Nick Adkins

Marketing Analyst at SeatGeek


Q&A with Nick

Nick Adkins is the Marketing Analyst at SeatGeak in New York. Knowing that returning users provide tremendous value to SeatGeek’s bottom line, Nick and his team place an emphasis on mobile re-engagement to keep customers coming back for tickets to the hottest events in their city.


Read Nick’s latest blog post on using retention marketing to drive repeat customers.

Listen to Nick’s podcast on mobile user acquisition.


What do you do at SeatGeek?

I am the Marketing Analyst here at SeatGeek. A large part what I do is mobile user acquisition but I also dabble in SEO and a few other things. Re-engagement is something that we’re trying to put together right now, and I’m trying to lead those efforts.

Why is it so important to get early registrations?
We find that registered users are much more active and in turn, much more valuable. We get a lot more information about registered users, which helps us find events they’d be interested in. We push registration as early as possible so we can be more valuable to users and vice-versa.

How important are installs to SeatGeek?
Installs are really important to us. We need to know how many people are downloading the app and what’s the average price that we’re paying for an install on each of our channels. We’ve calculated how much an install is worth to us, so we look at that compared to our ad spend and focus on re-engagement to maximize those installs.

How much focus do you guys put on post install engagement?
We put a lot of emphasis on re-engagement. A registered user is several times more valuable than an un-registered user. With such a dramatic increase in value, it makes sense for us to do everything we can to convert installs into registrations.

What does a quality mobile user look like to you guys?
We want to see somebody who’s interacting with the app fairly regularly, responds positively to push notifications, tracks artists, performers and teams. Obviously, someone who is making purchases in the app is more valuable, it’s the best indication to us that they’re going to make another purchase.

What is your strategy for converting installs into quality users?
There are certain optimization techniques that we use. For example, our use of narrowly-targeted creative for our app install campaigns. If we’re running campaigns across the country, rather than just having generic creative, we geo-target ads around major sports hubs and see a lot more value from our users who engage with that creative.

Is there any one thing that you guys have done this past year to better monetize your app?
The one thing that I would point to is SeatGeek Checkout. When we started, we showed all the tickets on our site and app but the transactions didn’t take place in either location. Having SeatGeek Checkout, where people make the transaction, is a much more seamless process and it’s converting much better than our app used to do.

What has been the biggest challenge in marketing SeatGeek?
We aren’t able to bid as aggressively as some of our competitors, so we just have to be a little bit more intelligent about the strategies that we pursue aggressively and what’s doing well. We’ve kept the team pretty lean, and a relatively large challenge is making sure that we’re not overspending on marketing. We want to be efficient with our money, but we want to scale up as well. When a campaign is working, we’re going to throw a lot of money at it. If it’s not working, we want to know that as quickly as possible.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to other marketers who are just getting into the space of marketing a non-gaming app?
Something that’s tricky for us is finding your market and understanding where are you going to be providing a lot of value. People go on gaming apps and they interact with them much more aggressively than they would an eCommerce app. Understanding how and when to engage with your users is important, but there isn’t much literature on the subject for non-gaming apps. You’ve got to learn from your failures, and you can’t always rely on industry knowledge to support you.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in mobile marketing?
There have been a handful of tests I felt pretty excited about pursuing and as soon as I saw even the slightest positive result I decided to throw more money at the campaigns without waiting for a statistically significant sample. The lesson there is to be patient. Run a full test before you try and draw any conclusions.

What roles do re-targeting and re-engagement campaigns play at SeatGeek?
Diversifying your re-engagement campaigns is important, each medium has its own unique value proposition. Emails are really valuable because it’s possible to put more information into an email than you would be able to put in a mobile interstitial ad or a banner ad, which you can fit maybe half a sentence on. Trying to educate people on the benefits of using an app is more in the domain of non re-targeting re-engagement. We supplement that with ads, which are great for keeping SeatGeek top of mind and associating it with the performers that users are specifically interested in.

What are your thoughts about the next big thing in mobile marketing?
Video is going to be crucial moving forward. You are able to convey a lot more information about your app and your product in a 15 second video then you’d be able to do with any kind of interstitial ad or a static piece of creative. Additionally, re-targeting and re-engagement are going to be a crucial complement to video because CPIs will continue to rise and maximizing each install will become that much more important.