Do you think it sounds confusing if we say that Kulturbolaget uses three different ticket systems? That the number of concerts is more than 200 every year and that they should be marketed to both young and old, hard rockers and hip-hoppers, and Malmö residents as well as northerners? Think again. With a customer data platform that brings together all ticket buyers, events and marketing tools, it's anything but messy. It's even smooth, safe and user-friendly. And the customer understanding has never been sharper.

Knocked Loose. Photo: Grant Murdoch Purdy.

From Erikslust in Malmö to grand concerts and festivals – KB has attracted audiences and more than 3,000 artists for over 40 years

Wow, wow, wow. Kulturbolaget (KB) is not like any other club. It's a business that has existed for over 40 years – where it all started at Erikslust in Malmö in 1982 when The Cramps almost swallowed the microphone during their performance – and which has become an internationally well-known venue. As one of Scandinavia's oldest organizers, it has attracted over 3,000 artists. And it's not just a lot of artists, but big ones too. Surely you recognize names like Britney Spears, Ryan Adams, Björn Skifs, The Soundtrack of Our Lives and Queens of the Stone Age?

From Erikslust to the red brick house on Möllevången in 1993 – both based in Malmö. But today KB has grown as a business. They are now a significant organizer in south-west Sweden and run gigs in both Malmö and Gothenburg. The number of concerts and arenas is both more and larger, and they have also arranged festivals such as "Metaltown" and "We who love the 90s" and expanded with a new office in Gothenburg. A fascinating story, isn't it?

When we ask Grant Murdoch Purdy, marketer at KB, to tell us about KB and the kind of gigs that are done, he answers the following:

– We arrange around 200 concerts per year. There's a lot of hard rock and classic rock, but also pop, country and hip-hop. In addition to the gigs in Skåne and Gothenburg, we do some gigs and tours in Jönköping and Halmstad and all the way up to Norrland.

Kulturbolaget. Photo: Grant Murdoch Purdy.

Selects channels based on concert type, target group and profiling

Grant has had KB as a workplace since 2013. In the marketing department, there are two employees who are responsible for developing overall plans for the various concerts, producing digital ads, boosting ticket sales and carrying out various marketing activities. TikTok and Google as well as newspaper ads and newsletters are used to reach their audience.

– I've been doing releases for so many years now, so much is in the muscle memory. I have a standard plan with 8-12 steps that I usually follow, but I always have to think through which channels we should use and test, which target group we should talk to and what feeling we want to convey, says Grant.

Yes, marketing today can take place in an incredible number of ways. Vertical ads in newspapers such as Sweden Rock and Gaffa attract the attention of one type of audience, while advertising in the local press captures another. On social media like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, certain methods work best, while Google ads require a different approach.

– What channels we choose to use depends on the genre and gig we are going to market. If we want to reach an older audience, one kind of channel works best, but if we want to reach the younger audience, we have to think differently. Right now, for example, TikTok is big and we recently tested the channel. The advertising there gave really good results! That's what's so crazy about TikTok, if you hit it right, it has a huge effect, says Grant.

But, how much does KB really know about its audience? How does one practically choose channels based on target groups? And how can KB's marketing be so right on target? The answer is spelled customer data. And the customer data, is obtained through a customer data platform uniquely developed for the event and experience industry.

De lyckliga kompisarna. Photo: Grant Murdoch Purdy.

KB collects all customer data in a single system – flexible and foolproof

At KB, three different ticket systems are used: Tickster, Ticketmaster and Eventim. When a customer buys a ticket for one of the concerts that KB arranges, it is thus via one of the three ticket systems that the purchase is made. The customer information – such as name, email address and phone number – then? It also ends up in the ticket systems.

The point is, that in the ticket systems, it is not possible to find out very much about the ticket buyers and the guests. In addition, the customer lists grow every day and then having to export and import the lists from the three ticket systems to different tools in order to understand your audience or make mailings, is cumbersome. It is even time-consuming, inefficient and dated.

– We had a meeting with Erik at MarketHype just before the pandemic started to wreak havoc. We were told that we would be able to collect customer data from all ticketing systems, analyze our audience and do different email mailings – in one and the same tool. It sounded neat! During the pandemic itself there wasn't much to do for obvious reasons, but now we use MarketHype extensively, explains Grant.

MarketHype is a customer data platform and a marketing tool – both in the same system – where data from Tickster, Ticketmaster and Eventim is automatically retrieved. The data is cleaned, verified and supplemented with such things as contact information and geo-coordinator, and the registers are continuously updated. No exports and imports between different tools are needed. Of course, everything is also presented in a visual, simple way – so that KB can understand its audience and create relevant marketing.

– Before MarketHype, we had an old-fashioned system for e-mail. The templates were limited and hardcoded, and we couldn't even use emojis. Now we can be more playful and test different things. In addition, it's faster to put together the newsletters and mailings. Having all the customer data and the e-mail tool together, to avoid messing around with different systems, is very convenient, says Grant.

First Aid Kit. Photo: Grant Murdoch Purdy.

Directs its communication using the Meta connection

How then can MarketHype help KB to adapt its marketing to the target group? Well, different concerts come with different event tags. And with all visitors comes a wealth of information about age, gender, home address, events they attended, purchasing behaviors and other characteristics. In addition, various marketing efforts – such as sending out newsletters – provide statistics and information in themselves.

All this information is gathered in MarketHype. So, when KB wants to market a gig and direct its communication to, for example, a younger crowd, Grant filters out characteristics that are interesting in the context. In the filtering, he can include a particular age range and a certain event tag, but choose to exclude those who have not bought a ticket for a long time. The possibilities are many when all customer data is collected in one place.

Grant's favorite feature, the Meta coupling, ties in well with the filtering. He explains:

– The Facebook integration is used a lot! We filter out target groups in connection with advertising something on Facebook and Instagram, and we can export the target groups directly from MarketHype to Meta. Then we create look-a-likes as well. The function is incredibly smooth, it's almost like a new service!

Avatar. Photo: Grant Murdoch Purdy.

With a close eye on the customers, Grant can spend his time on the right things

KB has been a user of MarketHype ever since the company was founded in 2018. Grant thinks it's been an exciting journey, that it's fun to have been involved from the beginning and that many features have been added since they started. When we ask Grant about the effects he has noticed, he replies:

– Our understanding for our customers is much better now. We can see in which areas they live, how old they are, which gigs they go to... All this information is very important to us because it can help, confirm and give new angles for our marketing.

Grant believes that the job with newsletters has also been made easier. He mentions that the statistics from the mailings are very helpful to see if he's doing the right thing in his communication or not.

– I always check the opening rate of the mailings I send. Then I also check which links the recipients have clicked on. The most important thing is to spend time on the right things and invest in things that work, and with the statistics I learn what is actually working, concludes Grant.

The Sounds. Photo: Grant Murdoch Purdy.