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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Movie Attendance: Loyalty vs Frequency

Who is your audience?  The loyal moviegoer who only views films at your cinema however often, or the frequent moviegoer who visits your cinema on a consistent basis week in and week out.

What motivates the loyal or the frequent moviegoer?  It seems that most people are either/or. The loyal love your cinema. To them it is convenient, comfortable, meets their presentation standards, and consider it 'the venue' in which to see a movie. These are patrons to cherish. They come back over and over again and appreciate your efforts in making your cinema, 'their' cinema.

For the frequenter, it's all about the movies. These are the film buffs and people who really like going to the cinema to view the latest films on a weekly or biweekly basis and select films not specific to any genre but what is on the marquee.  Yes, they appreciate comfort, convenience, great presentation, and good concession but frequency is the key - it is a habit, an entertainment ritual, a recreational necessity.

The loyalist and the frequenter are motivated by very different criteria. Trying to get a loyalist to become a frequenter (the ultimate movie patron) is difficult, if not impossible. The loyalist normally views films they have an interest is seeing - if nothing strikes them of interest on the marquee they will opt for other entertainment. The frequenter, on the other hand, goes no matter what is on the marquee - opting for the movies vs other forms of entertainment. The frequenter is not loyal to the cinema but to films. The loyalist is committed to the cinema but not to films.

It is incumbent upon the cinema operator to understand each of their patrons and cater to their viewing needs. Film selections should be thoughtful and harnessing moviegoer data is crucial. What do 'my' cinema's customers want.  The key to the frequenter' is variety, for the loyalist, it's the whole experience - learn to serve both.

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