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TOPIC: Spreading the word

Spreading the word 17 Feb 2001 08:14 #1239

  • Mike
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At The Colonial Theatre we promote the schedule each week by...
1. 2 answering machines
2. posters outside
3. marquee signage
4. current weekly schedules in a "take one" box outside.
5. 6 newspaper ads in different papers
6. web site
7. e-mail to 1100 subscribers
8. 8 x 11 weekly posters put up by a route person in 75 in-town and out of town locations.
9. when we do our fall and winter art film series we mail that to 600 subscribers.

What are we missing? What other tools do you use to get people to know about the movies you're showing?

Mike Hurley
www.bigscreenbiz.com
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Re: Spreading the word 17 Feb 2001 16:08 #1240

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Mike:

A few questions and comments about advertising.

Those 8 x 11 weekly posters that you put in 75 different locations. Where exactly do you put them, how do you make them, and what do they cost. Also what do you give to have them displayed at those locations? Passes, money, nothing? Do you think that they are worth all the effort. I couldn't imagine doing that in this area.

We use to advertise every day in one daily newspaper, weekends only in another daily, Friday only in a third daily plus a much larger ad in two weeklies. We now advertise five days in the largest and closest daily, have given up on the other two dailes completely, but still are in the two weeklies. In doesn't seem to have had any real effect on our business. The big dailies now charge around $50.00 per col. inch, even more on Sunday, and that is just more then we can afford. Can you imagine paying almost $50.00 for a tiny 1 col. x 1 in. ad on a weekday and only taking in $75.00 to $100.00 at the box office. Since we stopped running the weekday ads our business has dropped slightly, but less then the cost of the ad...so we are ahead while doing less business.

Most of the big chains have stopped advertising on at least two of the weekdays as well.

How long did it take you to gather 1100 e-mail subscribers, and did you do it only inhouse....signup in the lobby or what?

We still don't recieve a lot of hits on our website... about 25 to 30 per day, but it is slowly building. Most, I'd say about 80% of our clientele is over 40, and half of those are over 60, and many of them don't have computers let alone internet access. As long as we must count on the older segment as our prime patrons, the internet won't become our major advertising source.

I don't think that you are missing anything...maybe wasting money in some areas that you don't need or don't get enough return from. However, only you can gage that. Different things work in different ways in different communities. There is no one right or wrong formula for the entire country.


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Re: Spreading the word 17 Feb 2001 17:11 #1241

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We do the following.

Everyday in the local daily paper.
We run a lot of coop with the studios.
Every week in two weekly papers.
Telephone Showtime recording with a voice messaging service. (Unlimited calls answered)
We sponser a couple of public radio shows.
We have a public radio movie club.
We have a Gay Man's movie club.
We have a Jewish film series.
We have a 800 subscriber email letter.
There's the Web-site. (With the same problems Avalon talks about.)
We list with 10 other websites. (Some we know and some we don't.)
Posters, Trailers, postcards.
We print about 500 flyers each week. (They are very popular.)

We discovered that most people use the daily paper and the telephone system. If either of those is wrong, we hear about it more often. The bizaare thing is that people use the listing from not this days paper. They use Thursday or Sunday's.

[This message has been edited by Large (edited February 17, 2001).]
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Re: Spreading the word 17 Feb 2001 20:16 #1242

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Roxie I want to write a book with you! You are good.

Old people are heavy hitting e-mailers. Their kids have set them up and they use it big time. Don't underestimate that.

Our posters are made from clip art and on the computer, photo copied. We have a person who does a in town walkabout. Three others do a route on their way home and another guy delivers newspapers to stores so for a free pass each week he puts up a bunch. The posters go in every place that'll have them. Outside of town they are in convenience stores... don't forget I'm in a small town.

The newspapers here that we advertise in are all weeklies. The daily was TOOOOOOOOOO expensive! As it is we spend a lot of money on print each week. you'll laugh... 150.00 or so.

The e-mail list! We walked around town and traded gift (20.00) certificates with ten places... books, cook shop, hardware, shoe, toy store, etc. These were the drawing prizes.

We printed 2500 tickets. With every ticket sold we gave them a prize ticket to fill in (and it had an e-mail!!! address spot). The first time we did this we gathered 500 + addresses. Our web site has an automatic collectore which urges you to sign up.

The interesting part of the 2500 tiks we gave out was that we mapped it out for demographics/residents/locale "may I have your zip code please!" and we quickly saved advertising $ when we realized we were spending far too much in one area.



