Explore the evolution of streaming radio in paid media, from its humble beginnings to the powerhouse it is today.
In August, we had the pleasure of hosting a breakout session at the Tessitura Learning & Community Conference (TLCC) in Orlando, FL. MogoARTS’ Managing Director, Samantha Bryant co-presented with Howard Levine, VP of Marketing & Guest Services at State Theatre New Jersey (STNJ). The two put together a comprehensive session outline on how to use Tessitura to analyze patron buying behaviors by product type, seasonality, genre, etc.; and how to mirror marketing strategies and channels that complement different audience behaviors.
First, we must set the scene; it is no secret the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way patrons spend their time and money. Even though consumers were spending considerably more of their money online than before the COVID-19 outbreak, that spending has shifted. Research and data suggest that the money being spent online is a redistribution of aspects of traditional offline spending. Other purchases are being deferred or cancelled entirely. Going to movies, concerts or other events fell into the “stopped activity entirely” column, and entertainment outside the home dropped 20-25% from what was being spent pre-COVID.
Recent survey data from the Patron Perspective Buyer Report tells us more about patron buying frequency. Before the pandemic, 89% of survey respondents said they went to the theatre three or more times per year. We also saw that 73% of respondents to this survey said they purchased tickets one month or more in advance of an event. There are many factors which contribute to the timing of a purchase such as popularity, run time, ticket price, audience loyalty, seasonality, etc. But the takeaway is clear, patrons are not buying months in advance.
A national survey conducted by TRG Arts analyzes average booking patterns from 10 weeks before the final performance of a run at a venue or the maturity of a single performance. In both 2019 and 2021, 46% of the final revenue had been achieved by 10 weeks out. Patterns remain remarkably similar throughout the following weeks. In 2019, 12% of revenue was achieved in the final week of sales. In 2021 this dropped to 10%. What is interesting for the story of this chart is how much things have bounced back to pre-covid buying patterns altogether on an aggregate view. Take note that this survey is not segmented by market, venue type, genre or time of year and will impact buying patterns when looked at in more specific views.
Lastly, it is important to understand how your patrons are purchasing: online, at the box office, over the phone, etc. Knowing where sales are correlated can help manage expectations of the results of your marketing strategies. For example, if you have a high volume of purchases over the phone for subscriptions (so patrons can ask questions, etc.) do not expect your digital strategies to correlate those sales – instead look at additional KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as phone traffic, offline sales, visits and/or clicks on the contact us page, etc.
ANALYZE YOUR AUDIENCE
The best way to understand your patron’s buying patterns is to look directly at data from your database (such as Tessitura) to segment audience behavior. For example, STNJ is a performing arts venue which hosts various event types – so they started by looking at their largest genres. For the most recent season they saw that Concerts followed by Broadway were their highest selling event types. They also look at sales patterns such as subs vs regular vs. discounts as well as sales channels. Both by season and by production.
Analysis by production also includes revenue makeup/loss to discounts. Attendee segments such as new to file, second-time attendee, 3+ time attendee, subscriber; as well as running sale totals by date. Additionally, STNJ looks at where buyers come from and income levels and if children are present in their household and at what age. This helps get an idea how to better market this show as well as similar shows in the future.
When looking specifically at a Broadway Tour buying patterns pre- and post-pandemic STNJ compared similar titles in December 2018 and January 2023. Pre-pandemic, there was a huge spike at the on-sale announcement and a steady sales pattern with a slight increase 3-4 weeks ahead of opening. Compared to 2023, the on-sale spike is still present but nowhere near as high as 2018 and continues to see sales increase in the 2-3 weeks ahead of opening showing the delayed nature of a Broadway buyer.
Additionally, STNJ looked at similar family/children’s programming pre- and post-pandemic. Again, in 2018 they saw a large sales spike at the on-sale announcement and a relative steady pattern leading to the opening. The biggest change being in 2023 seeing no spike at the on-sale and sales remain steady but low until a large spike 4 weeks out from opening as well as the week of the show starting. Parents aren’t bothering buying or planning far in advance with family programming – likely due to kids being sick more frequently, they don’t want to commit until they know the family can attend.
Any ticket-sales organization can look at their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) database to analyze buying patterns and create a persona with behavioral assumptions to help inform exactly how and when to market to these patrons.
IDENTIFY THE BEST MEDIA STRATEGIES
All forms of media have ideal placements for specific types of engagement. It is best to start by looking at a marketing funnel and identifying different outcomes from different media channels.
Top of funnel strategies are for marketing to a wide audience to capture as many leads as possible. Since audiences are searching for information at this stage, the primary goals of marketing at the top of the funnel are awareness and lead generation. Some examples of channels used in this stage are CTV/OTT, Streaming Audio, Premium social media (TikTok, Twitter) and Traditional Media such as Billboards, Broadcast, Radio, Print, etc.
The next stage of the marketing funnel is interest or consideration. In this marketing funnel stage, potential customers are aware of your brand and are starting to learn more about it. They may have watched a video about your season or visited your website. Examples of media to support this nurture phase of the funnel are more first party focused tactics in addition to prospecting to known audiences – native advertising, social media such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Meta), and paid search engine marketing.
Finally, the conversion stage is when a user finally makes the choice to convert or purchase. Your goal is to get as many people as possible from the higher stages of your marketing funnel to this purchase point. It is the final push to get your prospective patron to convert. At this point, focusing on more direct response tactics such as programmatic display banners, social media (Meta), and paid search engine marketing is recommended.
It is also important to consider segmentation – and to prioritize engaged audiences strategically among your first party audiences. Key audiences include CRM Database, Site Visitors, Social Engagers and Cart Abandoners. Did you know, according to Baymard Institute, that almost 70% of shoppers abandon their carts? A MogoARTS recent benchmark report shows an average 8.23% conversion rate on abandoned cart; and $23.91 ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).
