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Digital campaigning, tracking and measurement

Data has grown in importance significantly in the last five years. When I started we were already gathering data from our customers, with what was at the time, kind of, leading the way in racing, with an online ticket system which produced E tickets for customers. Which 10 -11 years ago was was quite a new thing, now obviously it’s very much common place to expect that that purchasing process. But what we’ve learned through, with a project that British Racing has done. Is the importance of using that data and what we capture and how we use it, to help inform us as to what our customers are looking for. How we can communicate with them better.
How we can grow our sales, through the targeted use of the data and also very importantly for us the customer experience is the priority. So we can find out what our customers think, of their day at the racecourse and that informs us how we improve what we do, all the time. It’s absolutely the first point at which we start with. So we, we look at when we want to promote certain fixtures and that’s led by when the pricing changes. So we then look at the data as to who our customers currently are. So we speak to them first, so they’ve either signed up to our newsletter or they’ve bought a ticket for that event.
So we start with the messaging and communication with them and then when we want to broaden the awareness of the event, we then look at the current profile of customers and then we go after the same profile to people that may not have engaged with us before. And then that’s our advertising, our radio, our outdoor campaigns. But they’re very much sort of chosen, with a view of the exact customer profile that we currently have, to just broaden that out to more people. It’s made it possible to review, what communication is successful and what people are interested in reading about.
So that for the first, as a starter allows us to really engage with our customers, about subjects they really want to hear about, rather than spreading ourselves too thin. So in terms of efficiencies for the business, our marketing is much more targeted now. We can do a lot of the communication in-house, so that obviously saves money on using agencies. The return on that communication is measurable, so we can measure them as you say the productivity so that we’re using our time in the best possible way. There’s obviously loads of ways on a race day that if we get the experience right for our customers, it increases the sales.
So we we’ve increased the sales for the ticket purchasing, but we can also make sure that we put the right food and drink offering on for race days. We can build food and drink packages around what our customers want, rather than what they, we think they want and making guesses. So the data really informs that those decisions. It also gives us great feedback. So our post-event questionnaires, that go out to everybody that books with us, we can hear from them what they want and obviously the more we put on that they want, the more people will come.
So the experience, the satisfaction and the value, that our customers see in coming to a race day improves and obviously that’s great for the long-term benefit of the racecourse. The results aren’t instantaneous. I think when you’re learning about how to use data, you have to be patient. You have, we’ve sort of been guilty, of expecting too much too soon. We’re quite, we’re quite passionate about doing the very best we can. But sometimes that brings with it a level of impatience and I think that in the first year, what we realised is that we shouldn’t change too much, too soon. We should learn from the data, test and trial in small quantities.
Because that’s the beauty of the data, is you can speak to two people, or two hundred people, or two thousand people. But what we were probably doing was trying too much, too soon and so what we what we then did, was was, engage with a slightly sort of smaller scale of race goers. Tested certain things and then learnt from those and and worked out what really worked for us and our customers. I think that’s been the biggest lesson for us, it takes time to engage confidently and appropriately, with race goers, because everybody wants a personalised experience now.
So if we spoke to everybody about having a free ice cream on a family day, that might not suit our race goers that don’t have families, or are more interested in the sport, than they are with the general sort of, day out. So learning to do that properly, has been a bit slower, but very successful, now we’re sort three, four years into the into the strategy.

To elaborate on the value of customer data, in this video Sarah will tell you about how they measure their marketing efforts using digitised visitor data. While watching the video, focus on what she says about:

  • The benefits of using a digital platform to track the success of different marketing communications.
  • How they use successful campaigns to grow their retention figure and attract a wider audience.
  • How data informs their marketing spend on further communication channels.
  • Why collecting feedback it is so important to them.
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