After a long search comparing competing alternatives, the Trail Blazers chose Marketo Engage just prior to the 2013/2014 season. That allowed them to rapidly build different types of campaigns targeting different demographics and fan types at various points in the customer journey.
“The software was very easy to adopt,” says Ircandia. “We were able to pick it up really quickly and start messaging to our fans, which was huge to us.”
With the implementation of Marketo Engage into their Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the Trail Blazers’ service team now has an accurate version of customer behavior and whether email messages to their fans are not getting opened. They can then use those insights to determine whether it warrants a follow-up phone call or email. The Trail Blazers have also implemented Marketo Engage forms throughout the team website that promptly informs sales managers when they get filled out. The information gets sent into the CRM with the designation of “extremely hot lead” for immediate phone follow-up.
“Building a 360-degree view of our fans helps us increase engagement and build life-long fans who love coming to our property,” says Ircandia.
The results: A record 96% of its season ticket holders renewed this year as the Trail Blazers reported a 9% year-over-year increase in season ticket sales. Engagement numbers also climbed sharply: The Trail Blazers’ side of the business registered a 45% email open rate while on the concert side, they ran around 25%.
The Trail Blazers also credit Marketo Engage for a 75% open rate when the renewal email campaign went out to season ticket holders. The improved conversion rates included an added bonus, helping to foster more trust and cohesion between the Trail Blazers’ marketing, analytics, and ticket sales operations. In the past, leads that got served were often not qualified. The organization says it now has a very accurate way to gauge where fans are in that journey and when might be the optimal times for conversion.
Looking forward to the next season, Ircandia says that “the team is confident that our marketing and data infrastructure will help us deliver our best results to date. Marketo Engage is a huge part of this.”