Ultimately, consider the timing of your media activation in relation to your patron’s buying patterns. For a late buying audience, deploy top of funnel strategies earlier out from on-stage dates and increase remarketing and bottom of funnel strategies closer to opening. You may also consider running media a few days or weeks into on stage flight to leverage reviews and patron testimonials. Read up on our recent blog on the benefits of annual media planning for other ideas on how to structure your season approach.
TEST & LEARN
Structure clear tests to measure which strategies perform, and scale. Rule number one regarding A/B testing is that all tests should be performed in isolation. Choose one thing – a new channel, headline, call to action, landing page, etc. If you are trying multiple new ideas at once it is impossible to know what was the factor that impacted your test. We also recommend dedicating a testing budget or at least equal budget to A/B test subjects for comparative data and determining a true result. Be comfortable and prepared that all tests have a winner and a loser, and you may not achieve your desired result.
When it comes to measurement, you may be monitoring ticket sales, but it is recommended to log multiple KPIs on a regular basis… you never know what the impact of your test may be! Decide and weigh which KPIs are most important to your organization and continue to check in throughout your test. Depending on what you are planning to measure we recommend looking at historical / organic growth of those KPIs and then setting specific growth goals within scale of past performance. For example, MogoARTS ran a CTV (Connected TV) test with STNJ in Fall 2022 and while the campaign inched closer to the performance opening – ticket sales were not being impacted fast enough. The STNJ team made a decision that branding and awareness coming from CTV was not as important as focusing on ticket sales and decided to pause the video portion of the campaign and reallocate the budget to more direct response strategies.
No matter the patterns you uncover, there are a multitude of unique ways to approach marketing to your audience. Treat every product or performance as an individual challenge and don’t be afraid to try innovative ideas – you just might discover the right combination of media and timing that strikes your audience right!
In the rapidly evolving world of marketing, organizations are constantly seeking ways to reach their target audience effectively. One essential strategy that has proven to be highly advantageous is annual media planning. In this blog, we will delve into the benefits and explore some best practices for creating an effective annual media strategy.
The new year means new season planning and budgeting is around the corner. One of the most important efforts in new season planning is engaging with your subscribers to retain them for another year of support. A well-crafted subscription campaign can help your organization stand out from others and enable your membership benefits to build deeper and long-lasting relationships with your patrons through your digital marketing efforts.
Why use digital advertising?
Traditionally, subscription renewals are driven primarily by box office outreach, direct mail pieces, and email campaigns. While these strategies are effective, it is known that it takes multiple touch points with a patron to drive an action. Telemarketing and direct mail can be expensive and/or be locked in at fixed rates, not leaving room for flexibility to pause or ramp up efforts. Folding in a digital marketing campaign to your subscriptions efforts can be a cost-efficient strategy to reach loyal patrons ripe for an upsell to a subscription or retain a longtime subscriber that doesn’t require as many touch points to renew.
Digital Marketing campaigns allow the ability to customize messages by different audiences or patron types, track and measure correlated ticket and subscription purchases directly to your ad spend, compliment your offline strategies with CRM remarketing, and efficiently optimize strategies that are working and dial back on strategies that are not.
Identify your Audience
Depending on where your organization is at in the subscriptions cycle, you’ll want to group your target audiences by Renewals and Acquisition.
Renewals audiences consist of only subscribers who are up for renewal from one year to the next. More specifically, a renewals campaign will target first-party audiences only, such as a CRM list of current subscribers and/or a suppression CRM list of those that have already renewed.
Acquisition consists of the open period in which subscriptions are available to new subscribers (and/or those who didn’t renew before the deadline). Something to consider is Acquisition is not only net-new patrons, but rather new subscribers within your organization’s database. A large portion of an acquisition campaign should focus on upselling existing patrons who have not yet subscribed or let their subscription lapse. This is also heavily driven by first-party targeting of a CRM list of lapsed subscribers, multi-ticket buyers from 3-5 seasons back, and/or members of the community who have engaged with your organization at events. In addition to CRM, your campaign should also target website visitors and/or social engagers.
A subscription is a commitment of time and money, and it is less likely to convert a patron who has never been to your institution ever before. So, it is important to focus your marketing efforts on converting and upselling your existing database. If your goal is to attract younger and new subscribers, focus on getting this audience in the door with a single ticket campaign first and then upsell to a subscription package.
One of the benefits of digital marketing is the ability to tailor unique messages to diverse audiences to create a customized conversation. We recommend creating different ad sets and messages to speak to renewing subscribers versus lapsed or first-time subscribers.
Lapsed audiences or first-time subscribers may need a reminder of the savings of subscribing, member benefits such as discounted parking or concessions, meet ‘n greets with talent, early access, and more. Create a carousel or animated ad that rotates through the various benefits of being a subscriber to effectively showcase a patron who may not be aware of these perks. If your value is primarily in programming, promote the show titles or talent included.
Renewing subscribers who are loyal to your organization and already know the benefits of being a member. Using digital ad campaigns is a way to cost-effectively reach these patrons to remind them renewals are on sale and/or programming has been announced and create a sense of urgency. These audiences don’t need a lot of touchpoints to encourage them to renew and can be pushed through the consideration funnel faster than a new-to-file patron. Try using a message with more urgency around retaining their benefits such as “Renew today to secure your seats!” or “Subscribe before May 1st for 30% savings!”
Goal Setting & Measurement
Before heading into the next subscriptions period, look back at years’ past and take note of changes or growth. Have you seen a drop off in a particular package? Do renewals depend heavily on programming? Do subscriptions typically sell more online or from patrons calling the box office? What may have impacted these changes in the past? (Lack of marketing budget or a pandemic, perhaps?) It is important to look at historical growth to set goals for the coming year with context or identify strategies that have worked in the past.
Even if you’re not dedicating a marketing campaign to subscriptions renewals, one thing that is inevitable is crossover. Subscriptions will likely go on sale while single tickets for the current season are still available. Many subscribers will head to your website to renew their packages and get caught in the remarketing efforts of any single ticket ad campaigns that are currently active, and those renewals can then be attributed to a single ticket campaign and inflate results. A quick fix to prevent this is to provide a CRM list of your current subscribers up for renewal as a suppression list to exclude this audience segment in any remarketing during the renewals period. By doing this you can exclude transactions for renewals that are not related to the single ticket efforts and save your remarketing dollars for those who need it.
