AnyRoad Enables Brands to Close First-Party Data Gap

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Imagine walking into an experiential event, like a cooking class at Sur La Table or the New York City Marathon Expo. If you’re the guest who made the reservation or purchased the tickets, you would probably expect that the event’s sponsors are capturing your demographic data and contact information. If you’ve downloaded a mobile event app, you might even be sharing your location in real-time. But what about all the people who attend events with registered guests without actually signing up themselves? If you didn’t make the reservation or download the event app, do the event brands have a way to capture this first-party data?  With the release of a new solution from the analytics startup AnyRoad, the answer is probably yes.

AnyRoad’s new solution, which debuted last month, enables brands to collect first-party data and feedback from every guest that attends an experiential activation or event — not just the primary reservation holder. The information makes it possible for brands to increase their first-party data and marketing opt-ins, so they can build direct relationships with more guests and event attendees.

AnyRoad works with a roster of high-profile clients, including Budweiser, Diageo, Ben & Jerry’s, and The North Face. The company recently analyzed its own data from hundreds of brands delivering more than 200,000 in-person experiences each month and found that an average of three guests arrived on each event booking. That means that for every reservation for a brewery tour or an in-store cooking class, for example, an average of three guests will show up at the event. Brands that are only capturing data from the primary reservation holder are missing out on the data from 66% of attendees, which could be used to fuel targeted marketing efforts.

With AnyRoad’s new FullView solution, brands are able to collect first-party data, feedback, and opt-ins for all event attendees. FullView streamlines the way brands capture guest information by inviting the primary booker to fill out data on additional guests during the time of booking and sharing the booking directly with those guests to add in additional details and opt into communications. The increased visibility allows brands to create more meaningful relationships with their customers and fully leverage the events or experiences they’re hosting. 

“Without each guest’s details, [brands] can’t add them to their marketing database or begin communicating with them through nurture campaigns. Plus, they miss out on opportunities to realize the full potential of converting those guests into brand advocates,” says Daniel Yaffe, co-founder and COO of AnyRoad. “With the launch of FullView, AnyRoad becomes the only solution in the market that enables brands to also capture GDPR-compliant, first-party data from the other guests attending an experience.”

An analytics platform first and foremost, AnyRoad spans multiple categories of software, including event booking and customer data management. While Yaffe says there are no other full-stack experiential marketing platforms doing what AnyRoad does, he cites incumbent customer experience platforms like Medallia and Qualtrics as his company’s biggest competitors. However, there are some pretty big differences. While most customer experience platforms are used to find red flags in customer service, AnyRoad is aiming to positively change consumer behavior through experiences. This company provides tools to enable brands to operationally run experiences and understand impact at scale through Natural Language Processing. The technology integrates with most CRMs, CDPs, POS systems, and marketing automation products.

“Making experience data accessible and actionable is a core part of AnyRoad’s value proposition,” Yaffe says. “Through integrations, our brands can understand customer journeys, build more customer empathy, and inform better decision-making.”

Although the concept of experiential marketing took a hit during the pandemic, Yaffe is confident in the channel. He says the shift from a “things” economy to an experience economy has been underway for years. A majority of consumers — particularly Millennials and Gen Z’ers — prefer to spend money on experiences rather than things. 

Fast forward to 2022, and the pandemic has exacerbated this notion. Once people finally began leaving the confines of their homes last year, they craved immersive experiences and meaningful connections over brick-and-mortar shopping. Over the next decade, Yaffe expects to see brands looking more like experience providers than traditional goods businesses.

“Many brands are already evolving their businesses with this in mind. Dick’s Sporting Goods — an AnyRoad customer — for example, has replaced stores with ‘House of Sports’ locations, complete with batting cages, rock climbing walls, and fitness classes. Michaels, the arts and crafts supply store, another AnyRoad customer, teaches live art classes to over a million consumers a year, both in-store and online,” Yaffe says. “Brands are experimenting and iterating on experiential investments just as they would with a new digital or social media campaign – and the ones that embrace this opportunity will define their industries for years to come.”

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.