Three years later, I have come to realize that healthy arts organizations have equally robust campaigns focused on new acquisition and retention, and increasingly we are focusing on improving the overall lifetime value of our ...
In this environment, new marketing approaches are needed that can help you position your organization for different communities, make the most effective programming decisions and deeply engage your community.
This article identifies the importance and need for diversity in programming for all performing arts organizations. Appealing to one set over another polarizes your organization, and Orlando Ballet seems to be doing a wonderful job of balancing their programming to appeal to as wide of a net as possible. Besides, creating art that *everyone* likes? Borrrrring. -M@
Michael Kaiser's latest column is centered around the notion that art is no longer exciting, relevant, nor daring. In short, he says that we do not have enough excellent art being created. To me, and Kaiser himself says this, it *does* feel a bit like "Dad" saying "films aren't what they used to be" or "back in my day..." It's no better, no worse, just different. New technology, competition, and creative outlets have changed the game immensely. However, his very last message is pinpoint accurate and arts marketers need to be aware of the role they play in the creative process - when and how they become involved. Michael Kaiser: "...the institutional nature of our arts ecology, a relatively recent phenomenon, means that groups of people are now more responsible for arts making than the individual. Boards, managers and producing consortia are overly-involved. And these groups are misbehaving. They are overly-conservative, subject to "group think" and so worried about budgets that they forget that bad art hurts budgets far more than risk-taking does." -M@
What if you could find a unique, fun way to get your funder’s name out, front and center? What if you could almost guarantee them that every single audience member would see or hear their name? What if you could promise them that they would be the only company (or name) mentioned in a fun, interactive, and engaging way? How would your donor value this kind of attention? -M@
Here's an interesting Facebook promotion that a minor league baseball team is using. The tactics they're employing may be extremely difficult (if not impossible) for many performing arts groups to pull off, but it's a great way to get the mind going on ways to build and integrate your Facebook fans. Can they take a vote on the outcome of a show? Can they vote on what poster design you should sell (and include an offer for it)? Can you include them as a "thank you" in your program (without, of course, devaluing your donor listing)? The tricky part with doing something like this in the arts is that you do not want to alienate your patrons who do not use Facebook. It needs to be an experience for your Facebook Fans to enjoy on a different level, without infringing on the enjoyment of your core patrons. -M@
"Here's a cool way to use your credit or debit card to gain a little cultural capital -- without spending a dime. Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders can receive free entry to more than 150 museums nationwide on selected weekends merely by showing their cards."
Why you should randomly reward your purchasers (and donors!), woot.com and Costco-style! PLUS some ideas on how and what to randomly reward. What ways or added value items can you think of that you can use to randomly reward your fans?
Let's talk QR codes really quickly. They're ugly. Face it, they ug up your ad. However, I do like that the Cleveland Museum of Art made it *part* of their creative. Secondly, certainly we can think of much more fun things to link to than only our ticketing page, right? Why not exclusive content or downloads? A special discount? A page that allows the user to actually *upload* a video, photo or message? What if an art museum or historical society used them for an interactive tour? What about a city-wide scavenger hunt? Is there a way to tell a story about certain landmarks *at* the landmark? Any ideas you'd like to share? -M@
Social media's been 'tweet' for London arts organizersLondon Free PressAn Oakridge secondary student back in the day, Honey founded Honey Design, a London brand and marketing design agency in 1989. She is a member of the The ARTS Project board.
The rise of live storytelling in recent years is remarkable, both for its bottom-up, scrappy scene (headquartered in Brooklyn, of course) and its rehabilitation of a historical form of entertainment and conviviality.
By that I mean marketing is seen as a tool or a “tricks” department to get (as I said in What Is Arts Marketing?) “butts in seats” or “eyes on walls.” This is as opposed to being a partner in the larger venture of connecting the arts ...
I don't often delve into the theater marketing discussion. Partially because others do it better, and partially because I hate the phrase “butts in seats,” which you're obligated to use at least twice whenever you write about arts ...
From the article: "A new NEA study finds the group of people who regularly attend arts events is both shrinking and getting less active." I think there are a number of factors at play that result in the 'decline' of arts attendees from younger generations. In fact, I would argue that the number of people participating in and appreciating the arts is at an extremely high-level. We now live in a user-generated, information-gathering era. Not only can we easily create and promote films, books, photographs and other artwork, we can now appreciate art from afar, without ever experiencing it live. That's becoming acceptable to our new generations. I'm reminded of my favorite line from 'Good Will Hunting': "So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that." I think that arts marketers need to drill that into people's heads. People can read and see anything they want online, in books or on TV. Or they can even go to a movie theater and see it in 3D. In fact, if I were still marketing the arts, I'd try to push through a tagline like, "Live theater: the first and best in 3D entertainment." -M@
Some great ideas to connect your audience with performers. I've always enjoyed the idea the of professionally filmed and edited vignettes to show to the audience prior to a dance piece (obviously for appropriate reps). Imagine a "So You Think You Can Dance" style performance where the audience sees a well-put together 2.5 minute video segment of rehearsal, featuring the personality of a couple of dancers. The hard part in this is finding eloquent, personable dancers (not that they all aren't, socially, but some can be camera-shy). It does raise the question, however: does connecting to a dancer take away from the piece as a whole? That is to say, would taking this approach create "stars" out of the dancers and patrons begin watching the dancers as opposed to the piece? My only other disagreement in the article is breaking the fourth wall. This is just a personal thing as I would prefer that people see the "magic" on-stage, as it's intended to be. -M@
On the importance of a film's title: "A bad movie title can hurt a good movie's marketability but a good title has only a neutral effect on a bad movie." Some good lessons can be learned here on determining a title for your next piece, including who should be involved in the process and at one point. -M@
"For its 2011 season, the non-profit company will schedule its production lineup based on audience demand..." Could your arts org survive with this hybrid model? The thought of announcing lineups 90 days out is terrifying for some, and may be a great idea for others. -M@
I couldn't agree more with Seth's statement here: "We could really use more older people with disposable income and a history of philanthropic giving in our audiences." Cultivating a younger audience is important, but please remember not to alienate your older audience members who's population is increasing greatly. Rather than fight for a younger audience's attention and lowering your average price per seat, why not fight to maintain (or elevate) your price per seat and grow your audience by appealing to baby boomers? -M@
Thanks to Stanford, we marketers now have academic confirmation about our social marketing strategy - mainstream media drives immediate interest while bloggers have more influence over time. This works great for brands that sell products continuously; what about arts events that aren't sold on a continual, consistent basis? For me, the key takeaway is to also approach both groups with different strategies. I would look to engage the mainstream media to generate the immediate interest needed to sell tickets to a show. Simultaneously, I would engage the blogging community with branding messages to cultivate conversations around the organization as a whole. What strategies work best for your organization? Do you prefer to utilize the same strategy for both mainstream media and bloggers? -M@
As an arts marketer who has used both systems (Ticketmaster and Outbox) I lean toward Outbox as a preference. It's just as reliable, integrates well with the venue's website (as in, it doesn't link out to its own site as Ticketmaster does) and gives the arts marketer greater access to data faster and easier. -M@