Tag Archives: arts marketing

Do you know who your arts people are?

Quick thought for the day: Do you know who your arts people are in your neighborhood?  Are there people in your community that are artists from a previous life that you are not connecting with?  These are people that may have studied an art form previously and decided to do something else for their day jobs.  They might also be arts administrators now.

These types of people are out there, and it would be a fabulous idea to find them and make a special connection to them.  You see, I am one of these people.  I have a degree in music.  I know some people in my community know that I am one of the arts people, yet are they making an effort to invite me personally?  Very few are.  I usually attend when they extend this type of personal invitation too. 

Also, don’t forget the people that you have worked with in the past (and have left on good terms).  You could look up the history of who has worked at your organization in the past and rekindle the relationship. 

I know there are others like me in your community, people who have arts in their lives past and present that are not attending your events.  So, do yourself a huge favor and discover these people.  You may find them casually in a conversation at the grocery story or online when they comment on an arts article, or in your database of past employees.  Are you making note and following up with a more personal invite?  Let me know what happens when you make this an audience development effort!

-Shoshana

Leave a comment

Filed under Audience Development

2 ways to skin a cat, but please don’t skin a cat!

There seems to be a rumbling about arts marketing lately.  There are people that believe that artists and arts organizations need to step up their game or hire someone else that has more experience.

Here is the latest of the rumblings:

Cincinnati Art Museum makes cuts

The Cincinnati Art Museum recently eliminated its design team, instead opting to use a Cincinnati marketing and design company to complete its projects.

Yes, this is one way to change and step up in the game of arts marketing, that is if the company that is hired is truly a player.  However, there is another way that will allow arts folks to keep their jobs.  It’s called education!

There are many ways an arts administrator, arts marketer, etc., can obtain education.  I see a variety of workshops, classes, and seminars that are being offered to get you started.  I also know of some fantastic consultants (wink) that can teach you how to build your audiences and market more effectively.

It saddens me that the people that are truly dedicated to the arts are being cut in favor of bigger corporate companies that are paid well to get the job done.  Except in cases where the employee is a complete yahoo, there seems to be a disconnect between wanting results and being loyal to the people that you employ.  You can have both.

Wouldn’t it be better if education was supplied to help these dedicated individuals flourish and get them up to speed instead of skinning a bunch of cats in favor of spending more money with a big corporate firm?

You may get results going with those big corporate firms, yet you might be hurting our industry by not investing those dollars in the people that care more about the arts in the first place.  Remember, these are the people that took the jobs despite the decreased nonprofit salaries.

You would also be helping all the educators, consultants and arts agencies that are supplying this form of education.  It’s time to start helping the people in our own industry to get the results we want.  Wouldn’t it be best to support our own while we help ourselves?

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

1 Comment

Filed under Arts, arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

Add a splash of Energy and Passion for arts audience development!

Your mini-podcast for the week!  If you are an email subscriber, you will need to click on the link to take you to the web blog post.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana :O)

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Arts, arts marketing, Audience Development

The balancing act of artist vs audience development

Prayforthedonkey

Pray for the Donkey by Gerda Rovetch

Today I recognize how balance is an important undertaking.  If you feel off balance, it doesn’t feel very good.  Balancing budgets are necessary for grants.  Balance is crucial for dance.  I could go on and on.  What I am thinking about right now is the balance between artist and audience development (arts marketing in general).

I have read a few blog posts recently (and have written a few in the past) about the necessity of keeping your audience in mind in all aspects of creating art and promoting art.  What do your audiences want?  How are you reaching your audiences in ways they want to be reached?  Are you speaking your audiences’ language?  Etc.

There is a point, however, that we might be taking this level of engagement with our audiences a bit too far.  When our art simply becomes a template of what the audience says it wants (mainly based on historical perspectives – do you really know your current audiences?), we can lose our artistic edge, and the audience will lose out on being challenged.

Please do not misunderstand.  I am still a big advocate for working with your audiences and getting to know their wants and needs to help you to create art that will be relevant to them. Having your audiences as partners and getting them fully entrusted in you and your art work is extremely important.

What I am thinking out loud in this moment is the fact that you can take audience information and then stretch past their boundaries too.  It is part of our duty as artists, right?

In many of the survey reports I have been scanning through again, one of the biggest reasons people go to arts events is to be challenged, to experience something new.  If all we provide is a template of what we think they want and present in ways they say they want, we might be doing them a disservice.   Yes, audiences say they want A, but in fact they may want AB or AC, something that gives them A, but pushes them slowly toward Z.  I hope this is starting to make a little sense.

