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CANNES 2020 Marché du Film

Cannes NEXT proves that using behavioural audience data correctly can lead to success


- CANNES NEXT: In collaboration with Gruvi and Usheru, a lecture used case studies and analysis to explain the way in which audience preference data can result in sales

Cannes NEXT proves that using behavioural audience data correctly can lead to success

An exclusive panel was organised by Cannes NEXT in conjunction with Gruvi and Usheru, where they joined forces and pooled knowledge to investigate film marketing in the post-COVID-19 era, and how audience data can be used correctly. The lecture included case studies that highlighted the value and importance of targeting audiences according to their behaviour, rather than their interests.

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The session was opened by Catherine Downes, COO at Usheru, who started with an obvious observation: that in today’s reality, consumer behaviour should be analysed in a holistic way that takes into account both theatrical and streaming releases. Some of the important facts that were shared are that now, the audience is everywhere, and they are busy and overwhelmed by the plethora of options available. Also, content consumption has increased by 27% owing to the outbreak of the pandemic. The most important factor that should drive a marketing strategy is what audiences do, rather than who they are or who they say they are online. In that sense, the most valuable and useful actions should be based on behaviour, through an analysis of audiences’ intentions.

Downes used the successful paradigm of the gaming industry, which bears many similarities to the cinema industry, as they both have products with creative inputs, they had physical shops to sell them and are now also offered online, and they are dedicated to entertainment. Generally considered the most successful at understanding its audiences, the gaming industry has a big reliance on data and the personalisation of its product, manages to be efficient and profitable even in the most saturated markets, and through its user-focused behavioural analysis, it understands gamers’ tendencies and preferences. Put simply, it is an industry that identifies which behaviours cause which actions, knows what influences the choices of its audiences, and has managed to double its market from $76 billion in 2013 to $152 billion in 2019. Current predictions are that this will reach $196 billion in 2022.

Coming back to the cinema industry, Usheru offers a data-capture service that is already being used by organisations such as German Films, where in three major steps – Coming Soon (building awareness and demand), In Cinemas Now (maximisation of ticket sales at festivals and in cinemas) and Watch at Home (buying or streaming a film) – it gathers behavioural targeting information. This service also bolsters search engine optimisation, as promotional traffic is centralised, and there are global data on all showtimes and streaming services, plus information on back catalogues, among other data. By tracking the actions and behaviour of the visitors, such as when they watch a trailer, sign up for email updates or search for specific films, it is possible to analyse the profile of each movie and the relevant audience.

This is where Gruvi comes, helping the films to be presented and promoted to the right audiences. Nguyet Nguyenova, VP Central Europe and Asia-Pacific, presented the Gruvi Social Player, which harvests audience behaviour information per film in order to make the current live campaign as efficient as possible. The main goal is to optimise advertising expenses in such a way that genuinely interested people won’t be spammed by ads,and those who are undecided will be converted – and if that happens, they should not be targeted again. An additional objective is to expand to possible audiences that might potentially be interested, based on their behaviour. As always, data are king, as long as they are used smartly and are not just being hoarded.

For that reason, Gruvi is introducing TAP (The Audience Project), as Nikolaj Mathies, head of sales, explained. TAP aims to be the link between distributors, cinemas, VoD platforms and third parties, and combine audience data from their sites. After analysis, the data are provided to distributors in order to enable the customisation of their separate film campaigns. He also used the example of the Danish drama The Day We Died [+see also:
film profile
by Ole Christian Madsen, which was released theatrically in March in local cinemas. The behavioural audience, which actually visited the cinema’s website or made a purchase at some point in the last six months, required just over €2 to be converted and actually purchase a ticket, while the interest-based audience, which was generally interested in the film and lived near the cinema, entailed a cost of €11 per conversion. Similar results were also observed for the VoD statistics, with the behavioural audience clicking 3,272 times on the film and purchasing it 113 times, meaning that a sale was made every 28 clicks, while for the interest-based audience, only 12 sales were made from 2,757 clicks.

Mathies also shared the general indicators of a film’s success at the box office, and these are observed when, during the campaign, the audience’s actions (commenting, sharing, watching the trailer, clicking the link and so on) represent more than 10-15% of the overall impressions (merely viewing the post). Also, the link click-throughs should be higher than 5-10% of the total actions, and higher than 0.50-1% of the impressions. The showtime interaction rate should also be higher than 10-15% on mobiles.

The lecture ended with a breakdown of the set-up that Gruvi and Usheru are introducing in order to convert likes and shares into sales. According to Downes, advertising campaigns must be linked to actions and behaviours, those actions must be measured and tracked for trends, and the analytics must be focused on behaviour and what a person did or is likely to do. A consistent feedback and learning loop is also vital for securing the rich data relating to this process.

You can watch the full presentation by clicking here.

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