Lastly, set clear goals to measure success both offline and online. Sales results is the ultimate measure of success (volume of sales or revenue), but consider secondary KPIs depending on your strategies in market:
- If you’ve introduced a season trailer, look at video engagement.
- If there is any in-market advertising, keep an eye on Google Analytics to see traffic trends and/or engagement rates
- If you’re advertising in a new channel such as Meta or TikTok, look at follower growth
Every organization’s subscription cycle and patron buying patterns are different, so measure your success against yourself and not peer organizations. As well as talk with your marketing agency or in-house department about what new ideas you can try in 2023.
Over the course of the next few years, third-party data will continue to become less reliable as data privacy continues to evolve (currently slated for early 2024). MogoARTS Marketing recently led a session at Tessitura’s Learning & Community Conference in Denver, CO exploring the marketing strategies to best position arts organizations in a world with increased data privacy and limited tracking capabilities. Here are the takeaways from this session:
What are Cookies?
Currently, online consumer data is tracked via cookies, which is a piece of code placed on your device that collects and stores data that the website can retrieve at any time. Cookies contain third-party data, such as user identification, behavior, and preferences that have been widely leveraged in digital marketing.
Why do Cookies exist?
Using cookies has been foundational for paid digital marketing tactics like retargeting, user tracking, conversion attribution, and reaching new audiences using third-party data. The changes around data privacy including regulation and legislation, are embracing enhanced data privacy policies and setting more boundaries and guidelines around how data is used that both honors users’ privacy and supports transparency. Ultimately, this has limited the use of cookie-based data to protect user privacy.
Traditionally, users would be forced to opt-in to tracking through their consent of user agreements or terms of service when signing up for things like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Now, the industry is moving away from these passive consent-models toward empowering users to manage their data more directly. In the new approach, users now have more direct control to choose to opt-in or out, allowing users more discretion on how and when their personal data is collected.
While users opt-in and allow tracking content through user agreements and terms of service when signing up for and using services like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, the industry is moving away from passive consent models. Instead, the industry is leaning into active consent from users to explicitly opt-in or out of tracking. This gives the user more discretion on how and when their personal data is collected.
The industry changes started with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Data Privacy Act (CCPA) setting the tone for other states’ legislation. In 2016 CCPA championed ballot initiatives to advocate on behalf of better personal data security. This sparked a call for national and global privacy compliance. At this point, lawmakers in 15 states are poised to vote on more expansive legislation in 2022.
In response to the regulatory and legislative pressures, Google embraced the shift toward privacy. Having announced in 2021 the deprecation of third-party tracking. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty in the industry. In fact, Google has already shifted their projected cookie deprecation date from 2023 to 2024, just illustrating what an ever-evolving subject this is.
What Changes Are Coming? Why Should I Care?
The trend toward data security, privacy, and transparency is centered around a consumer-focused decision of how their data is collected and used.
As part of the changing landscapes, websites are now required to have a consent framework built into their systems. A consent framework enables users to opt-in or out of data collection, typically through an online environment (like a website or an app) with a pop-up asking, “do you accept cookies?” This gives consumers the ability to more directly manage data-consent and specifically what the data could be used for.
Major tech companies like Google and Apple are implementing additional privacy standards to adhere to GDPR and CCPA. By default, most browsers (Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge) already prevent cookie-tracking. These environments assume users want data privacy, but users still have the option to adjust their setting to opt-in to data tracking. Apple also requires app developers to build in the consent framework pop-up to get explicit data sharing opt-ins from its users.
The most immediate and difficult impact is on the paid media side of things. Specifically, this makes attribution challenging to understand the impact of paid media exposures to an outcome (a purchase, a signup, etc.). If someone has opted-out of data tracking – then you cannot attribute their behavior to an ad exposure.
Digital marketing will be most directly impacted through targeting and personalization of messaging toward third-party audiences, as consumer profiles will be more protected so audience segmentation will be less transparent.
Opting In or Out
So once a consumer opts-in, they will become part of your first-party audience. Brands will have more flexibility with these audiences by virtue of the consumer opt-in. Brands can leverage them in remarketing, track consumer behavior to personalize messaging and outreach, and customize their user experience to build brand loyalty. For this reason, CRM (consumer relationship management) platforms will need to be compliant with consent management platforms to ensure the brand is aligned with privacy regulations. This gives the brands an opportunity to deliver higher ad relevance to their opt-in databases, through customization and personalization as well as more cost-efficiency in their advertising since they are a qualified and engaged audience.
For third-party audiences (who have either opted-out or have yet to engage with a brand), brands will be limited in their ability to segment and customize the experience for that audience. As a result, targeting non-opt-in audiences will impact correlated conversions, reporting, KPI, and will be more expensive to reach because of the limitations on passing their behavioral data back to media platforms.
To date, we’ve seen opt-in rates as low as 5% and as high as 25%, so the industry is expecting a major shift in how brands will target, track, and measure digital media efforts. Even for the high end at a 25% opt-in rate, this is a fraction of what was reported historically. So, marketers will need to adjust their KPIs, benchmarks, and digital goals to account for the loss in visibility. In fact, a recent study from GetApp and HubSpot showed that 44% of marketers predict that advertisers will need to increase their ad spend by 5-25% to see the same results from 2021.
Strategies for Engaging Third-Party Audiences
Brands can turn to contextual advertising to reach new prospects and reengage audiences who opted-out. Instead of using third-party data segmentation to align audience and messaging, brands can opt for real-time contextual advertising – e.g., a news article, website, news feed, mobile app screen, or video game a user engages with. For instance, if a newyorktimes.com reader is looking at an article about the newest Superhero movie, they might see a contextual ad placed by Marvel reminding them of the release date.
