Archive for February, 2021

Marketing for the Arts: New Audience Development

February 5th, 2021

As a nonprofit arts organization, you have to think of marketing your craft, your art or your music, especially if you plan to bring in income or create a name for yourself.

Marketing for the Arts is not a new concept, but as consumers have gotten savvier about what they spend their money on, art organizations have to get smarter about how they market to consumers. Gone are the days where people will go to a theatrical, dance or orchestral performance, if they hear about it. The Arts can no longer treat their audience as passive one-way relationship, if they want to survive and thrive. Art groups have to fundamental change how they market their products.

One of the main goals for most arts organizations should be new audience development, as a means to increase income. To achieve this, relationships and rapport must be created, which means a paradigm shift in the method, art organizations think about their consumers. To develop these relationships, art groups will be required to undergo a systematic organizational change to allow themselves to be quick to react to the audience’s needs.

Below I have broken it down to show the difference between the audience and the new customer(s) of the arts.

Differences between audiences of old and the new customer:

Audience-a group of passive spectators or listeners Characteristics: Passive, Receiver, One-sided relationship, No impact on product or delivery, Needs unknown, Short-term contract, Power lies with the performer(s).

Customer-a person or business that purchases your product or service. Esp. consistently. A person one has to deal with. Characteristics: Active, Participant, Ongoing relationship, Involved in product and delivery, Needs fulfillment is key to succeed, Transaction is explicit, Power rest with the buyer(s).

Art groups have start treating the customer as a partner, a member of an extended family, rather than a passive observer to the orchestral/dance/arts experience in order to flourish.

As arts organizations, we have to think of the customer as more, as a partner, a member of an extended family, rather than a passive bystander to the arts, dance or symphonic experience.

There are several sources for new audience development we have to do our homework to find what they are for your particular organization.

Here are some sources:

one-time attendees
future attendees
patrons of other types of performance art
local corporations
a variety of art/dance/music school instructors and students
local philanthropic foundations and philanthropists
New audience development is crucial for performing arts groups to survive. Once you have increased your revenue from audience development, it will be much easier to approach corporations for sponsorships and to increase fundraising dollars from other sources. The whole success for this is planning.