Posts filed under ‘Case Studies’
Mark Knight founder of Right Chord Music in an article 3 things musicians can learn from brands about Customer Relationship Management suggests that CRM efforts all stem from three goals:
- Identify, attract and win new customers
- Retain existing customers
- Re-invigorate relationships with former customers
It is a nice simple way of distilling the market growth challenge, but I feel that it may go a little light on the product and service elements of CRM.
But if an arts organisation just concentrated on systematically achieving these goals alone they would be miles ahead.
I really enjoyed his Bonus Tip: Get Organised.
Just using a spreadsheet to record your customers but segmented into different constituent relationships (relevant for a musician): Artists, Blogs, Labels, Promoters, Publishers and Radio stations.
He then proposes adding the longitudinal dimension that records and defines a relationship – Contacts: : “When, Why and What”
The amount of organisations I see that have not even got this simple information management in place is saddening.
Unfortunately, “data aggregation is not sexy“. – Terence MacFarland, CEO LA STAGE Alliance
It may not be sexy, but data aggregation is an important foundation of the LA STAGE Arts Census discussed with regards to an exciting project. The video is a case study of the featuring MacFarland and reported by National Arts Strategies in its Field Notes Blog
LA STAGE Alliance has been “empowering artists and engaging audiences since 1975“. It is “dedicated to building awareness, appreciation and support for the performing arts in Greater Los Angeles strengthening the sector through audience engagement, community building, collaborative marketing, professional development and advocacy.“
The LA STAGE Arts Census project has evolved over the last decade into a research initiative on arts participation in the greater Los Angeles region that by providing detailed information on patron demographics, geographic reach and purchasing behavior, allows participant organisations to start to tell a more comprehensive story of participation in arts and culture.
“The idea began as a list share/trade in about 2000. Over the subsequent eight years, 100 organizations participated (only 25 or so in any given year), sharing transactional data about constituents such as subscribers and single ticket buyers. At most, the combined database contained minimal information on 350,000 households at any given time and reflected little organization crossover in terms of audience.“
The project according to MacFarland has “changed the narrative of who attends arts and culture.“
“The Census now includes 200 nonprofit and for-profit organisations from a wide range of disciplines – dance, film/media, theatre, music, visual arts. Organisations participating in the Arts Census also span a vast range of budget sizes; for example, Collage Dance Theatre whose budget is around $250,000 to the LA County Museum of Art, at over $50 million. As the range and number of participating organisations grows, so does the size of the database: it now includes almost 4 million households.“
The project is founded upon data driven marketing and in implementing this strategic approach has been working at addressing a common issue in the arts when introducing new and specialist skills to thinly resourced arts organisations – the challenge of making such an intervention sustainable.
A valuable asset of this data set is the ability to measure and monitor audience crossover. Factual evidence of this from real attendance data often holds a degree of surprise for many arts practitioners, as well as marketers.
Read the LA STAGE Arts Census Report 2011
The aims of this similar project (but on a national level) were:
- To provide participating organisations with a fast and efficient way of looking at their own patron data and compare it with aggregated data from a number of other participating organisations in New Zealand
- To create a profile of New Zealand audiences as a benchmarking and trend analysis tool. This data will be used to publish information for the benefit of the wider arts and cultural sector in New Zealand.
A colleague, Tim Baker posted this article on the Thinkaboutpricing LinkedIn group. Jez Butterworth’s The River prompts fears of rise in paid queuing.
In 2012 it does seem anachronistic that the Royal Court Theatre seems to be supporting the idea that “… the queue is the happiest and fairest medium we have found so far … some things should perhaps be considered sacrosanct.“
For Jez Butterworth’s new play, The River with Dominic West at the Royal Court tickets will only be available to those who queue at the venue on the day of performance. That means no advance booking in person, by phone, by mail or online.
Tourists will be OK as they have time on their hands and it can be a unique new ‘London experience’ – queuing in the rain. Touts will be OK as they can pay people to stand in queue to buy the allowed two tickets and hand them over to touts (or touts will bid to buy) to pass them on to the market with “cost of sale” and profit?
In addition to disadvantaging the disabled, regional audiences will miss out (unless they make an early trip to London on the off chance that they will be lucky for later that day) and it would appear to disadvantage the employed with the two access options only in person at the theatre in queues at 9am and 10am?
I can’t help but feeling suspicious that given it is only a 85 seat studio, the queue is a made to order publicity stunt. It also seems to be a ready made publicity opportunity that the Royal Court Theatre can transfer it to the larger Jerwood Theatre downstairs with 300+ more seats and be seen as the good guys giving everyone a chance to see it.
But, will the existing audiences of the Royal Court see queuing as “fair”, I am sure they will not be “happy” that their previous patronage will account for nought when they try to see what is being pushed as the next ‘must see’ show.
As described this innovative access scheme does not appear to acknowledge or reward valuable relationships like friends, donors and other supporters in the form of sponsors, funders, benefactors, foundations, members and associates? Friends membership includes the stated benefit “exclusive priority booking”, I do hope they also received their other benefit of “priority advance notice” of this policy.
