre, music and sporting events. These can be broadcast live to cinema screens, making national events much more accessible to audiences across the UK.
An increasing number of cinemas are now also offering VIP or ‘gold class’ tickets etc in an attempt to attract customers willing to pay more for arm-chair style seating or recliners, with more leg room and space for wine and nibbles, providing an altogether more premium experience. At the other end of the spectrum, customers seeking value for money can avail themselves of the MEERKAT MOVIES 2 for 1 cinema ticket promotion or a range of company-specific loyalty card or discount schemes.
It is the role of cinema marketers to ensure that customers know about the increasing range of benefits that cinema has to offer. Cinemas companies need to stay in touch with all their existing customers whilst constantly reaching out to potential new audiences. With the huge range of communication channels available in a digital world, cinemas need to have an understanding not only of what audiences want, but also how they access information. The aim is to equip people with all the knowledge they need to make an informed choice about going to the cinema.