Julius Lai – Giving Guests a Personalized Theater Experience

AMC Theatres VP of Guest Engagement Julius Lai

How do we apply learning from other industries to attain operation excellence at health, fitness or medical wellness centers?  As we get closer to the Motionsoft Technology Summit, we’ll be providing you with resources, expert thinking, and granular details to help you answer that question for your club so that you run your club more effectively while delivering the best member experience possible.

Let’s start with the largest movie exhibitor in the world: AMC Theatres and VP of Guest Engagement Julius Lai.  The company is clearly investing heavily in apps and other technologies as it explores how to use digital to communicate with guests but their’s a bigger undercurrent at play.

Julius’ key takeaways from a HUGE (ad agency) promotional video are:

  1.  Guest want recognition.  Think loyalty programs that are designed primarily to drive visits.  Driving visits just happens to be the #1 activity clubs should focus as noted in Dr. Paul Bedford’s seminar on member retention.
  2. Engagement starts with an outstanding product experience.  Seating, audio, video quality, food and beverage, and access via reservations.  For clubs, check out Fit-Pro overview of how to create a 5-sense experience at your gym.
  3. Investing in your brand.  What’s interesting to me is how AMC shifts the strategy from member experience design to building brand equity.  It’s a small detail but it shifts how far you go in terms of decision-making and problem-solving, and how we understand the psychology of members.  AMC Theatres brand-centric approach uses brand attributes and an engagement strategy (based on data and customer analytics). The experience development process taps into the power of the brand strategy to build equity around specific attributes (seating, audio, video quality, ease of ticket buying and seat preferences) as intentional services and products (digital and physical) are introduced to upgrade the customer experience.  The key takeaway here is that branding happens over time and customer experience design is about immediately delighting members.  While HUGE wants to focus on the “digital experience” the client’s focus on experience management and innovation is strategically important to their longer term growth and brand.

Here’s an over HUGE published:

“The updated amctheatres.com and iOS and Android apps are designed to make it easier for users to discover movies, find theaters, and plan the perfect movie menu. The digital experience, created in collaboration with Huge in 2016, also gives members of the AMC Stubs loyalty program a simple and accessible way to track rewards and promotions.

Julius Lai, vice president of guest engagement at AMC, sat down with Huge to discuss how digital marketing plays an integral role in the company’s ambitions to serve guests a world-class movie-going experience.”

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The Circuit Blog provides insights and analysis on technology in the health, wellness, and fitness industries.

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