Before the cookie goes away, you can target:
- Consumer Profile
- Household Income
- Behavioral Interests
After the third-party cookie goes away, you can target instead:
- Contextual advertising
- Broad Topics
- Web Browsing Themes
The truth is, this is a global change that will impact everyone; internet users and consumers like you, digital advertisers like us, and publishers like Google.
What can you do?
Build out new measurement models and KPIs: We highly recommend building out measurement and analytic models as a framework for performance evaluation for digital channels. Partner with your marketing team or agency to craft measurement and analytic models as a framework for performance evaluation for digital channels.
Tracking is changing. Year over year measurement will no longer be informative in the ways it once was. So, start preparing and tracking new KPIs and designing measurement models to appropriately track your audience and performance before and after these changes take place. Look at performance from April 2021 compared to April 2022 and see how performance and audience data dips. This is a preview of what is to come with cookies.
Engagement metrics are going to be key going forward. Selecting KPIs like click-through-rates, site visitations/landing page views will become key forms of digital marketing measurement. Supplemental reporting around leads, CRM growth, site engagement metrics will help to tell a story around brand engagement and marketing effectiveness. Consider evolving beyond just conversion-based or direct response benchmarks. The key will be to align on KPIs internally and to actively track and document performance across those metrics. Review these with your internal or external marketing team to assess historical trends and help forecast and identify areas of opportunity.
Invest in First-Party Audience Development: It’s recommended to prepare your first-party audiences now before it’s too late. Set goals for CRM Database and Social follower growth. This can be used for Email Marketing, Content, and/or Lead Generation.
Work with your marketing team or agency to launch strategies designed to increase new audiences. By starting early, your organization will be equipped to keep advertising momentum when these targeting and tracking capabilities shut off.
Segment first-party audiences for customized ad messaging: Building strategies to increase and engage with opt-in audiences are going to be foundational strategies. Brands need to think through how best to personalize online experiences to engage these audiences. You can be more action-oriented in your messaging to an opt-in audience. Testing more direct messaging like “Get Tickets / Buy Now!” can work for engaged opt-in audiences while “Learn More” calls to action will be more appropriate for any third-party messaging.
Categorizing and segmenting your engaged audiences will help you build out a better communication strategy. If you have segmented member or purchaser audiences, you can customize a message based on their buying behavior in a way that can help build patron loyalty. For instance, if you have a known or lapsed subscriber audience, you will want to customize a message to speak to renewing their subscription. Relevancy, personalized messaging, and immediacy of outreach will be important to ensure you are delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time.
License Enterprise Technology and Partnerships: Engage in partnerships with technology partners and vendors at the forefront of data privacy. This can include on-boarding a media buying platform, a consent-based analytics platform that plugs into ticketing, website improvements, data warehousing refinements, etc. Talk to your agency or marketing team about what tools they are using for consent and data privacy compliance.
While all these changes are going to change the way brands interact with their audiences, it’s important to understand nothing is concrete yet. Solutions are continuously being presented. Brands need to be open to leveraging their partner and vendor’s knowledge to navigate and find the solutions that work for them. Having these conversations now will be pivotal in preparing marketing teams and organizations for the changes that are expected in the next 9-12 months.
Over the past year there has been an increase in conversation and expected impact of the upcoming industry changes when it comes to privacy and consumer data. Google and Apple are just a few organizations who have made headlines for their commitment to ensuring consumer privacy. These changes will have a large impact on the marketing strategies and how brands will engage consumers.
For years, consumers have been advocating for more privacy and control of their data and how organizations are both collecting and using that information. Government policy as well as leading tech organizations are driving industry change to help support consumer privacy and data protection. Organizations like Google have announced that within the next few years they will move away from third-party cookies which track consumer behavior. Brands are then able to use that third-party data as a way to identify and segment specific audiences for advertising. Google’s commitment to eliminating the third-party cookies is another step to protect consumer data and ensure privacy, which will limit advertisers ability to target highly segmented audiences. Along with Google, Apple has announced the launch of their iOS14 updates which gave consumers more control over how their data is being collected and used. The industry is seeing a shift to empowering users to opt-in, or more often the case, opt-out of data sharing. This gives the power to the consumers to decide when and how their data is collected and shared. These changes and movement toward consumer empowered data protecting is forcing the rest of the industry to accelerate their own privacy and data protection strategies.
The good news is that these changes and challenges are not entirely new. However, the questions remain: How can your organization prepare for the changes to come and what strategies can you implement to help support your marketing efforts? MogoSME’s latest Webinar discusses industry changes and strategies to help your organization prepare as we head into a “Cookieless World.” To support that discussion, the blog format will help support the webinar based conversation.
What big shifts are going on in the digital space?
Currently, consumer data is being collected by Cookies, which are a bit of code that enables brands and advertisers to target and track consumer behavior. Brands have used that information to personalize online experiences, tailoring offerings and messaging to online users based on their preferences. Cookies now seem invasive as consumers become more aware of how much information is publicly available and that their data is often resold for purposes they are not always aware of. In response, lawmakers are implementing data privacy laws and regulations to prevent advertisers from viewing and using data without consumer consent. As mentioned tech companies like Google and Apple are implementing additional privacy standards to adhere to regulations like GDRP and CCPA. This is just the beginning as there are additional plans to include more privacy features by 2023.
Already most search browsers, to a varying degree, prevent cookie-tracking by default. Users would have to actively opt-in to tracking by changing the settings on their browsers. These browsers assume that most online users would prefer to not share their data. The industry is to move away from unclear data collection and sharing practices in favor of more consumer consent models of data sharing.
When are we expecting to see these changes take place?
As mentioned before, some of these changes have already taken place. Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge were early adopters and limited third-party tracking on their browsers. In fact, by the end of the year all current browsers will have tracking disabled by default. Apple now requires app developers to build in pop-up prompts in order to get explicit data sharing opt-ins from users. Google, by 2023, will remove all third-party tracking from their Chrome browsers. This will have a big impact on data collection as Chrome accounts for around 70% of all browser use (Statista, 2021). With opt-in rates as low as 5% and as high as 25% (Bloomberg, 2021), the industry is anticipating a real shift in how brands and advertisers target, track, and measure digital media initiatives.
