Music is an art — and a science. Music data analytics may not sound sexy, but they’re actually the key to unlocking a memorable experience for fans. They’re also the key to a profitable business.

“Data is everything,” says live music marketing director Jacob Matthews. By analyzing your music data, you can learn more about prospective ticket buyers, and better predict attendee activity on the day of the festival.

“Data is the closest thing we have to predicting the future,” says Michael Timoney, Eventbrite’s Global Director of Performance Marketing. “Without reliable data, we’re just guessing as to what’s working.”

To end the guesswork, the first step is to decide what questions you want your data to help answer. Here are just a few mysteries music data analytics could help you solve:

  • How should we stock the bar for tonight’s show?
  • Are display, social, or search ads driving the most ticket sales at the least cost? Would those people have bought tickets anyway, or is it worth the advertising spend?
  • Will my emails perform better if I send to smaller, more targeted audiences?
  • Did that radio ad actually drive any sales?
  • The show is in a week; how many tickets should I have sold by now to be on track?

To find out how to answer all of these questions and more, check out this free guide to using your ticketing and live music data to turn a profit. In the meantime, here are a couple simple ways you can use analytics to put your data into action right now:

1. Use music data analytics to improve your marketing efforts without spending more

Knowing your ad was delivered to thousands of inboxes or seen by hundreds of people feels good — but did it drive any revenue? To understand the value of an ad or email, you need to know if it’s actually selling tickets by engaging the right audience.

To break down which campaigns are actually generating ticket sales, you need to analyze your data. The best way to understand the conversion of your different campaigns is to use tracking links and pixels on your ticketing page.

“We literally use a tracking link for everything,” says Jacob Matthews. “Every artist tour page, every button on the website. Then we compare it to our data from Google Analytics.”

Chances are, your marketing doesn’t just exist online — and neither should your tracking. If you use third-party promoters who get a kickback on sales, you can still track their performance online. If you use Eventbrite, you can use affiliate codes and give promoters a unique sub-user login to your ticketing site. That way, whenever a promoter sells a ticket through their link, the types of tickets they sold and their future commission is tracked automatically.

2. Use music data analytics to save on staffing and sell more drinks

There are few things worse than paying bored bartenders or wasting money by overstocking the bar. Similarly, festival organizers dread watching lines pile up because there’s too much staff in the box office and not enough at wristband exchange. Luckily, you can avoid this by using your attendee data to staff and stock more accurately.

Some analytics are straightforward — a venue can use ticket sales to anticipate how to stock alcohol and food, for instance. But you can use demographic data to get even more advanced. A show attended by people in their 20s and 30s might require more beer and less fine wine than a show for people in their 40s and 50s. Music data analytics can also help you as you make future booking decisions. For example, you may realize from looking at your data that a certain type of music attracts bigger spenders than others.

If you’re hosting a festival, you can also use mobile data to keep traffic moving through the entrance gates. By tracking arrivals per gate, you can quickly move staffers to areas that need more help.

Not only does this save you upfront costs on staff, it also increases your alcohol sales by getting people inside faster. And that means you can drive up profit while keeping your fans happy.

For more step-by-step music data analytics advice from industry experts, download the free guide on how to use live music data to turn a profit.

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