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OPINION Why mobile tickets are the ‘ghostbusters’ businesses should be using

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With more and more businesses operating in a paperless environment and cashless payments set to increase with unrivalled speed year on year, it is becoming increasingly apparent that paper is rapidly losing its relevance in today’s digitised society, says Ashley Murdoch, CEO Corethree.

Expanding well beyond the initial purpose of communication, consumers are now using their smart devices for the most everyday of tasks, from monitoring personal development to grocery shopping and purchasing tickets via mobile apps. With the demise of the physical ‘ticket’, there is a distinct influx of unique data now available for businesses through the rise in m-ticket distribution.

It is highly advantageous for these businesses that consumers are no longer simply purchasing a piece of paper that provides no other data other than a debit card, or cash, needed to make the transaction. Downloading a mobile ticketing app to purchase tickets for travel or entertainment purposes means that the transaction is no longer anonymous.

This gives vendors specific information to further understand and efficiently communicate with their customers, this valuable opportunity is not simply a chance to capture an abundance of data for blanket marketing campaigns, but to create a thriving ecosystem that is mutually beneficial for both business and consumer. The user is no longer an anonymous ‘ghost’ with a paper ticket passing through a stadium or arena, but a walking source of smart data.

Many sports teams and gig ticket distributors are now tapping into these new opportunities by opting to integrate with mobile technology to enhance the user’s experience when visiting a stadium. For sports teams, it is an efficient way of keeping a track of exactly who is coming to watch the games and keeping those banned for rowdy behaviour from entering the premises; for live music events, ticket touts are faced with significant challenges when attempting to bulk-buy tickets to sell on for higher prices. For the consumer, purchasing a ticket through a mobile app is secure, quick and convenient; there is no denying the logistical benefits for both parties and indeed, these apps are undoubtedly ‘busting’ the unidentifiable ghosts that used to roam around stadium venues.

Data on a consumer’s travel patterns, shopping behaviours and even personal tastes are available through the adoption of innovative mobile payment developments, and this information provides businesses with a far more detailed portrait of exactly who is passing through the premises and what the best marketing tools to target them are.

Integral features such as gifting and sharing also play a vital part in building up a clearer picture of the consumer; if a mother purchases concert tickets for her son and his two friends, these can be sent directly to the recipient’s device, which not only eliminates any unnecessary administration for the user making the purchase but also extracts further data on the ticket holders as opposed to three tickets being issued under one name.

Equally, once a stadium is entirely aware of who is searching for or purchasing tickets for an event, it is infinitely simpler for the business to manage its own capacity with the ability to collaborate with a transport operator or music brand to motivate a consumer to attend a showing at a different venue. For example, if the vendor has the information that a consumer is based in Hampshire, but looking to buy tickets to a show in London that is currently running at a higher capacity than another tour date in an alternative location, the ticket vendor has the opportunity to link with transport operators or retailers to encourage the user to purchase tickets for an event at the second venue with an incentivised offer pre-established with the partnered business as a reward.

Mobile ticketing apps are also a dynamic means of offering pre and post event content to consumers, which can be tailored to various markets. A teenage girl with a ticket to see her favourite pop star may be more than happy to offer up further data in exchange for exclusive video content of backstage, whereas an older football-goer may sign up to a mobile forum to dissect the match; these bespoke offers utilised to capture data would be far more difficult to execute without the prior knowledge of the consumer extracted from the initial mobile app ticket purchase.

Indeed, the evidence is clear that mobile technology is playing a significant role in helping businesses to stay ahead of the competition, not least with the behavioural insights on a consumer that are available through integration with mobile ticketing apps. With the adoption of m-tickets increasing at an ever faster rate, we can expect to see these technologies become instrumental to the way businesses grow and develop their customer bases.

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