Last week, we explored some of the pioneering new technologies that are destined to transform cinema lobbies in the near future. When applied, they would help cinemas to:
Attract new customers
Create more valuable ad space to sell
Capture and use customer data
Free staff from menial back office tasks
There’s no excuse for waiting on those new technologies before modernising lobbies around the world. There are solutions available right now that are already achieving the same results.
The adoption of digital signage throughout the cinema ecosystem has reduced the need for shifting around bulky, easily damaged physical promotional materials, but it has added playlist building to people’s task lists. However, there’s no need to run around updating every screen individually- there is already software out there that can automatically build, update, and distribute these playlists. Incode, for example, can connect right into the POS to see what films are coming up soon and autonomously add those posters into rotation.
Knowing the audience
The future of customer recognition technologies shows great promise for cinemas, but present-day alternatives like free wi-fi already exist. A solution like Cheerfy provides free wi-fi to cinema-goers in exchange for some basic demographic data. Once connected cinemas can start building up a picture of the customer, such as what their favourite films, celebrities, genres, and even drinks and snacks are to push relevant marketing to them.
A personalised experience
Using those invaluable profile details can turn every customer into a star and let your staff shine. Let’s follow Marie Richards as she makes her way through the modern cinema lobby. As she walks in, her mobile phone reconnects automatically to the wi-fi, notifying the staff that she has arrived. Her profile details show that she comes every other Tuesday, buys her ticket, and orders a large soda and medium popcorn.
A welcome at the door
With automated software taking care of some of the mundane cinema tasks, there will always be someone on hand to greet Marie as soon as she arrives, to ask if they can prepare her usual order, or perhaps fetch a sample of the new ice cream while she buys her ticket at the machine.
An immersive invitation
Takeover campaigns that span across every lobby screen are easy to coordinate with today’s software managing the scheduling and content delivery. At the ticket machine, Marie is swept up in the scene unfolding around her, as superheroes dash across multiple screens in an engaging sequence. Marie’s mind is made up, the director clearly meant this film to be seen in 3d, so she upgrades her ticket and moves on.
A better offer
This Tuesday, the lobby screens have used Incode to optimise their content by date and time to show promotions to the most receptive audiences. Marie was never interested in the family specials that were always on display before, but the upgraded meal deal with a glass of white wine and salted caramel popcorn does look appealing…
Entertainment while you wait
Tools like Cinema Conversations can turn any lobby screen into a social media display and Marie’s cinema is giving customers a chance at interaction while they stand in line at the concessions stand. A screen scrolls through social media posts using a branded competition hashtag, and the product’s backdrop is right underneath the screen, ready for contestants to snap their winning picture on the way to their snacks. Marie wouldn’t usually sign up to any competitions, but it only takes one tweet and she does have plenty of time before the show starts.
A menu with a difference
Now that cinemas have begun replacing their static menu boards with programmable screens, food and drink offers together with ticket promotions can be rotated through for maximum impact. And look- if Marie books in another trip in the next week they will throw in a free drink with her ticket. Marie can be tempted into booking her next visit right there as she pays for her popcorn, and maybe just this once she will break with tradition and book in advance to go two weeks in a row…
And innovations in lobby technology aren’t stopping there, there are tools in development and trial stages around the world that will, one day, help cinemas turn their lobbies into destinations in themselves.