More Pops of the Popcorn: Cinema Marketing Unleashed

In our second DX Talks episode, our hosts, Martin and Jan, talk to guest speaker Michelle Stevens, Commercial Director at Powster, about today's opportunities and challenges of cinema marketing. With such a broad topic at hand, we aim to explore how moviegoing behaviours have shifted, talk about consumer attention and engagement, and share our insights on cinema marketing tactics and how to leverage the digital to grab that attention.

Tune in to find out more about:
Why “one size fits all” is obsolete for digital marketing
2. How to leverage influencer marketing, local media, and the excitement of fans
3. Examples from independent cinemas experimenting with event marketing, real-time marketing, merchandise, and more
4. Ideas you can test at your cinema, without extensive marketing resources

About our guest
Michelle Stevens is the Commercial Director at Powster with a background across a variety of sectors, including cinema, XR, digital, OOH and events. She has worked in the cinema sector for approximately 15 years, including cinema advertising and distribution, before joining Digital Creative Studio, Powster, in 2020. The common theme running through all her cinema industry roles is a passion for selling the immersive nature of the big screen and its content, the opportunities for innovation and creativity, and cinema's power to engage.

In this episode, we cover:

00:00 Introduction
03:16 Considerations on audience engagement and the latest news in the cinema industry (Nostradamus Report 2023, the return of
12:00 Intro to Powster (digital creative studio), work with distributors and fan engagement

20:15  CineEurope's panel: ICTA session on "How can cinemas prepare for the next wave of marketing innovations: Social, AI and AR" and the challenges of digital marketing for cinemas
- There’s no one size fits all answer to digital marketing
- You don’t have to be on all channels, but be where your audience is
- Independent cinemas have limited resources
- Moviegoing is still dwindling as ticket prices go up and the need for more than just “seeing a film” is ever present

31:55 Current trends around cinema going, challenges to overcome, and potential creative solutions
- Collaboration with local micro-influencers/ dissemination partnerships
- Access to custom-made media assets, trailers, SM-content, etc (depends on type of cinema)
- More involvement of talent in exhibitor marketing
- More ongoing planning and evaluation of marketing collaborations
- Central ticketing platform for specialised/arthouse cinemas
- Better CRM and loyalty programmes
- Reseller strategies for third parties
- Tools to drive user generated content creation from audiences
- Experiments with vouchers and pricing
- More insights, case studies and evaluations of "eventisation"-strategies

46:12 Cinema marketing ideas, examples, and solutions for independent cinemas
- Experimenting with time-based discounting for movie tickets
- Creative “instagrammable” spaces at your cinema (the foyer, the bathroom, etc.)
- Working with local influencers to capture fan engagement and enthusiasm
- Having fun on social media with limited resourcesUsing cinema staff as ambassadors

01:01:05 Recap and final thoughts
- Adjust to people's patterns of behaviour
- Target them at the right time and the right place
- Be agile
- Don’t think it through too much, but have fun and experiment


Discover the resources mentioned in our talk and more:
Goteborg Film Festival’s Nostradamus Report 2023 launched at Cannes this year
The return of​​
CineEurope 2023
, ICTA session: How can cinemas prepare for the next wave of marketing innovations: Social, AI and AR facilitated by Michelle Stevens
OMDIA Content Tracker report: North American box office stats
All Eyes On Audiences, GfK report for the German Cinema Association, 2023 (full report in German here) and their membership plan in The Netherlands
Prince Charles Cinema, Coronation Day 2023 viral campaign
Cineworld and Big George Foreman creative social promo
Vue viral post — A completely empty screen and where do they choose to sit? Of course…
Powster’s creative activation for Evil Dead Rise
April Fool’s Day real-time event at Drafthouse Cinema

Event cinema that caters to niche audiences e.g. knitting club, book club, cocktails night, etc.

Engaging the local community through shared passions

Case studies on cinema marketing on our blog

Be sure to follow our us as we're planning on launching a #cinemamarketing eBook soon.

See you in September for our next episode! Until then, don’t forget to:
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