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Exclusive inclusivity – Part two: Feeding our social needs

What motivates consumers to attend specific arts, entertainment or sports programming? Recent behavioral research has identified consumer tendencies towards products and experiences which reflect their ideal self-image.

We’ve always been driven by a need for self-actualization and self-fulfillment. We chose to participate in activities and events that bolster our ideal self-image. Are you an Eagles-loving NFL fan, or is an NBA game and DJ Khaled concert more your style?

What’s different today is that we have the social tools that enable these needs: we constantly curate and define our image via our social channels. Our social content says to the world: “here’s who I am.”

But here’s the catch: while we want to stand out from the pack and be seen as individuals, we also tend to seek experiences where we’ll be among our peers and where we’ll feel comfortable.

How does this impact arts, entertainment and sports marketing? The best entertainment marketing communicates “exclusive inclusivity”. It creates an attitude and image that sets the experience apart as unique but that also mirrors the attitude of the target audience. It says “you’re unique, but you’ll also fit in”. It taps into the psychographic needs of its target audience and encourages us to feel good about our decision to attend and about sharing the experience with others.

Our self-image changes over time – as do our entertainment choices. Field Day’s annual research shows clear and predictable differences in our live entertainment choices based on age, gender, education and geographic location. And those differences are influenced by our psychographic needs. The illustration below shows the differences in entertainment choices of an urban female millennial vs a suburban male boomer.

Tapping into the needs, motivations and idealized self-image of your target demographic and creating an atmosphere of “exclusive inclusivity” is key to marketing success.

Exclusive inclusivity – Part one: Why we attend

If you’re marketing an event, attraction, sport, museum or arts performance, the odds are you’ve gathered demographic data on your customer, and you have a fairly good idea of WHO attends.

But do you know WHY they attend?

If you don’t understand why people engage with your programming your marketing may fail to connect with your audience.

Why do we “attend”? What drives us to get up off the couch, purchase a ticket and go to a play, a gallery, an event or a game? It’s the desire to satisfy deep-set and often intangible values which the participant may not fully understand or be able to articulate.

Until recently, even researchers couldn’t agree on our motivations. One comprehensive research project stated that the most cited motivations for leisure experiences were pleasure and escapism. Another research paper said that the key factors were a shared experience and social engagement. Yet another paper said that consumers were drawn to challenging and socially-engaged leisure activities.

A 2011 study by University of Leeds White Rose University Consortium concluded that “the complex motivations of theatre audiences remain unclear.”

And yet, in the past decade, we’re starting to see patterns emerge in consumer behaviour research. Recent research identifies consumer tendency towards products and experiences which reflect their ideal self-image. This applies equally to packaged goods and ticketed attractions.

This may seem like a shift in motivation, but we’ve always been driven by a need for self-actualization and self-fulfillment – as psychologist Abraham Maslow noted in 1943 in his Hierarchy of Needs.

What’s different in the 21st century is that we have social tools that enable these needs: we constantly curate and define our self-image via our social channels. Twenty years ago when we visited a museum or went to a game, we likely only shared that information with a small circle of family and friends. In 2019, our every activity is shared – often with people whose only contact with us is via social media, and who form their image of us based on the content we share. We have the ability to shape our image via this content – and therefore by the cultural, entertainment and sports activities we choose to attend.

WATCH FOR PART 2 COMING SOON: “Exclusive Inclusivity”: How arts, sports and entertainment can feed our social needs.

Do calories count?

If you’re a Canadian adult in 2019, they definitely do. More than ever, we’re watching what we eat: making healthy food choices and reducing our caloric intake. In Field Day’s annual study of fast food trends, the “range of healthy food options” and “food that meets my dietary needs” have increased in importance each year.

Quick serve and fast casual restaurants are modifying their menus to respond to changing consumer tastes, but there’s more they can do. In an industry where the quality of customer service is a key consumer influencer, restaurant chains can better serve their customers by making it easy to select a meal that meets their dietary requirements.

As part of our work as marketing agency for the nationwide chain, Quesada Burritos & Tacos, Field Day developed an innovative “nutrition calculator”. Visitors to the Quesada website can quickly and easily put together their favourite meal and see the nutritional data including calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, fibre, sugar and protein. The calculator also lets consumers filter their choices by over a dozen dietary and allergen criteria including vegan, vegetarian, peanut, dairy, gluten, and more.

While calorie data is currently only required on menus in Ontario, it’s only a matter of time until other provinces follow suit. Regardless of whether or not a customer is monitoring their caloric intake, the nutrition calculator reinforces Quesada’s brand position as a company that cares about the well-being and health of its customers. It’s the type of value-add that will win the respect and loyalty of customers.

Try the Quesada nutrition calculator here: https://www.quesada.ca/nutrition/

Field Day can develop similar web-based technology for your QSR chain. Give us a call to discuss.