As mentioned in a past post, the arts are a living, breathing, organism.  For us to continue to work by a template is choking the living daylights out of art.  For us not to program new and exciting developments to challenge our audiences is showing severe consequences.  New audiences rather not be boxed into old templates and older audiences, even though they say they are comfortable with templates are also showing up less due to boredom of the same old programs.

It has been discussed as a delicate balancing act.  The integrity of the artist vs. what the audiences want.  Yet I don’t think we have to continue to view it this way.  We can allow ourselves to be creative again in consultation with our audiences.  We can reach them in ways they desire to be reached and then stretch both ourselves and our audiences to a new reaching point.  This will allow both us and our audiences to grow, end the cycle of templates and of stifling ourselves as artists.

So consider your audiences in all that you do, and also consider how you can take them to newer artistic heights.  I am sure your audiences will be very thankful to you.

Thoughts?

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

1 Comment

Filed under Arts, arts marketing, Audience Development

The Knights Who Say Niche for arts audience development

niche

noun

1. an ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object.
2. a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing: to find one’s niche in the business world.
3. a distinct segment of a market.
4. Ecology . the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals.
adjective5. pertaining to or intended for a market niche; having specific appeal: niche advertising.

All Monty Python kidding aside, I would like to see more artists and arts organizations say niche.  I was looking at a theatre organization’s website yesterday, and despite the photos and marketing jargon being of a unique quality, the description and the overall look and feel of the organization did not separate them from everyone else.  In a time where it seems like there is an arts organization born every minute and a deep ended pool of individual artists of all kinds, having a niche should be mandatory.What makes you unique or different could make the difference in obtaining the right audiences for you and your art.  Taking the time, money and energy to create your niche brand is the best way to put your money and hard work to good use.  You can still be a theatre, orchestra, dance company, visual artist, film organization, etc., etc., without being exactly like another.  People will still recognize the type of art that you do, and they will also recognize why you are special in our world of art.

Take a look around you.  What arts brands stand out for you?  What arts organizations and artists grab the spotlight and are gaining the best audiences for themselves?  I assure you that these are the organizations and artists that are part of the fantastic group of The Knights Who Say Niche!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

4 Comments

Filed under arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

Happy New Year for arts audience development

Happy New Year
This is a quick post to ring in the new year.  I am busily working on plans for 2013, and I hope to have some announcements by the end of next week.  I can mention that I am working on:

  • Quarterly Webinars
  • Monthly #Auddev chats
  • Podcast Projects
  • Video Sessions and Slidecasts
  • More audience development books
  • New services
  • And a few other exciting learning opportunities

I plan on making 2013 the year of content and connection.  What are your plans for 2013?  Any arts business resolutions, or better yet, commitments?

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

2 Comments

Filed under Arts, arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

Are you participating? Arts Audience Development

I have a quick thought today.  Are you participating in the arts as an audience member?  Yes, you might be the artist or the behind the scenes administrator, so you are participating in the arts.  However, I feel one of the reasons the audience is getting less and less is because some of us are not being good audience members to other artists and arts organizations.

We are also not participating enough in spreading the word.  It is rare when I receive an email from an artist about something other than their own personal e-Newsletter.  When was the last time you as a musician (hi musicians), spread the word about an upcoming performance for your own group or another group you are not performing in?  Theatre people, you happen to be better than most of us, but you could also share more.  Dance people, you are also becoming better at spreading the word, but you all could share in the responsibility. Museum folks, yes, you can be more enthusiastic about sharing word about an exhibit.

It is not so cut and dry anymore.  Share the enthusiasm for your art and for others’ art!  Become an audience for other artists and arts organizations.  Artists and the arts administrators could be more a part of the audience development game.  Instead of simply relying on the few arts marketers out there, maybe we all could start participating more.

-Shoshana
Matchmaker for the Arts

 

1 Comment

Filed under Arts, arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

Guest Post: Are artists involved in your audience development planning? They should be.

I have a guest blog post today for you.  I met Samantha at the 2012 National Arts Marketing Project Conference, and we had a good time talking about audience development and arts shenanigans in general.  I recently came across her current blog post and thought it would be fantastic to cross post it here.  Are your artists involved in your audience development planning?  I agree – the should be.  Only disagreement is her “butts in seats” comment, as you know that drives me crazy.  If you have a comment, please feel free to share in the reply box below.  Enjoy!************************************************

Are artists involved in your audience development planning? They should be.

December 4, 2012 · by · Bookmark the permalink. ·

Having worked for several years in the Symphony world, I have experienced firsthand the ‘us vs. them’ mentality between artists and management. The Symphony world is well-known for its labor disputes, musician strikes, management lockouts and general distrust of each other. But I often find it odd that performers and management have such distaste for each other when we should all be working toward the same goal – keeping our arts organizations sustainable in our communities. Some of it may be attributed to the right-brained artist mentality not understanding the left-brained business mind and vice versa, but I think there’s a lot of commonality that artists and management share that is often overlooked.  While finances are certainly at the core of this, not to be ignored are the ideas needed to continue introducing new audiences to our art form. And this is where both artists and management need to work together. So let’s take contract negotiations and budgets out of the mix for a moment and just talk about idea creation.

