Fracking and Arts Marketing
comments powered by Disqus

TRG Blog: Analysis from TRG Arts


Fracking and Arts Marketing

Doug Borwick | November 11, 2015 10:13 AM

This post by Doug Borwick is part of a series of collaborations and is cross-posted to his blog Engaging Matters on Arts Journal.

Photo: Some rights reserved by J B Foster

Can’t wait to see where I’m going with this, can you?

As I understand it, fracking is a technique to get at hydrocarbon reserves that have been untapped by traditional extraction methods. My concern in this post is not with any environmental hazards of fracking but with the potential to get more out of something by using new methods. The old approaches left a lot of oil (etc.) in the ground, apparently.

Over the last few years I’ve come to understand that traditional, self-focused arts marketing efforts are only successful in reaching those who know they want to be reached. (“Getting the word out” is only effective in reaching those waiting to hear it.) My principal woodshed tutor has been Trevor O’Donnell (Marketing the Arts to Death), but he is not alone. What I have learned is that more consumer-centered marketing can reach people who are not waiting for the word. There are more out there who might buy tickets if it were demonstrated to them that doing so might be uplifting, enjoyable, even–dare we say it?–entertaining.

Seen this way, consumer-focused marketing is to traditional arts marketing as fracking is to regular oil drilling. There are ways to get a lot more by employing different, more sophisticated methods. (Nice analogical trick, huh?)

But the real point of this post is an extrapolation of that analogy. Eventually, the hydrocarbons will all be out of the ground. And, while there is much near-term potential for bringing more into the arts fold with better marketing, at some point, the market for the arts’ status quo programming will be tapped out. The need to grow the base will be never-ending because of always increasing costs and the shifting demographics of our country. At some point, relationship building (aka community engagement) that generates understanding of new communities must come to influence (not dictate) new approaches to programming.

For me, the takeaway here is that while we are developing the relationships that will support us in the long term (kinda like fusion power?), better (some would say more professional) marketing is a great way to help us get from here to there.

Engage!

Doug Borwick

Doug Borwick
Engaging Matters: www.artsjournal.com/engage
Twitter: @DougBorwick
ArtsEngaged: www.artsengaged.com




Doug Borwick is author of Engaging Matters, a blog for ArtsJournal, author/editor of Building Communities, Not Audiences: The Future of the Arts in the U.S. and author of Engage Now! A Guide to Making the Arts Indispensable. One of the country's leading advocates for the arts and community engagement Dr. Borwick has served as keynote speaker and workshop presenter at conferences across the U.S. and Canada as well as in Beijing and Singapore. He is past President of the Board of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, an international organization of higher education programs in the field. For three decades he served as Director of the Arts Management and Not-for-Profit Management Programs at Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC. He is currently CEO of Outfitters4, Inc., providing management services for nonprofits and of ArtsEngaged, offering training and consultation services to artists and arts organizations seeking to more effectively engage with their communities. Dr. Borwick holds the Ph.D. in Music Composition from the Eastman School of Music and is an award-winning member of ASCAP.







print





Be notified of future content like this with eNews.

Sign up for TRG's eNews and you'll be notified when more content like this is posted, as well as getting our latest research, blog posts, and webinar announcements delivered straight to your inbox. Simply fill out the form below:

* indicates required

 

Case Study: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma

Annual operating budget up 32% in 5 seasons

Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma 
 Photo: Joseph Mills

After a poor year for earned revenue in 2012, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma (LTO) had rebounded and was experiencing a growth spurt. In 2013, Director of Marketing Danyel Siler had turned her attention to single tickets.

Her hard work had paid off, but season tickets were still a challenge. “Season tickets were steadily declining,” she said. “The season ticket campaign had been done the same way for years, maybe even decades. And we blamed the fall on the trend that subs were declining everywhere. Our executive director, artistic director, and I all knew something needed to change, but we didn’t know what.”

Read More>>


Killer Group Sales Campaigns

A boot camp for arts marketing and fundraising leaders


Friday, August 18, 2017 
Online Workshop (11am-2pm MDT)

Do group sales contribute less than 10% of your single ticket revenues? Does your organization only sell tickets to groups reactively? Are you setting group sales goals only to fall short every year?

After subscriptions, group sales is the most important ticket-buying group for an arts and culture organization to cultivate. In this one-day session, learn how to leverage your group sales program to create a renewal base of loyal customers, while also driving new patrons to attend, all by tapping into the social networks that already exist within your marketplace. 

You’ll leave with your own, unique group sales campaign plan for next season, front-line sales strategies, and projections of what is possible for growth.

Contributors


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

Upcoming Events


Professional Development Workshops

 

March 7-8, 2018 - Marketing is from Mars; Development is from Venus; Colorado Springs, CO

March 6-8, 2018 - TRG Arts Executive Summit; London, UK

April 6-8, 2018 - TRG Arts Executive Summit; Colorado Springs, CO

LEARN MORE

Conferences

Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) - January 12-16, 2018; New York City, NY



Admin Login