The following is a rough cut of our Q&A with Paula, edited for brevity. Jokes are often not included. There is more depth and discussion in the ear candy.
Intro & Icebreaker
Q: Who are you, how did you get to SeatGeek and what do you do there?
Paula: I came to New York 20+ years ago and got a masters in medieval history (Don’t worry, I made her elaborate on this in the podcast). Then I decided to build tech products and now I’m at SeatGeek. I work on anything a fan is going to interact with but I also oversee products for sellers on our marketplace as well. When making decisions, I always try to think about the fans.
Q: What is your favorite type of live event and are you obligated to purchase tickets through SeatGeek?
Paula: We actually get a ticket stipend and access to all sorts of great events. My personal favorite live event is baseball. I grew up a huge baseball fan, just outside of D.C., so Baltimore Orioles baseball has been a huge part of my life. My husband is a Mets fan and I’ve been in New York awhile so I’m a Mets fan now too and go to a lot of their games.
Q: Is the consumer appetite for in-person events back to normal?
Paula: It is greater than it was in 2019. I think we all missed the atmosphere of live events. The demand is higher than I have ever seen it in my seven years at SeatGeek.
Q: What role does mobile play for SeatGeek?
Paula: Our most typical fan browses on web. We’ve actually seen a big rise in mobile web browsing too. I think of SeatGeek in two parts for our consumer experience. The first part is the ecommerce part where fans are checking prices. Heading to the event and being at the event is the second part where the app is much more handy. This is where we nudge fans into the app to give them the best experience possible.
Q: Do you run any app install campaigns?
Paula: Yes but most of our UA is done on web as that is top of funnel for us. We do less now as we learned it was too soon for our customers and their journey.
Q: What are the signs you look for before nudging them to download the app?
Paula: If they are expressing purchase intent, we hold off and help them get through that journey on web first. After purchase or if they are wanting to watch prices for a specific event, we nudge them towards the app.
Q: Where do you have your most UA success and is it fantasy football podcasts?
Paula: Nice, we certainly do a lot of podcast advertising. We have found we resonate with Gen Z. 26% of our total user base identifies as Gen Z. We also do influencer marketing through TikTok and YouTube. We also mix in paid search and more traditional channels. Enterprise partnerships work very well for us, such as being the official ticketer for a specific team or venue. So if you’re a Brooklyn Nets fan, the SeatGeek app is how you manage your tickets to those games.
Q: How do you take user feedback into account? Do you use it to determine what to build?
Paula: It’s a mix of quantitative and qualitative data for us. Understanding where CX touchpoints are. Why are people reaching out for help post purchase? How do we make it so they don't need to in the future? We use surveys and user interviews to understand paint points, wants and needs of our fans. Sometimes they want one thing but really they want another. We try to root it in problem spaces rather than specific solutions. We like to ship early and often to get things in front of users and start getting feedback. We are getting feedback any way you can think of really, app store reviews, focus groups, etc.
Q: How much time do you put into competitive intelligence and understanding your competitors?
Paula: A decent amount of time. We have an obsession with fans and the details. We look at our competitors' apps and understand what they're doing and where they are having success. But I also believe our competitors are studying us far more, and if you look at our product over the years and theirs you can see that. I call us the R&D team for the live events industry. The industry hadn’t even been thinking about mobile apps when we initially launched ours.
Q: I see you have the Lyft SDK and SnapKit installed. How do you leverage each of those? What does that look like on the consumer side?
Paula: We think about being your event day concierge. We enable you to listen to the music of the concert you’re going to beforehand. Maybe a Google Maps widget for how to get there. Snapchat can be used at the event because pics or it didn't happen. These things launch right from the SeatGeek app. The Lyft SDk lets fans get to the right pickup spots when the event ends.
Q: Where do ticketing apps go from here? How are you thinking about the future of your app or the industry?
Paula: When you think about ticketing you probably think about a physical paper ticket. I want people to think about the full experience and not just a physical ticket. There’s so much more to the experience that we can solve for, like ordering food and beverages to your seat instead of waiting in line and missing the game.
Q: Are you trying to build a super app for ticketing?
Paula: We haven’t used that terminology but yea I guess so. Why should you need to use 10 apps when you can just use one?
Game Time: Two Apps And A Lie