While I would never expect the concertmaster to write the season’s marketing plan, just as I shouldn’t be expected to play first trumpet, the two sides can work together using our own expertise on finding ways to reach untapped audiences in new and exciting ways. In my years in symphony marketing (or any marketing, for that matter), I find that there is never a lack of new ideas. Someone at least once a week says to me, “You know what you oughta do…” Most times I listen, smile, and either file the idea away or dismiss it. But here’s where I really think both sides of the organization can work together and come up with some really fabulous ways to spread the joy of our artform. I have talked with musicians who’ve said that they don’t feel like anyone listens to their ideas. And I know many staff members who feel totally cut off from having access to the musicians, even in an informal manner. Bridging the two sides can help morale all around, as well as build the opportunity to work together towards a common cause.

As stated in an earlier post, new audiences are key to keeping the relevancy and vitality of classical music alive in the 21st century. Our marketing and development teams (another key relationship in any non-profit) are focused on identifying and cultivating these soon-to-be patrons and donors. What the management side can bring to the table is doing the research to find out who these new audiences are, how and where to market to them, and how to sell them a ticket. What musicians can do is tell their story. Make themselves available to the public. Be the face of the artform that we’re promoting.They are the ones to create the relationships that are KEY in this day and age of the arts. No one really cares what the Director of Marketing says. I have a small enough ego to know that what I say isn’t worth a hill of beans (is that still a phrase?). But when a musician makes a phone call, or appears in a video, or does a radio interview? That’s when ears perk up. That’s what makes a potential audience member interested in attending the Symphony. I can send postcards and record TV spots and place newspaper ads and I’ll get a few bites. Traditional media isn’t dead. But when the artist making the art becomes involved, and perhaps makes a personal invitation, I think we’ll see a much more significant response.

As we work on our new audience initiative, I plan to involve as many musicians as I can (and who are willing) in the planning and implementation process. It can be so much more effective if I ask the musicians up front, “Hey, what kind of program should we create to attract a younger audience?” than it will if I say, “You’re doing this service on this date and time and wear this.” Get them involved in the planning by serving on task forces. Ask them to invite their yoga class or book club or softball team to a concert. Invite them to participate in pre- or post-concert discussions with patrons. The participating musicians may feel a sense of ownership if they helped create something from the ground up instead of just showing up for a performance without having any idea on how the audience got there. I have found that if you just ask the artists for input, you’ll hear back, “How can we help?” We all want more butts in seats. Let’s work together on finding effective ways to do it. [:O)]

Samantha Teter is an arts marketing professional with over six years of experience as Director of Marketing in the Symphony field and four years of experience as Director of Marketing and Events in a performing arts venue. She holds a BA in Radio-TV Broadcasting and an MBA with a marketing emphasis. She is also an actor and singer and a patron of the performing arts.

******************************************************

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

Leave a comment

Filed under Arts, arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

Takeaways from the #NAMPC Conference

I wanted to start out by giving you the link to my Storify – My #NAMPC experience via Twitter.  I ended up winning the Most Tweets Award, and I received this fun t-shirt!  I also won by connecting with more people on Twitter and getting to meet some of these people during the conference.  It has been a fun and educational experience for me.  If you had to miss the conference they promised to archive the live keynote presentations soon.

The NAMPC  (National Arts Marketing Project Conference) had its ups and downs, but mostly ups.  However, through the entire conference, this year, like last year, there were some common themes running through most of the presentations.  Instead of a complete play by play like I did last year, I would like to leave you with the my most impressionable takeaways and some of my own thoughts (in no particular order):

