Marketing Strategies Inspired by Arts Organizations: Part I

September 27, 2019 Jackie Lozaw

If you are an arts marketer, you have an advantage because your art creates marketing content. You simply have to decide when and where the content should be placed, so most of your work resides in marketing strategy. There are various tried and true digital marketing best practices for the arts, but we will start with one – close to heart – recent Bay Area success story.

Case Study: San Francisco Ballet & Expanding Audience Demographics

In their quest to expand subscriptions among young adults, one of our clients, The San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) added 3,704 members to their newsletter membership. This 91.8% membership increase was the result of setting a specific goal and utilizing a CRM list of previous arts patrons in the Bay Area. 

What’s to Learn?

For more information, check out our case study. Otherwise, just remember:

  1. Utilize CRM lists. These lists compile information of individuals who demonstrate an active interest in your field of work. 
  2. Set specific marketing goals so that the results are easier to track and the strategy is easier to refine.

Now back to the basics; what are your specific marketing objectives? Acquiring new patrons? Selling out the show? Rewarding loyal customers? Write down your marketing goal. Highlight it. Underline it. Frame it. Your marketing objective is the inspiration for your marketing strategy.


Mogo’s Digital Marketing Strategy Tips

While we might be at risk of over-exhausting this advice… have you checked your online audience data recently? If not, we’ll give you a minute. Before you consider the following marketing tactics, study the story your data is telling.

Cost-Effective Audience Expansion Through Pixels: Acquiring new patrons can be an expensive process. If your goal is to expand audience numbers, you might want to consider pixels. Pixels serve as a tool to track and report detailed online behavior, helping to enable a better understanding of your audience. Not only will they help you construct a customized experience for patrons, but they’ll also lower your cost-per-acquisition (CPA). Pixels serve as a tool to develop digital marketing campaigns that will identify individuals more likely to show interest in your art – saving you time and money. 

Social Media Influencers For the Arts: Influencer marketing is on the rise among many industries. In fact 63% of companies plan to increase their marketing budget for social media influencer marketing. Recent trends suggest this budget will continue to grow. According to ExpertVoice, 82% of consumers are likely to follow a recommendation from a trusted influencer. If your goal is to engage younger audience members, this is a strategy to consider. Invite your favorite influencers for an evening at the theater, “Two free tickets to Les Misérables in exchange for an Instagram post?”

Personalize Email Groups: The president of Blumenthal Performing Arts in Charlotte, N.C., Tom Gabbard, witnessed increased response rates from patrons after sending intentional emails designed for specific groups. Instead of sending a traditional mass email, messages were curated for the unique interests of various patron groups. Changing email strategy increased response rates from 1 – 2% to 50 – 60% (AdWeek). Not only will personalized emails increase your response rates, but they’ll also decrease your chances of winding up in the spam folder.

The Mobile Experience: We are currently experiencing a world of Micro-Moments, the instant reflexive decision a consumer makes to seek online information. Almost 70% of smartphone users rely on their phones for conducting additional research on products or services. If potential patrons are searching for your season tickets, you should ensure that their mobile site loads quickly in order to provide a seamless online customer experience.

Omnichannel Marketing: With research, coordination, reservations, and confirmations, purchasing tickets is not always the easiest process for patrons. Ease their stress by refining and optimizing your omnichannel experience. Make sure that all of your online channels work with one another so that the path to purchase is smooth for patrons. With a seamless omnichannel experience, patrons can start their path to purchase on their laptop, continue researching on their tablet, and complete the purchase on their mobile phone.    

It’s an exciting time to be an arts marketer. With marketing technology rapidly improving and changing, there is never a shortage of new effective strategies and channels to help create a better online experience for your patrons that helps your organization generate more ticket sales.

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