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Tim Waugh is the director of marketing for Marquee Sydney — one of the many venues owned by The TAO Group. When Tim saw the size of their crowds level off, he reached out to AdRoll to implement a retargeting and prospecting strategy to bring more people to their venue. The new approach paid huge dividends; Marquee Sydney saw their ticket sales rise by 46% and achieved an overall ROI of 6x.
We sat down with Tim to hear his #DareToGrow story and to find out how he reimagined his marketing strategy.
AdRoll: Can you tell us a little bit about Marquee Sydney?
Tim: We opened Marquee Sydney in 2012, and it was the first venue we did outside of the United States. Because it was our first expansion internationally, it's a special part of the group. Once we opened our doors, the pressure was on to build buzz and deliver ticket sales.
AdRoll: What are your core responsibilities?
Tim: As the director of marketing, my responsibilities range from bringing foot traffic to the door, managing the bookings for international and local DJs, setting up programming for our events, and, of course, taking care of the advertising and promotion. Bringing that business to the door and making sure our tickets and VIP tables are sold out are the most important functions of my job.
AdRoll: What’s been your biggest obstacle?
Tim: Back in late 2013, our profit and loss results showed a dip in the business for the first time. I got a call from my boss, and he said, "Have you ever heard of a red-hot poker?" I said, "Yes," and needless to say that was the end of the conversation. From that point on, there was a lot of pressure on me and my team to turn things around. We had to rethink the way we were bringing our message to the market and promoting our business overall.
AdRoll: How were you advertising the business then?
Tim: When I started at Marquee Sydney, none of our advertising budget went towards digital marketing. We had a fleet of scooters out on the streets promoting, flyers in the local mall, and pole posters up across the city. It was a very print-and-street-based promotional strategy.
Outside of social media, we had no presence on the web. Beyond that, we would usually only target fans of the artists playing at the club. However, we knew there was a whole other audience out there who just enjoyed the nightlife experience. I had a hunch that a digital strategy was the way to reach them.
AdRoll: How did digital marketing help bring sales back up again?
Tim: I set my team to the task of finding a partner and what they came back with was AdRoll—who worked with us to develop a strategy to reach this new, online audience. From the outset, AdRoll helped streamline our approach and find this group of people by employing a mix of retargeting and prospecting. Our plan was simple: funnel as much traffic to our site as possible and make it easy for people to buy tickets directly off our platform.
With retargeting, we’ve been able to keep our events top-of-mind for prospective customers. This has given us the best chance to sell tickets throughout our sales cycle. With this set of retargeted customers, we’ve been able to build prospecting lists that have helped expand our reachable audience.
AdRoll: What was the final outcome?
Tim: While we love all of AdRoll’s capabilities, our end goal is always to drive more sales. The proof is in the pudding. Since we started with AdRoll, we're upwards of six times our return on investment and have had a 46% increase in ticket sales. AdRoll's technology has taken the guesswork out of digital marketing—leading to the success we’re seeing today.
Originally published on January 30th, 2019, last updated on June 16th, 2022.