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Workshop: D is for Data

Workshop: D is for Data

Hosts: Chris Carey, Media Insight Consulting (UK)
& Don Pawley, Ticketmaster INTERNATIONAL

Data plays an increasingly integral part in the promoting and talent booking process, but how to use it? Two experts discuss the tools and techniques needed to successfully manage data.

Chris Carey of Media Insight Consulting opened the session declaring that, “data is all around us.” He then proceeded to debunk some myths, explaining that data is “just information” and only powerful when the right insight and intuition are applied.

Ticketmaster International’s Don Pawley took to the floor, urging listeners to “use whatever is available to improve marketing.” He stressed that well-targeted marketing is beneficial both for clients and companies, as “good recommendations engender customer loyalty.”

Making it easy for fans to provide data, and encouraging them to state their preferences, helps to refine marketing and increase relevance. External data collection tools are also useful, “Google analytics and the equivalent tools are what everybody should be using,” advised Pawley.

Pawley explained that Ticketmaster attempts to marry each customer profile to specific events and artists, using data science to predict customer behaviour. “Digital tickets are going to move things on for us,” said Pawley, speaking of the access to other attendees’ data, and not just that of the lead ticket buyer, once tickets have been forwarded on.

“Understand in detail what happened recently in a world you understand”

Carey then spoke about big data, the principles of which he explained worked from grass-roots to industry level. Carey stressed the need to think about motivations and outcomes before employing data tools, as “the value of having an estimation helps to get the best out of the whole process.”

In terms of emerging talent and predicting future success, Carey admitted that data has its limitations because music is “so intangible.” The important thing, is understanding the level of engagement of a certain fanbase, as “different signals have different powers,” said Carey. A fan hearing a song in a “random playlist” is much less engaged than one actively seeking it out.

“Understand in detail what happened recently in a world you understand,” advised Carey, before you attempt to predict the future.

In the past, access to the original information was where the advantage lay but now data is much more widely available. Nowadays, “being smart with how you use this data is the next step towards having the competitive advantage,” explained Carey.