Best use of the Apteco Marketing Suite 2017 Award

Apteco FastStats and Apteco PeopleStage are at the heart of the NEC Group's CRM strategy and marketing communications activities.

Company overview

The NEC Group welcomes over four million visitors to its venues and hosts over 900 events each year. Since the opening of the NEC in 1976, the NEC Group has been at the forefront of the live events industry, with a passion for event excellence. Their people and brands connect each part of the live experience through venues, content, services and data - and by utilising their extensive portfolio, the NEC group helps organisers to create the perfect event.



The NEC Group is a well-known event, exhibition and entertainment brand in the UK; within its portfolio there are three high profile and consumer facing brands: The Ticket Factory, Genting Arena and Arena Birmingham. Hosting over 150 events annually in both arenas means the group needs to focus on meeting the demands of their event promoters and ensure tickets sell out in a timely manner.

The NEC Group's previous system, was very restrictive in creating automated multi-stage campaigns and a single customer view could not be attained to support our CRM strategy. All this has changed with the introduction of the Apteco Marketing Suite.

The NEC Group license the Apteco Marketing Suite via their chosen Apteco approved partner CACI. 


We have finally been able to achieve our goal: to send personalised communications whilst also ensuring the right customers are notified of events, at the right time.


Sitting on top of the single customer view (SCV), developed and hosted by partner CACI, Apteco FastStats and Apteco PeopleStage are at the heart of the NEC Group's CRM strategy and marketing communications activities. The robust and sustainable platform ensures email communications are smarter, more timely and targeted which in turn results in higher engagement. Their ability to automate complicated customer journeys coming on sale, has also increased.

Apteco FastStats and Apteco PeopleStage support the CRM objectives for the NEC Group in the following ways:

  • Working with event promoters to understand and bring to life complex customer journeys
  • Implement relevant, timely and personalised communications that deliver incremental revenues on the back of these automated journeys by selling MORE tickets, faster
  • Continue to improve key email metrics – average open rate on specific event emails was 27%

The NEC Group used behavioural data that looked at what customers clicked on in weekly newsletters and solus emails and aggregated these counts to a Customer level by different genres and artists. Click behaviour is highly predictive on whether a customer will open and buy a ticket. Email testing showed that clickers have an average open rate of 31% when compared to customers who have given preference data, which is 25%. This data was crucial for the NEC Group to use in campaigns.

The most efficient aspect of using Apteco FastStats, for the NEC Group was the ability to score every single customer on the database with a likelihood to buy for the Top 30 events on sale in a specific week with little or no effort after the initial set-up. 

The SCV that was designed, created and hosted by the NEC Group's partner CACI, and integrated with the Apteco Marketing Suite and their Email Service Provider, which meant that all customer interactions with the NEC Group could be incorporated and this produced highly targeted prospect selections utilising data held in Apteco FastStats:

  • Event score for specific events 
  • Location/Region data based on a customer postcode
  • Analysing previous ticket buyers and examining which customer segments best fit this event
  • Web signups for specific artists
  • The Recency wizard helped create virtual variables on the last time a customer opened an email 

The Apteco Marketing Suite offered the NEC Group additional flexibility to add customer groups at any point into the journey without causing any disruption. This proved invaluable where targeting had to be re-defined.


Overall, Apteco’s Marketing Suite has enabled the NEC Group to implement stronger and more personalised CRM activities that have delivered strong and sustainable uplifts:

  • Average open rates up from 27% to 48%
  • Automated customer journeys have resulted in an additional £346,000 in ticket revenue being generated from September 2016-June 2017
  • Positive feedback from promoters has resulted in extra tour dates for Take That, The Killers, Lady Gaga and Neil Diamond
  • Automated journeys have freed up around 15% of the CRM team time to focus more on analysis and campaign evaluation


By implementing CRM 2.0 with automated customer journeys, the NEC Group concluded that using the Apteco Marketing Suite enabled them to reach a point in their marketing strategy that could not have been realised before. They are being smarter in their contact strategy and developing journeys has freed up the data teams to complete more campaign analysis, allowing them to make refinements to selections through better targeting and evaluation.

The positive financial impact has been noticed from all areas of the business and over 80% of new Arena events that go on-sale follow the CRM 2.0 strategy – much to the happiness of promoters who can clearly see at which points in the event life cycle these emails will be going out to drive more ticket sales and maximise revenue opportunities.