The concept of Partner Companies is designed to help with data sharing if you put on events alongside other companies, by allowing customers to choose their contact preferences separately for you (the venue/organisation) and your Partner Company (the production company). This article looks at how Partner Companies work and how to set them up. It's recommended that you read the article on Contact Preferences before this one, as it includes concepts that are referred to later on in this article.
NOTE: Partner Companies are related to, but not directly part of, the Spektrix Partner Companies Interface. See this article for more information about the Partner Companies Interface, including how to access the Interface.
You can set up some or all of the companies you work with as Partner Companies on your system, so that when you create a new event you can assign it the relevant Partner Company. You can then give customers the option to set their standard contact preferences and separate preferences for each of the Partner Companies they buy tickets for.
Unlike standard contact preferences, there are three ways in which customers can set their Partner Company preferences:
- During checkout: if an order contains tickets for one or more events with Partner Companies for whom the customer has not yet set a preference, the system will prompt customers (or sales staff) to set a preference during the booking process
- My Account page: customers can log in to their account at any time and see their Partner Company preferences. They will see the names of every Partner Company for whom they have booked a ticket, and will be able to amend their preferences if they want to
- Customer record: similar to the My Account page online, the Sales Interface allows box office staff to see all of the Partner Companies for whom a customer has a preference, and edit those preferences if necessary. It's also possible here to set preferences for Partner Companies that a customer hasn't booked for
In addition, once a customer has set a preference for each Partner Company, they will no longer be prompted for their preference when they buy further tickets for that Partner Company.
Why should I use Partner Companies?
Setting up Partner Companies allows you to easily fulfill data sharing agreements with other producers/promoters etc. that you work with, by giving you the ability to segment your data based on the preferences that customers choose. There's no need to build complex Customer Lists looking at customers' purchasing histories - just segment by each Partner Company.
Alternatively you can also set up Partner Companies without using them to collect customer preferences. Assigning them to Events allows you to report on everything that you've sold for a specific Partner Company, in a similar way to if you had set up an Event Attribute. Unlike Attributes, you can also apply multiple Partner Companies to an Event, for example if you're putting on a show with multiple other producers.
How do I set Partner Companies up?
It's really easy to start setting up your Partner Companies - there's nothing to switch on and no settings to change, you just need to go to the Settings Interface and find the Partner Companies tab on the menu. You need to be using the new UI for this - it's not available in the old UI.
From here you'll see two options on the left-hand menu - Partner Companies and Partner Companies Preference Group. These two screens allow you to add new Partner Companies, and to choose how your Partner Companies are described online.
Partner Companies Preference Group
A Preference Group is a way of grouping together multiple Contact Preferences and allowing you to choose the order in which the different types of preferences are organised on your website. For more information on Preference Groups, see the article about Contact Preferences.
There's only one thing to fill in here - the text that displays online in the My Account page of your website.
From this screen you can add as many new Partner Companies as you need, and see the list of available Partner Companies currently set up on your system.
To add a new Partner Company just click the New Partner Company button, and you'll see this screen:
- Name: the name of the Partner Company, as it will display online and in the Sales Interface
- Collect Contact Preferences: tick this box if you want to use the Partner Company to collect customer preferences. If you leave this unticked you'll be able to assign the Partner Company to Events, but customers won't be prompted to set their preferences when they buy for those Events
- Additional Web Description: add in any further information you'd like customers to see online when they're asked for their preference regarding this Partner Company. See the section below for more information on this
Using the Additional Web Description field of each Partner Company, as described above, you can provide additional information to help customers understand what they're agreeing to. This only displays when they're asked for their preference – i.e. during the booking path, and only if that preference is set to Not Asked – and doesn't display in the My Account section of your website.
The only other thing that needs setting up is the text that displays when customers are prompted to set their preferences, during the booking path (both online and in the Sales Interface).
The default wording for this text is as follows:
“If you are happy to be contacted directly by any of the Partner Companies of shows you are booking for, please select them below. To adjust your preferences for Partner Companies you have booked for before, please visit Contact Preferences in your account.”
If you'd like to change this wording, head to Settings > Client Setup > Custom Website Messages and add the text you want to include to the field marked Custom message for the partner companies preference screen during checkout.
To add formatting to this text, you'll need to use Wikitext markup; this is a way to easily format content that works with the styling (CSS) made by your web designers. More information on how you can use this can be found in our article on Website Content.
