Is loyalty a one-dimensional concept at odds with sustainable audience development?

A colleague Timmy Metzner of The Pricing Institute put me on to this interesting idea by asking the question “Wouldn’t it be interesting to see what would happen if arts organizations tried something similar?

The article 6 Washington DC Cafes Team Up For Disloyalty Program discusses a scheme that in effect honors loyalty to competitors, not return patronage of your establishment.

The scheme is called Drink DC Coffee and the tag line says it all “DISLOYAL IN THE DISTRICT

DC’s coffee community is a friendly, thriving one; area baristas have fun serving customers and each other. A scene like this deserves not a loyalty card but a disloyalty card, which encourages people to visit different neighborhoods, try coffee from different roasters each shop presents on their menus, and meet some awesome coffee professionals.

I love it – collaboratively they are encouraging repeat visitation of their district and the coffee consumption in general. Potentially at the expense of their brand loyalty, but taking a larger view of consumer behaviour, more inkeeping with the oft used phrase ‘cultural omnivores’ (In Praise Of Cultural Omnivores or The Rise of the Cultural Omnivore 1964-2004).

This got me thinking. How  often do you hear people talk of audience development and their interpretation is about finding new people to attend their event/s and binding them to attend their events in the future? Put simply taking a ‘brand’ only approach to audience development, not a generic or service-form approach to audience development.

Sustainable audience development is about losing the brand competition perspective and taking a larger view based on a generic or service-form definition of the market.

14 January, 2014 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

So, How Do AME Get Full Houses?

I was interested by the post by Victoria Paterson of the American Modern Ensemble on Greg Sandow’s blog on the future of classical music.

Devoting a program to Minimalist and microtonal compositions could easily amount to an egghead agenda; leave it to the American Modern Ensemble to make it a party instead.” – The New York Times

Victoria opines that this is achieved by making the concert fun and having  excellent musicians that were “present and engaged“.

She does explain more though.

Interesting and unique venues seem to be a good start, but Victoria expands more on the following:

  • Teamwork with a touch of friend get friend and family get family
  • Fair Pay in which she refutes the following accusation “AME pays musicians too much and that we spend too much on PR!” However, she also explains how AME got articles in the New York Times then Sports Illustrated followed by the big screen at a Mets game.
  • Dance and opera, yes collaboration and broadening audiences with cross/multi artform events. I am intrigued by her comment that rented lists “get people in the door” more than their website, Facebook, email blasts and Twitter.
  • The chicken and the egg  “we do not have sufficient cash to get a staff to help us get more grants and private donations. We raise enough money to pay the production cost for each concert, including the venue, rehearsal space, artist fees, scores, percussion rental, postcards, and other things. But we have nothing left over for our administrative costs.” = volunteers, whether the artists, family, friends and others.

25 November, 2013 at 10:49 am Leave a comment

We added online ticketing to our website…so why aren’t more people buying their tickets online?

I had to share this great post from Colleen Dilenschneider from her blog Know Your Own Bone.

While it discusses museums in this instance, it is entirely applicable to, and no less appropriate for, entertainment venues as well.

Colleen addresses the Field of Dreams that is online ticketing

“… while you may think that you’re making life easier for your potential visitors by selling tickets online, many organizations actually make the act of purchasing a ticket a more expensive and/or more cumbersome process for their would-be visitors“.

She makes four very salient points and expands upon them in the post:

  1. It is impossible (or exceedingly difficult) to purchase tickets via mobile platforms
  2. Purchasing tickets online is time consuming, and perhaps more cumbersome than applying for a mortgage
  3. It costs more to buy tickets online than at the gate
  4. Your museum has likely trained people to buy tickets at the door

She has nailed it with these four common barriers. Number three particularly frustrates me. Why do we penalise people for doing the work for us via self-service online? No other industry does that.

Know Your Own Bone is “a resource for creatove engagement in museums and cultural centers“.

7 November, 2013 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

Is free a good idea for fundraising and CRM software?

