Whether we realize it or not – many of us have been recipients of driveway-to-driveway experiences. The first time I really experienced it – and saw the potential – was at a hospital. My Husband had double hernia surgery. While I'm sure he's thrilled I'm sharing that information, his experience was a fascinating in-the-field research study for me, and set in motion a program I would become a huge fan of.
It Started with Healthcare
Once his surgery was scheduled, all pre-surgical paperwork and registration occurred online, a week before the procedure. The payer coverage was confirmed, data was captured, and medical history was documented. The morning of the surgery we arrived at the hospital and were taken right back to the pre-op room where pre-op procedures began.
As they administered his IV and took vitals, a video played on the large TV in his room explaining the procedure, the process of administering the anesthesia, and what to expect after recovery. After he was wheeled back I could order his prescription from the same TV and have it delivered to the room. Throughout the procedure I would receive calls to my cell, from the surgery staff, providing updates. I could also watch a screen that would provide a status update (using a patient code) of where he was in pre-surgery, prep, operations, recovery, and post-op. Once released, we received discharge instructions in paper form that were also available on the portal.
But that's where the seamless patient experience ended. Once we left the hospital, all proactive communications ended. My Husband had a series of side effects but when he posted his questions to the portal, he never heard back. His test results were never posted. He found out the results a week and a half later at a follow-up appointment. And at the follow-up appointment there were no FAQs provided, or a physician discussion guide offered, to help him get the most out of his visit.
Like most experiences, communication faltered in the "post-event" process. The hospital got the pre-surgery and procedure communications right. But they should've focused on the entire driveway-to-driveway experience.
The Timing Couldn’t Have Been Better
At this time I was working with Oracle and one of the clients I worked with was The Golden State Warriors. I was sharing my hospital experience with them and immediately they recognized the opportunity to create a driveway-to-driveway fan experience.
The Warriors wanted to define the experience a fan has from the time they leave home, to their time spent at the stadium, to their return home. They also wanted to personalize that experience and drive engagement with fans through communications focused on a fan's favorite player, favorite opponent, birthday, or other personal data.
With this in mind, we designed their registration and ticket forms to capture information beyond basic contact information. By leveraging the data on the fan we then built communications within their marketing platforms that would:
Send targeted promotions via SMS before the fan leaves for the game.
Once at the game the stadium leverages beacons that send push communications based on personal preferences, stadium purchases, and game activity.
As the fan leaves the stadium follow-up communications, surveys, offers, and game highlights can be shared with the fan through email, social media, and SMS.
The Warriors noticed a marked improvement in ticket purchases, season ticket subscription renewals, and NPS improvements …. I should note – this was all before the Dynasty of Championships the last several years.
But what if you’re not the NBA?
So let’s fast-forward a couple of years. In 2016 I joined The Second City. Most people recognize The Second City through notable alums like Bill Murray, Joan Rivers. Alan Alda, Chris Farley, Mike Meyers, Tina Fey, Steve Carrel, Stephen Colbert, Amy Pohlar, Keegan Michael Key, Jordan Peele and many many others. But The Second City also has 3 training centers that have 10,000 students attend every year. They also have an extensive B2B division where they take the practices of improv into the workplace.
So they’re a unique business in that they’re B2B and B2C and they’re online and brick-and-mortar. And for a long time The Second City had operated as siloed entities. Because of this, they were missing out on important revenue opportunities, as well as important relationship opportunities. They knew they needed to integrate and align if they were going to continue to grow.
So we set out to put the customer and the data at the center of the customer experience. This involved 3 things:
What’s In It For Us? Of course, revenue growth, especially for the B2B division.
What’s In It For Them? Customers want to be apart of the brand, but they’re not aware of the opportunities to engage.
What Do We Have To Work With? We conducted a systems audit and discovered we had a problem. Our customer data was so fractured that we couldn’t even tell if a customer of our theater had been to a show before. We had no master data strategy for collecting and managing customer data. We couldn’t understand where customers were spending money. Not only were we not delivering the right message, at the right time, to the right audience – but we weren’t honoring our established relationships with our customers.
We decided to implement that same driveway-to-driveway experience for our guests. We created an automated marketing program that sets the tone for customer experience when our customers purchase tickets. This campaign was to be enacted when a customer purchased tickets and would conclude 1 day after they’ve attended a show. It was a soft nudge to plan and buy but draw more on the history, experience, and stories of The Second City.
Just like the Warriors, we designed our registration and ticket purchase forms to capture the information that was of most value to us - that information that would allow us to deliver value to them. We leveraged marketing tools like email, SMS, and beacons to trigger relevant communications and delivery. We personalized the messaging and focused on interesting content versus the hard sale.
So how does this relate to us?
It’s actually very relevant! You want to delight your fans – you want to be personal – interesting – and relevant. You want to grow your brand, operationalize, and find new revenue sources. You also have the same systems.
So where should you start?
Don’t be a selfish lover: It sounds basic, but lead with the value to your customer. We can’t develop a successful technology strategy by thinking about money.
Fan programs over fan platforms: Taboo coming from a tech company, but identify what your customer programs are and then build an infrastructure that supports that program
Create a brief that defines these elements. Start at the top and work your way through the audience – messaging – and offers. Once that’s complete you can start defining the actual campaign assets and how your technology can support that.