To support these changes, Google is currently testing out multiple, often competing, solutions in order to find the best approach to enable privacy and support advertising initiatives. Their goal is to standardize consent across all platforms, browsers, and apps, using a shared IF across these environments to enable tracking, targeting, and measurement. This would still ensure a consumer has the right to opt-in or out at any time. The two biggest solution options are UID2.0 and Liveramp ATS. Both are in the testing phase, but what we do know is that each is proposing email addresses become the identifiers for consumers and their opted in or out status. This means that email addresses will help identify consumer data privacy preferences and either enable or disable data tracking and sharing.
There is still a lot of testing to identify the right solution. However, we know that privacy and security is nothing new for these technology companies who have already taken steps to prepare themselves and brand using their services for the changes to come. Google is still helping to define a unified approach with the goal to support a cookieless environment starting early 2023.
What will happen once these changes take place?
Once these changes go into effect, consumers will have more control of their digital footprint and what data they will and won’t share. This will put more responsibility on consumers to manage their opt-in or opt-out status, but will ultimately provide consumers more control over their data and give them a personalized approach to data sharing.
For advertisers, on the other hand, they will need to embrace a consent-based strategy to reach their audiences. Organizations will have to find the right privacy management solution to support consumers ability to opt-in (or out) of data sharing. Advertisers will also have to be more transparent on how they are using their consumer data, so looking for and exploring ways to speak to consumers about data utilization transparently and respectfully.
Along with finding the right privacy consent solution, advertisers will rely more heavily on their first-party audiences, where there is already a relationship between consumer and organization. Managing and supporting these audiences with personalization and quality content will become a big part of a brand’s strategy.
There is still a lot of work to do to find the best solution, which creates an opportunity for creativity and testing once these changes take effect. Brands and advertisers can test our new strategies to message to their audience or new targeting approaches based on the industry-wide solution that Google will embrace, which means there will be some disruption as the industry challenges and vets new best practices.
What impact will we see with paid digital marketing campaigns?
In terms of digital marketing impact, brands will have to shift their approach to targeting, optimizations, and measurement. The removal of third-party tracking, along with expected drops in first-party opt-ins, will result in a loss of conversion attribution. Conversion attribution accuracy will decrease as we will lose our ability to measure the impact of an ad against a direct outcome like formfill, ticket purchase, or product purchase. Overall, we will see lower conversions, higher CPAs, and will have to establish new benchmarks to help evaluate performance.
Another impact will be on targeting. As the definition of a targetable audience will shift to only represent first-party and opt-in audiences, we do expect to see a decrease in retargeting audiences and a limit on how to target non-opted-in audience segments (that we can do today, but won’t in the future). This is one of the things Google is testing now. One approach they have is that Google will create groups or cohorts of users that are large enough to make it impossible to identify individual characteristics, behaviors, or patterns. These cohorts AKA Google’s FLOC (Federated List of Cohorts) will be available to advertisers to expand their targeting outside of their first-party audiences. This will provide consumer protection, decrease an advertisers ability to personalize ads toward a smaller audience segment, but still allow advertisers the ability to engage with prospecting audience segments. How this will work is still being defined by Google and their web standard partners like W3c (World Wide Web Consortium), which are working to define cohort audience segments.
Along with audience size and target availability, optimizations and measurement will be impacted. As third-party cookies are removed, the industry is bracing for a loss in conversion data. This is due to the inability to track targeted audience across multiple environments like websites, apps, and platforms. The limitation in tracking will be reflected in measurement and performance metrics that advertisers report on. Brands will have to be more reliant on conversion modeling to help contextualize performance. Platform algorithms will no longer have the 1:1 correlation between ad and action the target audience takes. There will be a shift back toward more traditional correlated performance indicators used by methods like Media Mix Modeling to help understand advertising impact. Organizations will have to lean into their agency partners to build out new measurement solutions, benchmarks, and standard to correlate performance to their digital media efforts.
Due to these impacts, current KPIs will no longer be valid. Cost per Acquisition will increase as attribution decreases. Due to these limitations we know we will not have full visibility into performance, which will increase all cost-based metrics, decrease in attributed conversions, and will require a new perspective to evaluate digital media impact.
How are agencies or advertisers minimizing the effects from the loss of third-party cookies?
It will be critical for organizations to lean into first-party audiences. Building strategies to increase and engage with opt-in audiences are going to be foundational strategies going forwards. Brands need to think through how best to personalize online experiences to engage these audiences.
Agencies will need to be an integrated partner to best support their clients. This will include partnering to build out measurement and analytic models as a framework for performance evaluation for their digital channels. An example of measurement model might look like taking media channel allocations and looking at ticket sales for the given campaign period vs. a period when the campaign was not active. Since we know attribution is limited, we would evaluate if there is a lift in ticket sales during the active campaign period to help look at correlated impact of the digital investment. This will require more collaboration between agency and brand to build a measurement framework to evaluate performance, make data-driven recommendations, and optimizations.
On social channels, despite the limitation on third-party tracking on performance, there is still an opportunity to measure impact on your owned channels. Looking at campaigns to drive engagement or follower growth can help brands better evaluate the power of the social channel and support additional investment in those channels.
Another consideration is that social platforms are building out their own solutions to better support measurement for their advertisers. Facebook has introduced their Conversion API connecting an advertiser’s CRM, website, ecommerce platform, call center, mobile app, etc directly to Facebook bypassing the need for cookie-based audiences. Pending privacy policies, this will enable advertisers to customize and personalize their marketing messaging with consumer engagement with the online brand. The API enables organizations to share data directly from servers without cookie-based tracking.
While we know measurement, data sharing, and organic engagement are all strategies that are being explored, the key area of focus for most brands will be on how to build and sustain their first-party audiences. Brands will have an opportunity to look for more innovation in how to drive value, measure performance, and understand the impact of their digital efforts.
