Photo: Fernando de Sousa via Flickr
This week, TRG's own Will Lester and Amelia Northrup are contributing to the Arts Marketing Blog Salon on Americans for the Arts' ARTSblog. This article by Will was originally posted as part of the salon, which previews the National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference in November.
1. The first rule of arts marketing is “know your audience”. Put the knowledge you have about who is attending your performances or exhibitions to use to more effectively target and tailor your communications with them. Your message to a newcomer in your audience will be different than one to a more longstanding loyal patron, or to someone who attended a few years ago, but hasn’t been back for a while.
2. Secondly, you can make better decisions about how to allocate marketing expenses. Put money into audience segments that will yield the highest return on investment. For example, understanding the prior experiences your new audiences have with the arts can help you customize your materials. A new patron may need more support, encouragement, and stronger offers to encourage repeat attendance. On the other hand, an experienced arts patron who is trying your organization for the first time is “low-hanging fruit”. They will be more apt to return with some follow-up, but less hand-holding.
3. Finally, this research also illustrates the value of cooperative arts marketing. Cooperative list exchange programs allow colleague marketers to identify new patrons who have experienced the arts elsewhere in the community. If you’ve ever wondered why you should trade with other arts organizations in your area or if you live in a city with a list exchange/co-op, consider those patron origination statistics. They suggest could be finding a big, productive pool of new patrons who are active culturally but just haven’t tried your organization yet. Once found, these new and experience patrons are prime prospects for repeat attendance, allowing you to grow your audience and bolster patron loyalty.
Will Lester will be presenting more information on this topic at the NAMP conference during Alan Brown's Lightning Rounds of Research session on Monday, November 14 from 5:15-6:30.