How do I assign Partner Companies to Events?
You add Partner Companies to Events in the Admin Interface, and you can do this either when creating new Events or later on by editing Events.
The Partner Companies field is set against Events, in the Basic Details section of each Event:
If one or more Partner Companies have already been assigned to an Event, they will appear on this screen. If no Partner Companies have been assigned, this field will be blank.
To assign a Partner Company, just click the Edit button and you'll see a list of checkboxes, one for each of the Partner Companies that have been set up on your system.
Tick the checkbox for each Partner Company that you want to assign, or un-tick for any that you want to remove, then click Save.
NOTE: when you edit an Event you'll see the full list of Partner Companies, but when you're just viewing an Event the only visible Partner Companies are those that you've assigned to that Event.
Once you've selected one or more (you can add as many as you want) Partner Companies to an Event, just click the Save button to save your changes.
How do Partner Companies look in the system?
As mentioned earlier, Partner Company Preferences are gathered during the booking process as opposed to when customers create their accounts. This means they're gathered and amended in slightly different ways to standard Contact Preferences, both in the box office and online.
There are three possible states for each Partner Company preference:
- YES: the customer wants to be contacted by the Partner Company.
- NO: the customer does not want to be contacted by the Partner Company.
- NOT ASKED: the customer hasn't been asked for their preference.
The idea behind the NOT ASKED state is that there may be some circumstances where it's not suitable to ask a customer for their preference (this can only occur in the box office, not online). Alternatively, a customer could have attended an Event which, at the time of their booking, was not linked to a Partner Company, but has subsequently had a Partner Company attached.
If that's the case, it counts as though that Partner Company does not have a preference set, i.e. the next time the customer books for that Partner Company they will be prompted again, until they set either a YES or NO preference.
NOTE: remember that once a customer has been asked for their preference for a Partner Company, the system won't prompt them again.
Whenever a customer buys tickets for an Event which has a Partner Company assigned, if they haven't already set a preference for that Partner Company then they will be prompted to set one. This happens on a separate page within the Checkout iframe, before the Ticket Delivery section is reached.
There are two options for a customer to choose (it's not possible to choose NOT ASKED online):
- YES: select the Partner Company and click Continue.
- NO: leave the Partner Company unselected and click Continue.
Having clicked Continue the booking process will continue as normal, moving on to the next sections and carrying on until the order is confirmed.
If a customer wants to go back and amend their Partner Company Preferences, they can do so by logging into their account and looking at the Contact Preferences section.
This section will display a list of all the Partner Companies that the customer has booked for, with each one ticked or unticked depending on what the customer selected previously. To change a preference the customer just has to tick or untick the relevant option, and click Save.
In the Sales Interface
The system will also show the Partner Companies prompt in the Sales Interface every time a customer books for a relevant Event (i.e. one with a Partner Company attached) at the box office. This prompt will appear when the user tries to confirm an order, as long as there's a customer in the basket.
In the Sales Interface it's possible to select any one of the three states for the preference:
- YES: select the Partner Company and click Ok
- NO: don't select the Partner Company, and click Ok
- NOT ASKED: click the Not asked button
When you look at a customer's record in the Sales Interface you'll see that there's a section in the Details page called Partner Company Contact Preferences.
Click on the Edit Partner Company Contact Preferences button and you'll see a list of all the Partner Companies that the customer has been prompted to set a preference for.
There's also a tick box to Show partner companies the customer hasn't booked for, which when selected will reveal a list of all other Partner Companies on the system. You can use this to allow customers to sign up to the mailing lists of Partner Companies that they haven't yet booked for. These other Partner Companies will by default be set to NOT ASKED but you can change any of them to YES or NO.
Once you've captured your customers' Partner Company Contact Preferences you're also going to want to be able to report on them so that you can identify the relevant customers to pass on to your Partner Companies.
In Customers Lists and reports you can use the Partner Company Contact Preferences metric to do this - you'll find this metric in Customer segments for Customer Lists, and under the Customers section in reporting criteria.
This metric works in exactly the same way as the Contact Preferences metric does - choose one of your Partner Companies and click the Add button to select it, then add as many more as you need.
Alternatively you can use the Partner Company metric in a Booking segment or a Purchasing segment (within the Event Instances section) to identify customers who have booked for any Events set up with that Partner Company.
If you have any further questions about Partner Companies, please get in touch with the Spektrix Support team who will be able to help.