5 Planning Tips for Arts Marketers in 2017

February 6, 2017 mogoarts

Now that 2017 is underway, it is time to reevaluate your past marketing strategies and plan for the next season or fiscal year. The best place to start is by taking a step back and assessing your campaigns and associated budgets from 2016. This is a critical task for any advertiser as the number one way to increase return on ad spend is to ensure that your budgets are effectively allocated to the desired target audience. Check out these five tips for 2017/18 planning.

1. Evaluate your target audience.

Create a basic, one-paragraph profile of your prospective patrons. You can look at your prospective patrons in terms of demographics, such as age, gender, education level, family composition, geographic location, or lifestyle. Ask yourself the following about the composition: What percentage of patrons are new visitors, one-time attendees or repeat visitors? What percentage are members or donors? What are their buying patterns in terms of programming or exhibitions? Do they buy tickets online? How often do they purchase tickets, and if so, how many?

2. Make key updates to your marketing plan.

Approach this year’s marketing plan with a fresh eye around key objectives: consider the number of new patrons you want to attract, how many more packages or memberships vs. individual tickets you want to sell than last season; what type of messaging you will leverage; how will you budget for media campaigns; and how will you continue to align your media budget allocations with your patrons’ media consumption and multi-device behavior?

3. Use Google Analytics to help inform your plan.

Where direct mail, email and digital are highly measurable, print, TV, radio and Out-of-Home are not. You can actually use your Google Analytics to measure print and TV.  For example, look at this past year’s marketing plan and select a few dates when you ran print ads.  In Google Analytics, filter by the geography of the publication’s distribution, and filter out all sources except organic, paid search and direct. Do you see a spike in site visits or conversions these days vs days when you did not run a print ad? Calculate the cost per unique visitor and compare to alternative channels.

Let’s not forget about mobile! Since the average person interacts with their phone an average of 13 times per hour, measuring mobile device behavior to craft an informed, forward-thinking mobile strategy is increasingly important. Did you know that, according to MediaPost, 31% of consumers use their mobile devices to shop for entertainment? Using Google Analytics to measure your mobile traffic is crucial when crafting an informed plan.

4. Base media budgets on the media consumption of your patrons.

According to eMarketer, 7 out of 10 marketers expect to increase their marketing technology budgets in 2017. As mentioned in #2, evaluate how your media investments align with consumer media consumption. For example, 60% of ads that consumers identified as being influential to their purchase were viewed on a mobile device (Think With Google). If consumers only spend 7% of their time with print, what is an appropriate percentage of your budget to invest in print?  Likewise, if consumers are increasingly online and on their mobile devices, what is an appropriate investment for those channels?  This alignment is the #1 way to increase your organization’s return on ad spend.

5. Don’t get locked into long term contracts.

This data shows that media consumption will continue to shift.  Avoid contracts that lock your dollars into any media. You may feel the need to reallocate mid-season and contracts may prevent you from doing what’s in the best interest of your organization.  Contracts only benefit the other party so avoid these at all costs.

We hope that these tips help you in planning so that 2017/18 can be your best year yet!