Mike Hurley
www.bigscreenbiz.com
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Re: Spreading the word 21 Feb 2001 11:45 #1243

  • dr
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Hey Roxie, I just wanted to pass on something I read in the local paper this morning. It stated that the internet was being used by more then half of the adult population, with an additional 16 million new users last year alone.

Three-quarters of the younger population,12-17 had internet access.

The adult online population has hit 56 percent, that roughly translates into about 104 million adults.

Where am I going with this you might ask. Its just that I think that 104 million adults is pretty impressive and therefore I wouldn't hesitate to use the internet to advertise.
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Re: Spreading the word 21 Feb 2001 17:37 #1244

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dr

I saw that same article. I agree... the internet is the future of advertising, and I will not hesitate to CONTINUE using it. That is why I have a website. It is being totally redone at the present time. I just don't think it is my prime source at the present, but hope that will change over the next several years.

In case you have never seen our present one, you can check it out at www.roxytheaternorthampton.com
The new one will be much more colorful, with animation and music, and have a lot more dimension then this first one that I made.
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Re: Spreading the word 21 Feb 2001 17:45 #1245

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Hey Mike:

What kind of book should we write?

I'm in the middle of one now... about the history of all the theatres that were in our town. It should be out next year for our centenial.
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Re: Spreading the word 21 Feb 2001 20:47 #1246

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Marketing on the Internet.

We don’t seem to have a lot of traffic on our web site. In the past 20 days we have had 10,126 people buy tickets at our theatre. So we are averaging 500 people per day at the Rialto. I checked our statistics for our website for the past 20 days and this is what I found. We are getting 45 hits per day on our front page. This front page has all the show times and pricing information. But because both my business partner and I have our browser’s home page as our website’s home page we may account for as many as 10 hits per day for just us. We are getting 5.5 hits per day on our Coming Soon page and 4 hits per day on our About Rialto page.

We have printed our website address on all of our paperwork. It is on our business cards, in our print advertising, on our flyers that we distribute at the theatre and in our weekly email that we send to about 800 subscribers. After a year in operation, most search engines will direct you to our site if you type in the name correctly: Rialto Cinemas Lakeside. Now it is a success that we have signed up 800 subscribers for our weekly email letter. All those addresses came from either the web page or our in lobby sign-up sheets. We built it simple and uncomplicated so that it would load fast with a modem. There are no flash or popup menus. We didn’t want to turn anybody off before the page loaded.
http://www.rialtocinemas.com

We do list our show times on at least 10 other websites. Some we know about and some we don’t. Every month somebody tells us of a website that lists our show times that we didn’t know about. I guess they get them from the listing service that places our Yahoo and Hollywood Online show times. Our show times are listed in the San Francisco area, in Santa Rosa’s online newspaper and radio station listings. In our county there is a fellow who was the first to list movie times and his sites are very popular. I have asked him for how many hits he gets and will post that number here when he responds.

So, my conclusion is that the Internet is very important to market our theatre. There are unknown amounts of people getting the show information from an unknown selection of different websites. We have 800 people getting a letter from us in their inbox each and every week. From personal experience I know that they are getting a cursory look each week. But the hits on the website are disappointing. It’s important to maintain and to update each week, but it isn’t our prime marketing vehicle. It is still Newspapers and Answering Machines (We use Pac-Bell voice messaging).
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Re: Spreading the word 22 Feb 2001 19:10 #1247

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[This message has been edited by Large (edited February 23, 2001).]
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Re: Spreading the word 22 Feb 2001 19:12 #1248

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As promised, I said I would post the information from what I think is our county's best web recourse for movie show times and information. The site is called the Sonoma County Movie Guy and he runs the show times for his page, the local daily paper and two local radio stations. He sent me his stats page, which I thought was very trusting of him.
http://www.sonomamovies.com/

He is getting about 75,000 hits per month, or 636 hits per day. He services several towns. The Santa Rosa page with all the show times on it is getting 697 hits per month and our theatre page is getting 375 hits per month. So our theatre page is getting less hits on his web site than our website is getting. I find this very interesting. I thought it would be more. But he is getting a huge number of hits on the site, over all. Now, these stats are for one of his sites only. He mirrors it to several newspapers and radio stations. So I have no idea what the totals are, really.

But think cumulatively. With all his web sites and our web site and the unknown number of other web sites that list our show times, we could have 500 people trying to access our show times per day and not even know it. Since our attendance is about 500 people per day, is everybody web savvy? I know that even though we are getting a lot of people looking, that doesn't mean they are all coming to shows, but they are interested.

Think about it.
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