Location Data Shows Which Brands Coachella Attendees Favor

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The Coachella Music Festival annually draws huge crowds to Indio, Calif., to see some of the biggest musical acts in the world. This year, the lineup included Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, and Lady Gaga, and drew about 250,000 attendees over two weekends — and also attracted a large number of major brand sponsors.  

While you can certainly surmise that the crowd at the event is comprised of music fans, they may look somewhat heterogeneous from the outside. But with the miracle of anonymized location data, marketers can start to get a better sense of who those attendees are and how their brand preferences might inform future campaigns.

In a new report released today, the folks at InMarket took a deeper look into the shopping habits of Coachella attendees, showing festival saturation of major brands like Starbucks, H&M, Marriott and BMW based on mobile location data. In the survey, InMarket, which uses first-party, full-cycle location data drawn from over 50 million anonymized consumers, identified certain disconnects between brand campaigns and the attendees, and generated insights about where Coachella’s fan base was likely to be found before and after they attended the festival.

According to the report, the clear coffee brand leader among attendees was Starbucks, as 76% of the concertgoers had visited one of the coffee chain’s locations in the previous three months. Meanwhile, 69% of attendees had visited a Peet’s Coffee and Tea,  28 % had been to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and just 12% had visited a Dunkin Donuts. The report noted that the preference away from Dunkin’ might be natural given the west coast location of the event (while Dunkin’ outlets are largely centered the East Coast).

Another category-specific showdown determined that 24 Hour Fitness has the most saturation among fitness centers with attendees, with 14% visiting an outlet in the previous 90 days. It was followed by Orangetheory Fitness with 11%, Equinox  with 10%, SoulCycle with 10%, and LA Fitness with 6%.

InMarket CMO Cameron Peebles says that information like this can help brands with physical stores better understand the ROI that they are getting on outdoor and display advertising, as well as event sponsorships — because they can actually track lift before and after attendees’ exposure to their messaging.

“Previously, brands had to ‘feel’ whether they had brand lift or intent to visit a location,” said Peebles. “But with granular location data that is actionable like this we can actually show ROI on things that were incalculable before, such a sponsorship for an event.” 

Peebles pointed to the data in the report about BMW, noting that the company can track past and future visits of BMW dealerships by the attendees — as well as their intent to purchase:      “We can identify: ‘Are you shooting in the right bucket and are you positioning yourselves to people in the shopping market?’ With BMW, it looks like they are, with over 8% of attendees in the buying cycle for a car — but only 1% of Coachella attendees had actually visited a BMW dealership. … So you’re seeing people within a shopping group at a small fraction going into BMW dealerships — then we run this same data pool in a month or two months and see how many of these people continue to be in a car shopping cycle, but then also visited a BMW dealership.”

Peebles said that brands are generally getting a lot more savvy about how they think about big data in their marketing — and he suggested that brick-and-mortar establishments that could better identify trends from data were seeing more success, even while many others were closing stores.

“For the first time brands actually have quantifiable ROI around these kinds of campaigns,” said Peebles. “And it dramatically increases the efficiency of media spend because you can stop it when that conversion happens.” He pointed out that for a brand like BMW the purpose of a campaign at an event like Coachella is to get attendees to visit a dealership — and so the if the company knows a target has been successfully driven into the dealership it can then cut off its retargeting efforts.

Click here to check out the full report.

David Hirschman is a co-founder of Street Fight.