Cineplex, HQ - Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 2014

Recognising the enormous value of an entertainment Loyalty Rewards programme to increase attendance and movie sale or hire, leading Canadian entertainment company Cineplex and JV partner Scotiabank, launched SCENE in 2007. It was the first entertainment loyalty programme in Canada at the time and today it remains the largest.

Working with Scotiabank meant members could not only turn movie going into free movie tickets and more, but also banking transactions would earn points through SCENE debit and Visa ScotiaCards.

Membership now sits at over 5 million, in a large part achieved by Cineplex’s ability to target very specific loyalty promotional campaigns and turn these round within very short time frames.

It all began when Cineplex, who had been using Vista Cinema software since 2004, added the Vista Loyalty module. This enabled the original launch of SCENE, which within a year had eclipsed a million members. 

The beauty of Vista Cinema is that it has all the components we need to run all our in-theatre business. Adding the Vista Loyalty module creates a seamless member experience while allowing us to reward and recognise members through programmes and campaigns that are informed by relevant customer data.

Jim Partington, Director, Loyalty and Digital Marketing at Cineplex

SCENE allowed Cineplex to track the activities of individual members, analyse that data, identify target groups and then tailor appropriate offers.  

But the unsurpassed success of the membership drive created its own issues. The size of the database meant any campaigns were still daunting and time-consuming tasks. Whilst happy with the data they were collecting, Cineplex now wanted speed in order to become truly proactive and agile with SCENE’s discerning loyalty programme members. 

The solution came about at a visit to an industry trade show by Jeff Kent, Chief Technology Officer at Cineplex, in 2012. Here he met Vista’s Chief Executive, Murray Holdaway, who mentioned their work with Movio – a company now sitting within Vista Group.

Movio is the global leader in marketing data analysis and campaign management for cinema exhibitors and distributors. It maintains real-time, authoritative data on the loyalty activity and transactions of customers, and integrates with leading cinema POS systems like Vista.

Movio began working with Vista Loyalty in April 2013 for all SCENE communications, with amazing results. Execution time of launching campaigns has been halved. What used to take more than 15 business days is now down to eight or fewer business days for the whole process including campaign planning, set up and approval by all stakeholders.

Once Movio was implemented and we brought the process in-house we were able to dramatically decrease turnaround time on email campaigns from targeting to deployment and post-campaign reporting.

Daniel Ritchie, Assistant Product Manager, eCRM at Cineplex

In fact, once a campaign had been planned and signed off, within the Movio platform it could be created and launched within 15 minutes.

The Vista/Movio combination also enabled Cineplex to handle a much larger volume of SCENE promotional campaigns – up almost 90% in the nine months since start-up.  “We’re not sending more e-mails, but rather running smarter and more effective campaigns,” says Partington.

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This incredible flexibility of operation is matched by amazing real-time, high level reporting of email effectiveness. Cineplex can now look at campaign paths, including a full breakdown of all the metrics such as open rates, click-through’s and control versus target; these targeting functionalities have seen improvements both in open and click rates.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of Movio has been how much this technology has reduced the work load on Cineplex’s IT personnel. Campaigns that used to require customised code, involvement and major co-ordination from the IT Team to set up, are now completely controlled by the Loyalty team users and executed in a much more aggressive timeframe.

“Using Movio’s technology has given us the ability to be agile and react to levers in the business chain very responsively,” says Partington.  He cites Canada’s famous winter weather as a perfect example of how it can target and implement campaigns very quickly. If a bad snow storm closes schools or businesses, Cineplex can immediately send out a campaign promoting online buying or renting of a movie. 

Partington concludes that the enhanced SCENE has a major part to play in meeting the company’s corporate and bottom line objectives. 

About Cineplex

Cineplex Inc. is one of Canada’s leading entertainment companies and operates one of the most modern and fully digitised motion picture theatre circuits in the world. A top-tier Canadian brand, Cineplex’s numerous businesses span theatrical exhibition, food services, gaming, alternative programming, Cineplex Media, Cineplex Digital Solutions and Cineplex Digital Networks. They also sell home entertainment content on line through and on apps embedded in various electronic devices. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Cineplex operates 161 theatres with 1,632 screens from coast to coast, serving approximately 77 million guests annually.