Ask the Audience: Promotional Offers

Ask the Audience

Ask the Audience is a monthly feature from Film Journal International and National CineMedia (NCM) that allows you to ask an audience of 5,000 frequent moviegoers, known as NCM’s Behind the Screens panel, the pressing questions of our industry.

Marketing is a fundamental part of any successful business model, but it can sometimes be difficult to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. Knowing whether or not the ideas you have implemented are driving your customers to visit your theatre more often or spend more money while they are there is crucial to success. So, we decided to ask the audience which promotional techniques were most effective in getting them to head to the theatre, and what they would like to see in the future.

85% of the Behind the Screens panelists say they would go to the movies more frequently if there were more promotions available, and 75% would spend more money if they felt like a deal was giving them a good value. 45% said discounted tickets was the most appealing promotion, so finding creative ways to offer ticket discounts that drive traffic at typically slower times could be a win-win situation. For example, you may already offer discounts on matinee tickets, but the panelists were also interested in promotions that offer lower ticket prices for late-night movies. Other ticketing incentives that interested our moviegoers included waived convenience fees online, discounted movie upgrades, and priority access to the best seats in the theatre.

Discounts on concessions also ranked high on the list of promotions customers value most, which opens up a wide range of promotional possibilities. 39% ranked the classic popcorn and soda combo deal as the most valuable, followed by other package deals such as a hot food item and drink, or popcorn, soda and candy. Concessions packages are a tried and true method in our industry, but finding new combos could be an effective way to convince your customers to spend a few extra bucks.

When asked what kinds of promotions they’d like to see added to their local theatre, 75% answered that they would like to see discounts available for students, seniors or military members. 71% were interested in corporate deals, such as partnerships with credit card companies to offer movie rewards. Millennials were twice as likely as older generations to be very interested in add-ons such as the chance to win an exclusive movie-themed prize or get a movie poster or other promotional item with their purchase. While there are certainly countless creative marketing campaigns you could utilize, it looks like there is still value in some of the classics.

Moviegoers respond most to promotions that appeal to their desire to find a great experience for an even better value. By tailoring your messaging to the frugal movie fan, you can make your marketing campaigns that much more effective.

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To submit a question, email with your name, company, contact information,and what you would like to ask the Behind the Screens panel.