Advice for organizations and industry leaders
There are a few opportunities organizations can take to get ahead of the impending changes. The first and foremost is for advertisers to spend time vetting and evaluating the right content management solution. Brands can spend time thinking about the right solution to help manage consumer privacy, communicate data transparency, and to deliver and engage the right content to their first-party audiences.
Secondly, advertisers must remain flexible when it comes to measurement, audience targeting, and performance evaluation. Investing in your first-party data and especially your content strategy across paid, owned, and earned media channels. Finding ways to engage first-party audiences will be the foundation of their digital media strategies.
Finally, advertisers can turn to their agencies and digital partners to take on a more strategic role. We know there is still a lot of uncertainty, but one thing we know is that agencies can support in redefining KPIs, evaluate current measurement strategies, and define new ways to look at and measure success for digital efforts. Look toward your agency partners as an extension of your marketing team to help navigate the impending changes.
To listen to this conversation, you can watch our recording here.
MogoARTS’ President Danielle Johnson recently sat down with TRG Arts’ Client Engagement Officer Eric Nelson to discuss the challenges and opportunities for arts organizations as they reopen. As a part of that discussion, there are some key trends and takeaways that arts organizations should consider when preparing for the new season ahead. As partners with TRG Arts, we understand the challenges and opportunities arts organizations are facing. Here are the 5 things to know about reopening. We hope these tips can bring new perspectives to your organization.
1: Ask “Who can we best serve?”
As state and nationwide mandates continue to evolve and in-person events are permitted, organizations recognize there will be less seating inventory available due to social distancing policies. Therefore we must redefine our audience and ask, “Who can we best serve?”
Although arts organizations may have had an established audience before the pandemic, reopening challenges organizations to redefine that audience. Consider which audience members may be most likely to return, potential new audiences, and who you’d like to prioritize in the coming months.
Having a target audience enables organizations to have a clear focus on budgeting, marketing, and strategy as they begin to welcome patrons back to their venues. By defining a target audience, organizations will have a better understanding of where to allocate their time, money, and resources. By focusing on the right audience, arts organizations can reach their relevant audiences more efficiently, using less resources while driving higher returns from production planning, ticket marketing, and the communication of safety strategies.
As Nelson shared from TRG Arts’ findings, most organizations are opening up at 30-50% of their previous full capacity. With limited inventory and resources, arts organizations are being challenged to pinpoint their highest value audience and redefine an engagement strategy as they reopen. Who do you want to fill those limited seats? Decide whether your organization wants to focus on inviting in new audiences, or on welcoming back loyal or returning patrons. There may be many possibilities for growth outside of your current audience. The best way to gauge interest is to speak to your potential patrons via surveys, newsletters, and engagement on social media.
2: Engaging Online and In-Person Audiences
With the onset of COVID-19 and in-person events being put on hold, many arts organizations adopted digital offerings to continue to bring the arts to their patrons. Digital content programming gave arts organizations an additional revenue stream and helped them stay engaged with their patrons. One of the unforeseen benefits of going digital has been increased viewership due to lowered entry barriers. Digital programming has enabled those typically restricted by in-person seating accessibility or capacity, geographical boundaries, or financial resources to engage with digital content in a way that in-person events hadn’t made available. As shows are no longer limited by in-person capacity, they can no longer be sold out. Digital programming is often offered at lowered prices as well, both of which make shows more easily accessed than ever before.
The transition to virtual programming has given new and diverse audiences an opportunity to engage with organizations in ways that weren’t possible in the past. Up to 80% of theatres are now offering paid digital events and giving organizations an opportunity to capitalize on an increase of viewership and online engagement. By providing digital offerings, organizations have increased revenue, brand awareness, and audience reach. It has helped organizations to reach previously unavailable audiences, growing and diversifying patron base.
As we begin to reopen, TRG recommends to continue to embrace your virtual audience. Consider continuing virtual offerings even after in-person events are allowed again, not only to drive accessibility, but also to keep your connection to a digital audience long after reopening. Engaging audiences with both virtual and in-person experiences, enables arts organizations to diversify their offerings, build a virtual audience, and engage that audience for in person events. These will all help organizations strengthen and diversify their loyal patron base.
3: Make Reopening Fun
Reopening won’t be an instant return to pre-pandemic normalcy. With partial capacity seating and safety guidelines to adhere to, it is imperative to articulate safety measures your organization is taking to make patrons feel safe. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with it.
Think of ways to stay safe while doing things your way – add personality and flair to your safety procedures by using the same theatricality and care you have for your sets. This could mean dressing up empty seats set aside for social distancing, creating branded safety infographics, or using humorous and whimsical signage in the theatre. As you reopen, keep a pulse on audience response. Listen to feedback, see what your patrons react positively or negatively to and adjust accordingly.
Attention to detail in regards to patron journey, especially when it comes to safety, will only enhance patrons’ experiences as we return to in-person events. A careful, yet fun, patron journey strengthens audience trust and establishes a much-needed rapport after a year away from the stage. Let them know your principles, as making a return to live performances will require a careful approach that makes audiences comfortable with coming back. There is no reason why following guidelines should take away from the magic of a live performance!
4: “Christmas in July”
As the arts make a comeback, so does competition. Arts and entertainment organizations everywhere are preparing to welcome in-person audiences back this year. Since there will be many offers and entertainment options as we get back to in-person events, it’s important to get in front of audiences as early as possible. TRG Arts recommends trying to be one of the first to market – think ‘Christmas in July!’
Competition will be stiff, but there’s good news: with live shows returning, people are excited. TRG Arts has observed a pent up demand for in person shows. People are ready to get back to in-person entertainment and as a result, subscription renewal rates are higher than in previous years. We recommend meeting audiences with the same energy and sense of urgency they feel to get back to your venue. TRG Arts also found that loyal and lapsed patrons have been giving donations to arts organizations at an increased rate YOY. Nearly half of organizations (49%) saw an increase in gift revenue in 2020, and 74% saw an increase in the number of gifts from 2019. This shows that patrons are eager to support the arts. So engaging patrons before other organizations do, will give you a chance to capture their attention & time to drive additional revenue.