There are three shows ‘sold out‘ already, one month before the show even starts (or ‘bookings’ open), so maybe some lucky ones (255) are being looked after. But again, I would not be “happy” or see it as “fair” if I had travelled down to London to queue that morning to see the show on one of those nights.
A trend does look more profound or alarming when the chart has a truncated Y-Axis (in this case at 3,000,000). But despite that the numbers do speak to a 6% decline in audience numbers over 5 years 2007-2011 for 17 large opera, music, theatre and dance companies around Australia.
Ben Eltham surveyed 17 companies for Crikey and of these “10 have seen declining audiences since 2007. Perhaps most worrying, this figure includes all six of the largest performing arts companies with audiences of more than 200,000 annually.“
“Longer-term trends may also be at work: Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows the percentage of Australians attending performing arts events such as classical music concerts, operas and the theatre has barely changed in more than a decade. The most recent Australia Council data for the sector also backs up this.“
“Whatever the reasons, the flatlining aggregate attendance data suggests that all is not well with our nation’s flagship performing arts institutions. At a time of ever-expanding options for the culturally minded consumer, our nation’s largest orchestras, operas and theatre companies face significant challenges in maintaining and renewing their audiences in the coming decade.“
Marc refers to Joseph Jaffe’s book Flip The Funnel which explores customer experience and focusses on customer acquisition, growth and retention.
It is an interesting discussion of systematically developing the oft-forgotten “Tryers” and “Unconverted Trialists” in your customer database using automated techniques.
I am encouraged by the focus on segmentation and in this instance a structured approach to behavioural segmentation.
However he does include a useful warning at the end.
“The point is also not to completely automate all your marketing, push a button and sit back. There should always be room for flexibility.“
Facing a funding shortfall in 2009/10, 2010/11 subscriber were approached to become “Super Subscribers” and make a donation to “enhance their theatre-going experience“.
This is explained as follows: “Instead of requesting help for the organization, the letter invited patrons to enhance their theater experience with a tax-deductible gift that included experiential benefits: a backstage tour, a one-time guest pass to the major donor lounge, and a show poster of the subscriber’s choice from the upcoming season. Their gift would also support scholarships for the 5th‘s upcoming summer camps, but the primary focus of the ask was on the subscriber’s experience.“
40% of donations came in response to just the direct mail campaign without the need for any follow up calls.
The campaign brought in 453 gifts and a total of $51,189 at a 10% cost-of-sale and analysis by TRG was very interesting:
- “Most Super Subscribers were relatively new to subscribing. 65% included first timers, subscribers of five or fewer years, or patrons returning after letting their subscription lapse.
- Super Subscribers were primarily new donors. 70% had no previous giving history; 30% were lapsed donors.
- Super Subscribers were twice as generous. The campaign’s average gift size was $113, more than double 5th Avenue prior new gift average of $53.73.”
A colleague, Jerry Yoshitomi of MeaningMatters, put me on to this article. I find this quite exciting for the future of Audience Development and the development of meaningful consumer models – Voter data crucial to Romney’s victory
No, I am not going to bore you with a regurgitation of the seemingly endless US election process
I am, however going to wax lyrical about the use of data to segment prospects and inform relationship marketing.
“A central factor in Mitt Romney’s impressive win in New Hampshire was a sophisticated and relentless voter contact program that locked in supporters early and turned them out to the polls.“
Romney’s team “mined reams of consumer information — from the number of purchases voters made at Williams-Sonoma to their range of financial investments — to build a model that would allow them to find and identify potential supporters.“
They used data to prioritise prospects and then implemented an ongoing structured program of communication developed a loyal core.
“Romney operatives expanded a list of 5,000 solid supporters in New Hampshire from his 2008 campaign to more than 25,000 whom they believed they could rely … while also turning out with friends, relatives and colleagues.“
Just imagine if we had audiences on which we could rely and they turned out with friends, relatives and colleagues. Although I am not sure that we would aspire to this approach in the arts?
“In the end, the Romney team credited its successes to persistence — finding those undecided voters leaning their way and just inundating them,” said Romney’s New Hampshire director, Jason McBride.
Let’s hope that the arts can learn from this constituent development and use similar data mining tools for substantive audience development. Maybe we can then put to bed the accusations of nay-sayers like the recalcitrant Eric Pickles who variously called audience development an “non-job” or a “pointless post”.
I am not so sure about the name Yumbling, but it is an interesting development nonetheless.
“a free mobile app that recommends local entertainment options based on the user’s current location and preferences.“
This appears to be more than other apps like Urbanspoon which is more like a location based directory and in their words a “provider of time-critical dining data“. This covers a growing selection of entertainment options. They fine tune (or increase relevance of) recommendations by using what they call a “social DNA” algorithm.
“it factors in not only the user’s location, but also what it has learned of their tastes, and reportedly even contextual factors such as the time of day. Users who download the app … begin by creating a basic profile that includes some of their personal likes and dislikes. Yumbling logs this information, but also refines its understanding of the user over time based on their use of the app.“
It is device agnostic, available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Nokia devices.