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SeatGeek tries retargeting to trigger ticket sales

November 27, 2013

SeatGeek's iPhone app

Mobile ticketing aggregator SeatGeek is leveraging mobile advertising to retarget consumers that have downloaded the company’s application to drive repeat traffic and sales.

The company began testing mobile retargeting initiatives in October and within the past two weeks is now running a full-blown mobile advertising campaign. SeatGeek is working with Urx on this retargeting campaign.

“Ticketing is an area that hasn’t seen a lot of innovation in the mobile app marketplace,” said Russ D’Souza, founder of SeatGeek, New York.

“For us it represents a unique opportunity because we can define ourselves as being the mobile ticketing company, and we want to be on the forefront of that not only from a product standpoint, but also in terms of leveraging every new marketing opportunity,” he said.

“Given that mobile app installs are worth a lot to us already, we can supplement that value and then transfer that value by having a retargeting strategy.”

SeatGeek is a search engine aggregator that crawls ticketing services such as eBay and Ticketmaster to help consumers find the best deal on entertainment and sports tickets.

Driving ticket sales

SeatGeek is running mobile ads within apps and sites that retarget consumers who have browsed SeatGeek’s iPhone app.

The ads are running within Craiglist, Scramble Free, Chess – Play and Learn and Dream League Soccer mobile properties and are served through real-time bidding exchanges.

For instance, a consumer that was previously looking up tickets to a Boston Red Sox game within the company’s app can be targeted with an ad specific to the game, enticing the consumer to click back to SeatGeek’s app and buy the tickets.

SeatGeek’s mobile ad

Essentially, SeatGeek sends Urx information on mobile users’ IDs of consumers that are browsing on the company’s app. Urx then uses SeatGeek’s API to pull all of the information about an event into a mobile ad.

Retargeting is still a nascent area of mobile, but what is interesting about how SeatGeek is using mobile is that the ads are based on exact pages that consumers have browsed previously in the company’s app.

There are two types of metrics that SeatGeek is using to measure its retargeting efforts: A click-through conversion and influencing brand awareness to eventually drive a consumer back to the mobile app to buy tickets.

SeatGeek’s iPhone app

Future efforts
SeatGeek launched its Android app earlier this week and is in the process of developing an Android app install strategy.

Besides retargeting, SeatGeek is investing in Facebook ads to acquire new users.

However, getting a consumer to simply download an app is only half of an app marketing strategy. It is equally as important to get consumers to use an app regularly.

According to Mr. D’Souza, the difference between Facebook and other app targeting tactics is demand.

While a consumer is actively looking for instant information when making a mobile search, they are not in the same mindset when browsing Facebook. Therefore, marketing should be tailored to each individual platform.

“The targeting options on Facebook are more geared towards their interests,” Mr. D’Souza said.

“Targeting people that like the Boston Red Sox and when they download our app, they are at some point likely to buy a ticket, but they might not be in the mode of, ‘I need to buy a ticket now,’” he said. “We need to make sure that we stay in touch with that user.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York 

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