Setting a strong momentum for yourself right out of the gate will allow your organization to stand out above the rest. Additionally, early preparation in safety measures, marketing, and seasoning planning will make sure you don’t get left behind this reopening season. Keep your patrons updated on upcoming plans and be transparent with any changes and issues, so that your audiences are ready the same time you are. The race is on!
5: Take A Look Back
We encourage you to reflect on the lessons, tactics, and initiatives your organization has taken in the last year. Give your teams an opportunity to celebrate the wins and understand the challenges. This reflection can help you craft a strategy and inspire ideas to support reopening.
For example, there may be messaging tactics developed to increase online engagement that can be repurposed to strengthen your reopening plan. Similarly, lessons learned the hard way, such as decrease in your audience engagement should be taken into consideration. Do you want to try retargeting them or use your budget elsewhere? Organizations can benefit by applying these lessons towards streamlining patron journeys, refining offerings, aligning internal teams, and continuing to innovate in-person and digital strategies.
Don’t forget that during COVID-19, many organizations created a whole new digital experience. You will want to think through ways that this digital offering can compliment or support your reopening strategies. Many organizations are evaluating their longer-term digital offering. TRG Arts recommended finding the balance between what efforts you want to continue and what new initiatives to take. This opportunity for reflection can give your organization the ability to assess what are the right strategies to re-engage your patrons.
As we make a return to the stage, MogoARTS wants to encourage arts organizations to take informed, safe steps towards reopening. We are thankful for resources and partners like TRG Arts that can help us understand the journey and trends for reopening. Lastly, we have learned a lot from the last year and being able to apply those learnings toward our reopening strategies will help us engage with our patrons. MogoARTS is committed to helping the arts community welcome patrons back and hope these takeaways help in your reopening efforts.
Last year we made a commitment to educating ourselves and others on the systemic racial inequality that Black Americans face to this day. One year later, we are revisiting the resources we gathered for those who have the means to donate and be effective allies. Below you’ll find funds and resources for you to engage with to help fight this battle that has been fought for far too long. Injustice for one is injustice for all.
The arts community has long been influenced by Black culture. From jazz to theater, many of the stories and performances we know and love are rooted in, and gain their power and passion from, the Black community. At MogoARTS, our hearts break as those around us suffer from the constant injustice created by systemic oppression.
Now is not the time for us to be silent as we fight for the equality that our Black performers, artists, and communities deserve. We hear you. We see you. We mourn for you. We commit to standing in solidarity as we continue to fight against racism.
We believe that it is our job as a company to use our platforms for good, and we intend to do just that by bringing to light resources, petitions, and funds so that the fire that America has right now to fight the systemic injustice will not die out.Funds
Please note: Many funds have received overwhelming support and have requested for donations to be sent to other organizations. This list is accurate of those who are still asking for donations as of 6/1/2021.
Black Lives Matter – https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
Center for Constitutional Rights – https://ccrjustice.org/home/what-we-do
Campaign Zero – https://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision
Columbus Freedom Fund – https://www.paypal.me/columbusfreedomfund
Equal Justice Initiative – https://eji.org/about/
My Block, My Hood, My City – https://www.formyblock.org/donate
My Brother’s Keeper – https://www.obama.org/mbka/our-work/
National Urban League – https://nul.org/donate
Race Forward – https://www.raceforward.org/about
The Loveland Foundation – https://thelovelandfoundation.org/
Unicorn Riot – https://unicornriot.ninja/donate/
George Floyd Memorial Foundation – https://justiceforgeorge-takeaction.carrd.co/
Black Trans Advocacy Coalition – https://blacktrans.org/donate/
Black Lives Matter Charity Index – https://blacklives.help/
168 Ways to Donate in Support of Black Lives and Communities of Color – https://nymag.com/strategist/article/where-to-donate-for-black-lives-matter.html
Note: We have linked to Amazon, but we encourage you to shop Black-owned bookstores when possible, here is a helpful list
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism – White fragility is the tendency of a white person to become defensive when confronted with information on racial injustice and how that often benefits white people. This book explains the dynamics of that tendency and how white people might build their capacity of taking on that (uncomfortable) conversation in the on-going work towards racial justice.
Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Noble – Dives into the field of information science, machine learning to investigate how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results.
Rage Inside The Machine, Rob Smith – This book demonstrates how morals have been embedded in our technology infrastructure by diving into historical stories and investigating complex connections between institutional prejudices and new technologies.
Racial Diversity: There’s More Work to be Done in the Workplace – This article delves into the root problems causing the lack of diversity and representation in the workplace and what strategies we can use to combat this issue.
How to Manage When Things Are Not Okay (And Haven’t Been for Centuries) – Offering advice to managers and leadership on how to acknowledge the black struggle, provide support to your team, and how to make space for black voices.
Note: We have linked to Amazon, but we encourage you to shop Black-owned bookstores when possible, here is a helpful list
All Are Welcome – All Are Welcome Here shares the message of a school where everyone’s differences are loved and celebrated.
Sulwe – Sulwe creates a heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty and appreciate it.
I Am Enough – I Am Enough focuses on loving who you are and respecting others while being kind to one another no matter the differences.
When They See Us (Available on Netflix) – Dramatized account of the Central Park Five. Show follows the corrupt trial that resulted in five innocent men being convicted of a crime that they were innocent of.
Dear White People (Available on Netflix) – A campus culture war between blacks and whites at a predominantly white school comes to a head when the staff of a humour magazine stages an offensive Halloween party.
13th (Available on Netflix) – Documentary on the unjust imprisonment system and systemic inequalities of the prison system.
Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 (Available to rent) – Documentary film examining the evolution of the Black Power movement in American society from 1967-1975.
