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How data enrichment can create new audiences for Ascot

For a brand that is known particularly for one event, attracting audiences to all the others can often prove an insurmountable challenge. However, by utilising data enrichment and emotional analytics, it’s a problem that is easily solved.

Royal Ascot is one of the best-known sporting events to grace the UK summer calendar. Attracting over 300,000 people every year, this historical occasion attracts everyone from aristocrats in Saville row top hats and morning suits, attending for the pomp and glamour, to betting enthusiasts in River Island shirts, out looking for the winning horse.

But while Royal Ascot might be a sell out, convincing the public to come to the prominent racecourse for their other race days throughout the year has proved much harder. By using enriched emotional analytics, identifying the different passions and mindsets of attendees, Ascot could help turn the gentle trot of visitors to their other race days into a gallop.

More than just ‘Royal’

These disproportionate attendee numbers leave Ascot facing a challenge: how do you market the other race days to attract more people and ensure the character of the racecourse is not simply all about the ‘Royal’?

In a recent interview, Ascot’s Chief Commercial Officer, Juliet Slot, made the relevant point that spectating in other sports is very tribal, meaning that fans will follow a particular team, like in cricket and football, and attend every match. However, this dynamic doesn’t exist to the same level in horse racing because people don’t follow and support a single race horse.

This dilemma has left the iconic racing ground searching for other means to attract visitors to their numerous non-royal meets, by creating themes and experiences around each event. The aim is not just to attract more horse racing fans to Ascot, but to entice a wider audience who attend race days for more than the racing.

At the moment, the decisions on what experiences to produce around each race day are based on customer research done after each event, as well as transactional data from ticket purchases. This allows Ascot to analyse the demographics of the attendees for each themed event and then decide, based on that information, what theme or experience that particular race day should be centred around the next year.

While this is certainly effective and informative, there is a way that they could go one step further and generate insight that is broader, more accurate and predictive of future behaviour: by enriching this transactional data with social and emotional analytics.

Data enrichment

This is where Starcount’s pioneering emotional analytics platform, The Observatory, comes in, enriching transactional data with social to develop much more granular insight. The benefits of this type of data enrichment are numerous. Firstly, by matching the transactional data to the social, you can analyse the passions of attendees and discover not only who is coming to the race days, but what their specific interests and motivations are in their daily lives, all of which can help to decide the themes and experiences around different race days.

Secondly, by understanding the passions of those customers who are already loyal Ascot visitors, you can identify lookalikes who share common interests as well as a disposition to horse racing and, through effective marketing and targeting, increase your share of newcomers.

The right brand for the right day

Finally, The Observatory allows you to identify those brands that resonate best with your customers and your passions. This makes identifying the right sponsors for different themed race days far simpler and more effective.

For example, the top food and drink brands for the horse racing audience are Daylesford Farm, Appletiser, The London Crisp Company, Godiva, Very Lazy Food and Debbie & Andrews.
If demographic analysis, from the transactional data, has identified that families are attending a particular race day, the selected sponsors could be brands that appeal to both families and horse racing enthusiasts, such as Appletiser.

The Observatory therefore allows for more accurate brand-event partnerships that genuinely appeal to the interests and taste of attendees.

If Ascot hopes to diversify its audience and create greater awareness about their other race days, then it is crucial that they look to methods of data enrichment, overlaying their current customer insight with emotional analytics, in order to generate greater intelligence about who is coming to the events and what their passions and motivations in life are. With the help of a platform like The Observatory, the potential for growth is unlimited. Perhaps, soon we’ll all find ourselves making the journey to Ascot on more than the one usual occasion every year.

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