Some of you may have heard of Jay Love, the ‘serial seller of software solutions’😉

The story so far:

  1. Love’s first nonprofit software company was Master Software, which he served as CEO from 1984 until it was sold to Blackbaud (after a handball to Epsilon Data Management in 1987 that Love was not aware of) in 1997 for about $11.5 million.
  2. The he was vice president of sales for Target Software, which with its sister company Target Analysis Group was sold to Blackbaud in 2005 for $60 million.
  3. Love followed that up by starting eTapestry and sold that to Blackbaud in 2007.
  4. Mr Love is now involved in Bloomerang his latest nonprofit donor relationship software solution. Given the track record of Jay and his colleagues, many are watching Bloomerang with great interest. I am not suggesting that Blackbaud are watching ‘purchase number 4’ evolve, with chequebook ready. However, I am sure that they are observing the launch of a potentially serious competitor at the very least.

As a result, Jay Love is pretty damn knowledgeable on issues such as: fundraising solutions, SaaS, not for profits and CRM. He shares some interesting perspectives in his recent blog entry.

Is Free Fundraising Software A Good Idea?

I am again struck by the fact that true adoption of a CRM solution is more about organisational change to ensure a customer focus shared across the organisation than plugging in and turning on new software. Without the necessary investment in people and processes, a newly implemented CRM solution gets all the interest and use of Xmas presents – two months later in February.

17 July, 2013 at 2:40 am Leave a comment

Interesting Case Studies for Arts Marketers Delivered by Video

Tessitura Network has made available some interesting case studies with the promise of more to come. Keep an eye on the Innovator Series on the Tessitura Network YouTube Channel.

Kevin Giglinto, Vice President for Strategy & Special Initiatives for Chicago Symphony Orchestra discusses the CSO’s approach to “Building a Lifelong Patron Relationship

Pete Miller, Board Member at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company asks “How Might We Turn More People into Playgoers?

I have included a recent article about Woolly Mammoth that develops some of the issues that Pete Miller moots regarding extending engagement and augmenting the core Product (specifically to engage with Millenials), Are Woolly Mammoth’s digital engagement efforts a glimpse at the theater of the future?

Maybe not this one though …

20 June, 2013 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

Why don’t you talk to me any more?

An interesting comparison of the reasons why customers vs donors abandon your organsation (in this case a charity) which carries relevance for other noprofits such as arts oganisations. A scarey statistic is highlighted in Mr and Mrs … Kiss Of Death on the blog The Agitator

53% of donors leave due to the charity’s lack of communication.

I suspect the issue may be larger than just lack of communication. Loyalty is also compromised by communication that is: impersonal, unpersonalised (that is more than just mail merged <Title> <Surname>), untargeted, untimely, incorrect, irrelevant, and even (as a contradiction) … too frequent.

Stalker award to Cellarmasters Wine Club😦

14 May, 2013 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Can we get the answer whether it is a hit or not, via data analysis?

Brad Pitt Fight ClubThe same kind of numbers analysis that has reshaped areas like politics and online marketing is increasingly being used by the entertainment industry.

Netflix tells customers what to rent based on algorithms that analyze previous selections, Pandora does the same with music, and studios have started using Facebook “likes” and online trailer views to mold advertising and even films.

For as much as $20,000 per script, former statistics professor named Vinny Bruzzese — ‘the reigning mad scientist of Hollywood,’ and a team of analysts “compare the story structure and genre of a draft script with those of released movies, looking for clues to box-office success. His company, Worldwide Motion Picture Group, also digs into an extensive database of focus group results for similar films and surveys 1,500 potential moviegoers. What do you like? What should be changed?

But ignore it at your peril, according to one production executive. Motion Picture Group, of Culver City, Calif., analyzed the script for “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” said the executive, who worked on the film, but the production companies that supplied it to 20th Century Fox did not heed all of the advice.

All screenwriters think their babies are beautiful,  said, taking a chug of Diet Dr Pepper followed by a gulp of Diet Coke and a drag on a Camel.I’m here to tell it like it is: Some babies are ugly.

Thank god someone will tell it like it is😉

However:Audience research has been known to save a movie, but it has also famously missed the mark. Opinion surveys — “idiot cards,” as some unimpressed directors call them — indicated that “Fight Club” would be the flop of the century. It took in more than $100 million worldwide.

7 May, 2013 at 10:04 am Leave a comment

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