Thursday, April 22, 2010

King Lear Breaks Out His Mobile

A Text for Tickets Case Study

People's Light & Theatre wanted to reach out to a new demographic -- high school students-- for their production of Shakespeare's "King Lear". They had relationships with area schools and performed special dress rehearsals for several field-tripping schools.

The question People's Light & Theatre asked themselves ( we love it when clients ask the right questions) was "If we offer free tickets, what medium will high school kids gravitate towards in order to reserve and redeem tickets?"

The answer was as obvious to them as it was to Unwired Appeal: Text messaging!

So the directors asked the actors to break character at the end of each dress rehearsal and exhort the crowd:"If you want to come to the real performance? Take out your cell phone and text 'King Lear' to 47647 for free tickets to our next show!"

Out of the 4,200 students who attended the shows, 140 placed orders for a total of 451 tickets. Of those tickets, 263 were redeemed, for a whopping 58% conversion rate.

Those types of conversion numbers are not unheard of in the mobile marketing space, but they are an order of magnitude higher than what "old school" (direct mail, broadcast advertising) marketeers are used to. And they certainly prove a point for the efficacy of marketing through mobile for the youth demographic: If mobile phones can get high school kids to show up for Shakespeare, what can they get your target market to do?