|MovieClubOnline founder Roger Brooks|
Turning casual American moviegoers into frequent ones
may seem like a lofty goal for one man, but over the past three
years MovieClubOnline founder Roger Brooks has made great strides
toward reaching that goal. His Internet-based movie club’s strategic
partnerships have enabled thousands of members to receive discounted
movie tickets and related items, including video rentals, video/DVD
purchases, memorabilia and more. Here, Brooks talks about how he
developed his idea and his plans for the future.
Jennifer Wood (MM): When and how did the
idea for MovieClubOnline come about?
Roger Brooks (RB): I founded MovieClubOnline
in January of 2000, after working in the loyalty and rewards arena
for seven years prior. One of the main things I took away from my
former employer, Dine-A-Mate, Inc., is that consumers respond to
subscription services that hold value. At the time, there were very
few companies operating in an online environment which actually
charged for a service. Our management team was confident that our
model would work given the proper marketing channels. Hence, we
partnered with some of the largest theater and video stores in the
country and put the wheels in motion.
Most of the calendar year of 2000 was trial and error
while we built out our technology infrastructure. January of 2001
was our official launch of the site we showcase today, though there
were many changes along the way.
MM: Briefly, can you explain what it is
that MovieClubOnline does?
RB: MovieClubOnline offers a full year of benefits
to members that enroll in our subscription-based service. The membership
fee ranges from $30.00 to $50.00 per year and members can then purchase
movie tickets and video rentals at special member prices. Typically,
our members save up to 40 percent off regular box office and retail
prices. Much of the discount our members receive is based on where
they are located geographically. For example, our members in New
York City or Los Angeles will receive a greater discount than members
who live in smaller cities. The reason is that tickets and rentals
are more expensive in these markets.
Our members must purchase tickets in books of 10 and
they are sent Priority Mail typically within 48 hours. Members can
then use their tickets for up to one year at a particular theater
chain. Members also receive free tickets upon joining and are able
to earn free tickets based on spending. Members that place one or
more orders per year with our service will save money and have the
convenience of having their pre-paid tickets on hand.
MM: What did you hope that MovieClubOnline
could offer individuals that other companies weren’t?
RB: Our intent was to create the first ever
nationally based program that would reward consumers that frequent
movie theaters and video stores. As an individual, I may be able
to enroll in a similar program for an individual theater or video
store, but not able to enroll in a program for one-stop-shopping.
MM: Besides discount movie tickets and video
rentals, what are some of the other benefits that MovieClub offers?
RB: MovieClubOnline also offers discounts on
DVD and VHS movies, music, posters and movie merchandise. In addition,
we offer movie showtimes, reviews, trailers and all the latest movie
MM: How did you first get the word out about
RB: MovieClubOnline began by advertising in
the form of banner ads, links and e-mail. By being able to partner
with companies such as MP3.com, iWon.com and CommissionJunction.com,
we were able to break into the marketplace and build a customer
base. As time went on, we were able to capitalize on larger and
more strategic partnerships. Today we have a presence on more than
1,000 Websites and customize our service for many of our partners.
MM: How many members do you currently have?
And who are these people in terms of geographic area, age, occupation,
RB: We currently have members in every state
throughout the country and reach tens of thousands of consumers
on a weekly basis. Our members come from all walks of life, but
they have one thing in common: they all enjoy movies. A majority
of our members are located in large cities and are between the ages
of 25 and 50. Our goal is to take casual moviegoers and turn them
into frequent moviegoers. We want people to see more movies for
less money. If they use our club, they’ll do just that.
MM: A large part of your business depends
on strategic partnerships. Who are some of your current partners?
RB: Some of our current partners include AT&T
Wireless, MyPoints.com, Quixtar, AVON, Classmates.com and BankFirst.
MM: In what ways is MovieClubOnline still
evolving and changing? What are some of the additional benefits
you’re looking to offer to club members in the near future?
RB: The MovieClubOnline team is continuing
to strive to provide a better service and benefits to our members.
In the near future, we’ll be adding benefits to the club, which
include items such as the Zagat Survey Movie Guide, discounts on
concession items and personalized membership cards.
MM: What’s the one thing people are always
surprised to learn about your company?
RB: I think many people are surprised at how
easy the service is to use once they place their first order. Unlike
many other membership clubs, MovieClubOnline encourages our members
to utilize the service as often as they wish. The more our customers
use the club, the more they save.
For more information on joining MovieClubOnline,
log onto http://www.movieclubonline.com