Remember the Alamo… app

Introduction:

Alamo Drafthouse began with a search for the ultimate movie lover’s movie viewing experience, and that search is what drives it still today. The founders wanted to create the ultimate movie going experience and share it with those who appreciate film as much as they do. In a way, they are the best people to run such a business, because they are their own clientele, and know exactly what their customers want better than anyone.

Content Analysis:

The Alamo Drafthouse Ticketing App only has a few calls to action.

  • Pre-order tickets
  • Order tickets online
  • Create/use a Victory account

When it comes to content opportunities on the app, the most impactful is the description of films currently showing. Alamo takes full advantage of this content field, using every sentence of film descriptions to convey their brand personality. The descriptions reflect the passion for film that Alamo has, and wants to instill in its audience. The app also has a feature that allows users to locate nearby locations, and to see show times based on those locations.Image 1Image 2

As far as encouraging loyalty, the app allows for users to utilize, or create their Alamo Drafthouse Victory account. This account helps track purchases, eases the electronic checkout process, and implements a rewards system based on customer interactions with the brand. By allowing for these accounts in the app Alamo ensures that customers have a seamless experience across all of the brand’s digital interfaces, and provides an incentive for repeat business.

When looking at their website and social media feeds there is no mention of the app. The only push to promote the app is found on their mobile site. The calls to action on the other platforms focus on the following.Image 4Image

  • Purchase tickets online
  • See new releases
  • See special screenings
  • Attend special events and presentations

Alamo’s mobile website utilizes responsive design to great effect. The interface on mobile contains all the content of the native site, while presenting it in a way that lends itself well to mobile layouts. The website and mobile site offer information on promotional events and stories providing content which stimulates audience engagement while also offering the service of online ticket purchases. While the app offers the service of electronic ticket purchases and store location finders, it looks and feels completely different from the brand’s other digital interfaces, and offers nothing new to the user. This does little to add value to the engagement between the brand and its audience aside from simply offering a convenient location to purchase tickets from.

The physical location’s efforts to promote the app were on par with its digital media. There were no signs promoting the app. When asked, employees seemed to assume that there was an app, and what its purpose was, but they did not go out of their way to push for its use. While this is troubling if you invested greatly in the app, with this brand it may be more beneficial since there is a well-established mobile site that already renders the services that the app offers.

Recommendations/Conclusion:

If it is the brand’s goal to connect its audience with the app, then there are several things to do. First and foremost there needs to be visible promotion of the app both in store, and online.

In Store

  • Signs at the ticket counter encouraging customers to download the app highlighting the benefits of Victory membership, and informing them that it would allow them to skip the lines during future visits.
  • Promotional clips could be played during the previews of films showcasing the apps uses, and perhaps connecting them with a new function on the app that provides a “theater mode” setting, meant to be used when viewing films at Alamo Drafthouse, that offers rewards to customers while also encouraging them to adhere to the theaters zero tolerance policy for mobile devices during showings.
  • Employees need to be encouraged to promote the app, and to help connect customers to the services that it provides. Not harassing patrons with constant requests to download the app, but informing them of the benefit that using the app will have on their experience at Alamo Drafthouse.

Online

  • On the native site there should be a promotion for the app by the ticket purchasing tab, as well as in the process to purchase tickets, informing users of their purchasing options for when they are on the go.
  • Promotional posts via social media that individually showcase the app’s functions, and the benefits that the app could bring users. These posts would be part of a campaign to not only encourage use of the app, but to bring in more patrons to the theater. The campaign would be called “To the Alamo”, and utilize the hashtag #ToTheAlamo. Posts would be made once a week on Friday afternoons to encourage the audience to go to the Alamo for their weekend fun, while offering a service to make the process easier.
  • Collecting user testimonies about their experience on the app. Offer incentives for users to share their stories, the winners get the incentives and their content gets featured on the brands social platforms.

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is doing next to nothing to capitalize on the investment made in their app, implementing any of these initiatives would go far to help create audience engagement on their mobile platform.

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