Live entertainment company Stage Entertainment produces thousands of performances each year across Europe, with millions of people accessing information and ticketing for productions via Stage Entertainment websites.
But as Stage’s Director of E-Commerce International Mohammed Brueckner shared at this year’s Acquia Engage Europe, the customer experience that used to begin in the theatre now begins on the web.
Stage Entertainment focuses on giving audiences exceptional, immersive experiences with its productions, but in recent years audiences and expectations have changed.
“Previously, there was more of a distinction between offline and offline, so the true ‘experience’ didn’t begin until you got to the venue — your online presence was simply about being able to be found and being functional,” Mohammed said. “These days, your website is the starting point of your overall brand experience, and needs to be more of a destination that sets the tone for what customers may experience at a performance.”
To be competitive, Mohammed insists, your digital presence needs to be dynamic and flexible and responsive to a customer’s context. The only thing that can really differentiate Stage Entertainment from a mass market wholesaler who competes on ticket price is how they sell.
With these market dynamics in mind, Stage Entertainment realised its online portal wasn’t as engaging as it needed to be. Additionally, each European region had its own locally developed and managed website, meaning there were a number of standalone vendors and suppliers involved and no streamlined consumer experience platform.
Audit Gathers Stakeholders, Identifies Requirements
Stage Entertainment began on its change journey, conducting an audit of its current digital assets/properties and an analysis of what they ideally needed, including an ideation session that brought together the managers of various regional websites. As a result of these activities, the company was able to identify a number of key requirements for the new site, including:
- Employ personalisation and allowed for experimentation.
- Greater reliability and durability of their digital presence.
- Centralised on a single platform to ensure delivery of consistent experiences.
Acquia Lift and Inviqa Deliver Solutions
Ultimately, Stage Entertainment chose Acquia Lift as its platform, and tapped Inviqa as it partner on the project. After leading discovery workshops, Inviqa ultimately created a new content architecture for Stage Entertainment which captured all of the individual sources of content and mapped it through to where content would actually be used – whether that was on the website, in-theatre displays, back of seat displays, etc.
“This central delivery platform meant that regional content creators didn’t have to worry about creating a website design from scratch with each production — all they needed to think about was the content, and the system would ensure that it was distributed to all of the right places,” said Myles Davidson, director of content management practice at Inviqa.
The new architecture also supported the greater personalisation Stage Entertainment wanted.
Using the model Inviqa created, Stage Entertainment could develop personas that took into account where in the journey different personas would be interacting with the brand, allowing Stage Entertainment to offer truly tailored experiences with relevant content.
“We are building up our personalisation capabilities, rather than going for the ‘big bang’ straight away,” said Mohammed, emphasising Stage Entertainment’s focus on starting small and working with more easily-accessible data first.
200 Percent Increase in Conversions
Inviqa helped roll out new show “Anastasia,” launching the site within six weeks, and the results were incredible. Metrics show that a whopping 200 percent increase in conversions as well as a 27 percent increase in time on site and a site load time 50 percent lower than the previous site.
The success of the “Anastasia” roll out helped show internal stakeholders what’s possible with the new framework, as well as delivering some key learnings for the wider change project.
The smooth roll out of the first show made the whole team feel confident in tackling the full platform roll out, which is currently occurring.