How to turn an interesting idea into a great idea for audience development…

The past few days have been a flurry of new and interesting ideas for the arts community.  If you want to keep up to date daily with many of the ideas, you can join my facebook page by becoming a fan and view all the happenings.

Audience Development Specialists’ Facebook Page!

Today I would like to focus on what makes an idea a great idea for audience development.  You can have an idea, but unless it hits upon the following, it may not be worth spending time on:

1. The idea needs to be fun, creative, and catered to your brand, mission, etc.  If the idea does not carry out what you are all about, this will serve to only confuse people and wonder, “why are they doing this?”  If the idea is not creative and fun, there will be no enthusiasm surrounding it.  People will not flock without the enthusiasm.

2.  Make sure the idea has buzz value.  In order to have buzz value,  it needs to be interesting and easily explained.  If you can’t describe it  in 30 seconds or less, I suggest going back to the drawing board until you can.  In order to create word of mouth, it will need to have a good sound byte for it so it can gain momentum.  For example, I still hear people refer back to “Where’s the Beef?,”  a campaign with lots of buzz factor that it is mentioned to this day.  Of course, the idea again needs the creativity and enthusiasm for the buzz factor too.

3.  In this day and age, your idea is going to need to be affordable or at least have a wow factor that people are going to want to spend money on.

4. If the idea has a hands on component for the audience to get involved – kudos to you!  Audiences want to be involved now.

5. Your idea needs to have an audience relations component, a way to connect with your existing and potential audiences.  Without this connection factor, there is no way to follow up and build upon what your idea can do for you, bring an audience to you to and get to know them as people that can become more involved with your art and art organization.

Bonus #6. Before launching your idea, get a little feedback from your patrons and see if they like the idea and would be interested.  Use focus groups and surveys to get a quick assessment.  Or simply ask around and have the coffee conversations to casually get their opinions.  If your idea doesn’t jive with what your audience really wants and likes, what’s the point of using it.

So an interesting idea like the YouTube Symphony, the Chalk Walk, the exciting branding campaign of the Royal Opera, can be a great idea if you keep your audience in mind at all times!

Until next time, may your audiences be happy and loyal ones, and if they are not, feel free to contact me!


Shoshana Fanizza is the founder of Audience Development Specialists. Her mission is to introduce artists and arts organizations to their existing and potential audiences and to help them to form more rewarding relationships.

Audience Development Blog

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Filed under arts marketing, Audience Development

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