American Son (Available on Netflix) – An American film based on the story of the Broadway play, shining light on the injustice of systemic racism that leaves a mother desperate to find out what officials have done to her missing son.
The Hate U Give (Hulu) – The movie follows Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who lives in the black neighborhood of Garden Heights. After a gun goes off at a party Starr is attending, she drives home with her best friend Khalil when they’re stopped by a police officer. Khalil has to exit the vehicle and is shot and killed by the police officer, which becomes a national news story. The movie handles a very relevant matter and reminds you of all the police violence that happens to this day.
Blindspotting (Hulu with Cinemax or available to rent) – Plot follows a parolee who only has three days left on his sentence but he witnesses a police shooting that threatens a lifelong friendship. The directors’ purpose in this movie was to combat the misrepresentation of Oakland that is commonly seen in films.
Clemency (Available to rent on YouTube or Amazon) – The movie follows a Death Row prison warden who must confront her inner demons when she has to execute another inmate. The movie unearths social issues and has been nominated for several awards.
Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin DiAngelo – This video deconstructs the ideas of white fragility, racial identity and implicit bias that come into play in predominantly white institutions and daily life.
This year’s Arts Advocacy Week takes place from April 12- April 16. In light of the challenges COVID-19 has brought to the creative community, MogoARTS is celebrating Arts Advocacy week by highlighting 10 organizations providing relief and support to those in the arts community. These charities, foundations, and advocacy groups are recognized for their strength, resilience, and commitment to the arts.
Americans for the Arts, National Organization
Americans for the Arts aims to increase congressional support for the arts and build networks where artists and creativity can thrive. Their annual National Arts Action Summit takes place the week before Arts Advocacy week and gathers grassroots supporters to receive advocacy training, lessons on art policy, and networking opportunities. Following the summit, Americans for the Arts spends the week speaking with congressional leaders to advocate for arts funding, issues affecting the creative community, policies that can support the creative economy and more.
Broadway Advocacy Coalition, National Organization
The Broadway Advocacy Coalition (BAC) is a space where social justice and arts advocacy intersect. By partnering with existing advocacy organizations, the BAC brings arts into the activism space, creating artivism. The BAC uses impactful storytelling to dismantle systems that perpetuate racism and police brutality. The resulting programs and exhibits bring together “high-level artists, law and policy students and experts, and directly impacted advocates to deepen connections and bridge gaps of disconnect”.
Be an Arts Hero, National Organization
Another organization that encourages volunteers to donate their time rather than through financial support is Be an Arts Hero. The foundation aims to create change by lobbying the U.S. Senate to allocate proportionate relief to arts and culture. This is especially important during the pandemic, as the arts community has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Their site provides easy access to resources and open letters to contact your local senators and has resources for individuals, organizations and lobbyists.
The Actors Fund, National Organization
The Actors Fund provides relief for performing arts and entertainment professionals through assistance programs, professional development services, and accessible healthcare and living space. Resources also include workshops for arts professionals, money management tools, and a safe and supportive community. As a response to the pandemic, the fund established an Emergency Financial Program, as a much needed safety net for individuals working in the performing arts.
ChaShaMa, New York, New York
ChaShaMa was founded in 1995 as a result of New York artists struggling to find space to share their art. By partnering with property owners, ChaShaMa makes event space affordable, matching unused properties with creatives to host performances, galleries, showcases, and more. The non-profit hosts 150 events a year, and has helped over 170 artists with over $9 million worth of real estate. Aside from securing event space, the non-profit provides free art workshops to New York’s underserved communities.
NIVA | #saveourstages, New York, New York
Made up of 3,000 independent venues, NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) has brought together theatres and production houses across all 50 states together to lobby for change in Washington, D.C. to ask for necessary legislation for the arts. Their recent work includes passing the Save Our Stages Act as part of the COVID-19 Relief Bill. The act will provide grants administered by the Small Business Administration to provide financial support to venues in need. By continuing fundraising efforts and lobbying change at the national level, NIVA acts as a voice for America’s independent venues.
How you can help: You can help by donating to the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, or by sending a note thanking legislators for their support on the Save Our Stages Act. For more, follow them on Instagram.
Adopt The Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Adopt The Arts is a Los Angeles based charity founded in response to budget cuts to the arts education department of LAUSD elementary schools in 2012. The public charity raises funds to provide art and music education to students from kindergarten to fifth grade. Some of their events include annual fundraisers and live performances to raise awareness for the arts. They believe that each student deserves exposure to and an education in arts in their adolescence, regardless of where they may live or go to school.
Art and Minds, New York, NY
Taking a creative approach to healing, Arts and Minds provides art therapy through workshops and museum tours for patients of Alzheimer’s dementia and their caretakers. The New York based non-profit believes that art and well being are connected. Arts and Minds has found that viewing, appreciating, and discussing art can improve the quality of life and enrich minds of patients. Their events are currently being conducted online, and programming is offered in both English and Spanish.
Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Located in San Francisco, Intersection for the Arts is a nonprofit organization providing fiscal sponsorship, low-cost event space, and professional programs for artists in the Bay Area. They also provide resources for artists struggling from COVID-19’s impact. These resources make it possible for artists to keep doing what they love. Part of their goal is to grow artistry in the Bay Area, Intersection hosts Intersect SF, a series of public events and performances exploring the intersection of arts, culture and people.
Grants for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Grants for the Arts is another Bay Area based organization with a focus on equitable grant support for the arts community. Their mission is to “promote the diverse and unique communities of San Francisco by supporting the arts through equitable grant making.” Their commitment to making grants and resources accessible to everyone aligns with their principle value of equity. The organization encourages arts applicants to apply for grants, as they recognize that arts organizations have commonly not received equitable compensation because of marginalizing factors such as race and geography.
This Arts Advocacy week, MogoARTS is encouraging all of our readers to consider donating their time, money, or voices to an arts or creative organization. Whether or not they are on this list, arts advocacy groups are important in preserving the arts in our communities. In a time when connection is hard to come by, art is a unifying force that crosses boundaries to bring us all together.