Jun08

In the National Center for Arts Research’s Edition 3 report on the health of the U.S. arts and cultural sector, we include insights on trends as well as updates on seven performance indices key to assessing organizational health, all related to earned revenue, marketing and participation. If we look across two of these indices – Response to Marketing and People per Offering – together they tell a story about supply, demand, and the tension between marketing and engagement. 

Response to Marketing

Overall, marketing expenses per attendee trended upward over time but the rate of increase fell just shy of the rate of inflation.  This means that the average organization spent nearly the same on marketing to attract each attendee in 2013 as in 2010 in inflation-adjusted figures. A closer examination, however, reveals different realities for different arts and cultural sectors.

Posted by Zannie Voss | Jun. 8, 2016 6:55 AM

Jun02

This is a co-authored piece by Spektrix and TRG Arts.

Does your organization need a box office anymore?

Well, yes. But the question is understandable.

Certainly the roles and responsibilities of box office staff have changed. As more patrons elect to buy online, the box office has evolved. Staff are no longer just order takers, but frontline for fundraising, marketing, sales and customer experience.

This shift has come at a time when there’s more data than ever about customers and their activities. Organizations are using data about customers to provide personalized service and more patrons hold this as an expectation. Some organizations (Seattle Repertory Theatre and Phoenix Theatre, for example) have even embraced patron services office models, where staff manage portfolios of customers, giving everyone a personal concierge experience.

Posted by David Ciano and Amelia Northrup-Simpson | Jun. 2, 2016 4:18 PM

May18

Laura Zabel

There is a lot of work right now on building demand, value and interest in the contributions of art and artists to places, social change, economies and communities. This is the long overdue work to knit our creativity back into our daily lives and the way we address and confront the issues and inequities that face us. I am a true believer in this work and its many forms and structures. I also believe that it is not enough to work on the demand for this work – we also need to work on the supply of this work. Essentially, art comes from artists and if we are building the demand for artist-led, community-engaged work, then how are we supporting artists to build the skills and capacity they need to fulfill this demand?

Posted by Laura Zabel | May. 18, 2016 3:33 PM

May11

This post is part of the Customer, Client, Collaborator Series in conjunction with Doug Borwick and ArtsEngaged on developing relationships with both new communities and existing stakeholders through artistic programming, marketing and fundraising, community engagement and public policy. (Cross-post can be found at Engaging Matters.) 

As a chief marketing officer, consultant and now managing director, I’ve participated in my fair share of marketing committee meetings. One of the most hotly debated topics is whether to focus resources on developing new audiences or on increasing loyalty to bolster return on investment and per capita revenue. Two camps usually square off – the artistic team and trustees vs. the professional marketing staff.

Can you guess which sides of the argument they typically represent?

Nothing is sexier to most artistic directors and trustees than developing new audiences. On the other hand, marketing directors with limited resources are constantly trying to find ways to do more with less, which means developing ways to increase returns, and naturally, some shy away from audience development because it requires significant upfront capital, both monetary and personnel, with limited short-term gains.

Posted by Chad Bauman | May. 11, 2016 6:58 AM

May05

This article appears in The Stage and is available to read in its entirety here.

You read that headline right—it’s not an auto-correct error.

Arts researchers and practitioners have long been focused on what audiences want and need from arts and cultural institutions. These are important questions to ask.

But few people are asking the opposite question—what can audiences do for arts organisations?

Posted by Jill Robinson | May. 5, 2016 1:28 AM

May04

This post is part of the Customer, Client, Collaborator Series in conjunction with Doug Borwick and ArtsEngaged on developing relationships with both new communities and existing stakeholders through artistic programming, marketing and fundraising, community engagement and public policy. (Cross-post can be found at Engaging Matters.) 

Chris McLeod

As a strategic arts marketing consultant I spend a lot of time speaking with (and oftentimes consoling) arts organizations of all sizes across the country about one thing – building audiences while retaining current ones. Nearly all share the same challenges of trying to reach cross-sections of people who are categorized by everything from neighborhoods, race, culture, and income, to age (those pesky Millennials have proven to be a tricky bunch). What I tell all of them is that in order to reach one group of “whomevers” while retaining another group of “whomevers” you need to start with one thing: Learn what matters to people when they are not sitting in your performance hall.

This is how and where the need to deepen relationships with current stakeholders while building new relationships with new audiences affects what needs to change about the future of how arts organizations do their work. Organizations will need to go from the mindset of “We just need to get them [audiences] here and the work/performance will do the rest” to building relationships based on a deep ongoing understanding of what matters to audiences’ everyday lives, outside of who they are as arts patrons.

Posted by Chris McLeod | May. 4, 2016 8:49 AM


Contributors


Jill Robinson
Adam Scurto
Amelia Northrup-
Simpson
J.L.Nave Vincent VanVleet Keri Mesropov