Make data your MVP for delivering next-gen fan experiences

make data your MVP

Without fans — their attention, their reactions, and their support — the stories we tell, the games we play, and the events we enjoy don’t fully come to life. Media and entertainment brands know the power of personal stories and human connection, but not all have nailed down the art of creating dynamic, hyper-personalized fan and audience experiences.

Powering personalized experiences in real time at the scale of millions takes a special MVP on your team — data. If you can capture zero and first-party data, you can use it to attract and hold the attention of your fans with next-gen experiences that turn every engagement into entertainment.

“Personal” means different things to different people

Experiences mean more to people than products do, which is why fans are always looking to capitalize on the best experience possible. Experience expectations are different for everyone. Someone viewing the big game from home is likely to have different priorities than someone sitting in the scout seats behind home plate. When creating head-turning experiences for fans, it helps to prepare for these expectations in advance.

Meeting fan expectations typically falls into one of four categories:

Fan-worthy experiences are driven by meaningful data

The more you know about your fans, the more you can cater the experience to their unique preferences using data as your guide. As we move toward a cookieless future, the hold companies have on some data is in jeopardy. It will no longer be possible to gather insights into fan behavior and preferences by collecting passive, third-party data. To keep your finger on the pulse of your fandom, you’ll need to make the switch to a first- and zero-party data strategy.

The good news is fans will willingly give you their information if it means they get a more valuable, personalized experience.

data personalization for media and entertainment

Your go-to data sources

First-party data is collected directly from customers and includes demographic information, purchase history, website activity, transaction history, email engagement, feedback, interests, and behavior. It can be captured passively on your owned channels.

SkyUK, a leading UK-based telecommunications and digital entertainment brand, is taking full advantage of first-party data. With Adobe’s help, SkyUK uses data and AI to collect information about customers’ habits, such as their favorite television programming and who in the household is watching certain genres, to provide conversation starters for customer service representatives. Marketers have a better understanding of the customer at the outset and can spend more time on customer concerns and offering relevant services.

Zero-party data is a component of first-party data that accounts for the information a customer proactively shares — such as preferences and specific interests like a favorite team, player, who they like to watch the game with, and more.

“To keep your finger on the pulse of your fandom, you’ll need to make the switch to a first- and zero-party data strategy.”

Your data strategy should strengthen your relationship with customers. For example, you might gather valuable data points and ask fans directly about their preferences with a survey or quiz in exchange for early access to an upcoming event, ticket discounts, exclusive content, or a VIP experience.

You can use this data to drive fan engagement. The PGA TOUR is a great example of data-driven personalization at scale. Personalization across the TOUR’s digital platforms allows fans to identify their favorite players, pin their heroes to a leaderboard, and explore a feed-based, customized experience centered around those players — all in the app.

Dig deeper into the data

Data serves multiple purposes. It elevates the fan experience and moves the needle on your business goals — but only if it’s meaningful.

Here’s how to decide what data you need:

Keep it simple

All that data is only valuable if you have the right tools to access and act on it. Simplifying data collection and streamlining activation have huge benefits for your fans and your bottom line. Tying data to individual customers with a CDP is key to uncovering even more valuable insights about each fan. With that centralized foundation in place, you then have the power to create personalized experiences at scale in real time, across all your channels.

Every experience is a chance to entertain

It takes a strong data foundation to power personalization at scale and deliver the type of experience that gets your fans closer to the action, to their passions, to the excitement. In return, they’ll give you a lifetime of loyalty.

Learn more about how to create unforgettable fan experiences by reading the full guide.

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