  • You gotta have passion – if you don’t, people will not be attracted to your mission, cause, project, program… Without passion, what is the point.
  • Be weird and silly – or in other terms, be true to your own particular self.  It’s not about being similar – it’s about standing out.
  • Adding your own personality will increase your likeability.
  • Have fun!  What makes people want to join?  Fun!  If it is not enjoyable to you, it probably won’t be to your audiences.
  • Everyone is diverse in one way or another.  These are my personal thoughts:  We can learn to reach out to others after we discover our own sense of diversity and understand personally what it feels like to be stereotyped and discounted.
  • Keep ego out of the organization.
  • Visual impact is necessary!  There is so much blah, blah, blah, and not enough “language” of our arts.  If you are a music organization, it would be good to have clips and videos of performances and music.  If you are an artist, make viewing your art an experience.  If you are theatre and dance, videos are a must.  How can people figure out if your art is for them if they can’t “see” it and feel it.
  • The arts are powerful.  The creative arts can differentiate a brand from a competitor.  Unleash the power of the arts and start asking people, “what can arts do for you?”
  • Start studying the psychology behind a purchase.  We are humans with quirky human behavior, and the findings of this type of research can help steer us in the right direction.
  • Give people the opportunity to share and create content that is extra fun to increase shareability.
  • Create programs where the community buys into your art/organization.  They may not know you exist because there is nothing in it for them personally.
  • You can turn your customers into advocates.  Make your mission and passions meaningful for them, and it is more likely they will automatically share with others.
  • There is a paradox: Tension exists – how to relieve the tension?  Find the common enemies, our monsters, and figure out how to solve the problems.
  • If you do not have a social mission, there isn’t a point to social media.
  • Content on social media can be attended to like a magazine – create information that people are interested in and analyze to see what content is relevant to your followers or not.
  • “We are in this together – that’s what arts do – they bring us back to humanity.”  – Eric Ryan, author of The Method Method
  • Get rid of “Yes, but” and instead use “Yes, and!”
  • There is a difference between business thinking and design thinking.  Personally, we need both.
  • What would MacGyver do?
  • Sometimes it is better to present the dessert instead of trying to spoon feed the veggies.
  • Does your audience make up reflect who you are?
  • Have more conversations with different people!
  • Sometimes too many choices make people want to give up.
  • A tangible voucher does better than an emailed discount.  Direct mail can make this work!
  • Giving choices subsequently instead of simultaneously can help people to slow down and make a better choice.  This will turn into higher loyalty.
  • On the flip side though, a quick choice can lead to spontaneous happiness such as the simultaneous choice between carrots and chocolate.  Most people choose the chocolate and enjoy the chocolate.
  • Big gaps between lower and higher ticket prices = more tickets purchased at lower price.
  • Anchor and decoy pricing can lead the consumer to purchase the ticket price you desire.
  • We have a primary error of choosing based on comparing the first item we see.  Use this relational comparison wisely!
  • If only one choice is offered, that also could lower purchases – use joint evaluation by adding at least one more choice.
  • Customers also compare prices with their own experiences and memories of pricing.
  • Rewards are better than punishment.  Reward for purchasing early instead of punishing for purchasing later.
  • Praise is considered a reward.
  • “Benchmark before moving the needle.” – Ron Evans
  • It takes 5 things of right to make up for 1 wrong.
  • The build up stage before an event is super duper important!!!
  • People interact in a variety of ways.  Be sure to provide different avenues of engagement to accommodate.
  • Be relevant to your community, the times, and the people you serve. – Cat video festival was a huge success!
    “Our goal is to focus on the relevance part & the marketing part will take care of itself.”- David Tang Firebird AA
  • Use a team based approach.
  • Outrageous discounts do not increase revenue or loyalty.
  • Have fun with marketing and experiment!
  • Be sure to have objects of social interaction – “Ever notice how dogs attract people to converse with each other? ” – Nina Simon
  • Dogs and cats rule!
  • Funny-arts is a risky business. The arts risk every time art is created. Why are we not taking risks too?
  • We all would do better if we get in touch with our inner artist and create marketing and audience development programs like an artist!
  • Arts presentations need to be more artsy.
  • You need to do more than just satisfy.
  • Product may not be the most important factor – think of Beta vs VHS.  Beta was the better product, but VHS won the competition.
  • Be your quirky self and tell the truth by sharing your outtakes.
  • Bottom line, we need to learn to take risks and then share with others.
  • Personal last comment – share the passion and joy of the arts again and incorporate into all that you do.  People will be able to relate to this.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

2 Comments

Filed under Arts, arts advocacy, Arts funding, arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

Audience Development for the Arts Songs!

It’s Friday!  Yesterday as you know, we had an #auddev chat.  During the chat, one of our chatters, Becky Peters a.k.a. @bpeters99 tweeted a song title that stuck in my head: Love the One You’re With by Crosby, Stills and Nash.  Of course this was in reference to loving your current audience.

It had me thinking what other songs could be good for arts audience development.  Here’s a few I came up with:

Thank You – Natalie Merchant – Thank your supporters often!

Being for the Benefit of Mr.Kite – The Beatles  – Tell your story effectively so your audience can picture the show and get interested.

True Colors – Cyndi Lauper – Be yourself and show your true colors to attract the right audience.

Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman – Give your audience reasons to stay!

I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas – Make your event special in every way so your audience will have a feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night!

Do you have a song for arts audience development?  Feel free to reply. Happy weekend to you!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

1 Comment

Filed under Arts, arts marketing, Audience Development