Scroll Top

Are you ready for the marketing challenge in 2020?

Marketing in our digital age has become more difficult than ever, it seems. With consumers getting a plethora of information from hundreds of different sources, how do we as arts brands differentiate ourselves enough to convert potential customers into first-time customers into life-long loyal arts consumers?

As cultural institutions, both visual arts and performing arts facilities, operating in suburbs neighbouring major metropolitan cities, the challenges become even greater.

How do we differentiate enough, and provide a strong enough offering to convince people to stay in the burbs’ and consume live arts content locally? Not to mention having to compete with Netflix, Crave, Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+ and more which allow audiences to consume arts experiences from the comforts of their own home.

Here are four tools we have used effectively that you can implement today to start your journey to win over and target the right customers in your local community.

1. Implement Google Analytics

Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager are both free web-based services offered in Google’s Marketing Platform. They allow organizations to track various behaviours of consumers: for instance, how long, they are staying on your web or social media channel, what specific content on your website they are looking at, and more importantly where they are coming from!

With the integration of Google Analytics, your organization can start to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns by analyzing Google’s Traffic Referral Sources. This identifies how people are accessing your website (i.e. via Google, Social Media, other websites, etc.) and can inform your team on what marketing strategies are working best and what is not working. It allows for better investment choices, particularly with limited marketing dollars.

So, get googling!

2. Segment Your Database

Not all your arts patrons are the same and are interested in consuming the same content. Begin to understand who your customers are, and what they like and start crafting content based on what you know about them.

Utilizing Email Marketing Tools such as MailChimp or Constant Contact will easily allow you to keep track of your customers, in various lists, segmented to their individual tastes.

Design curated email content, with dynamic visuals that links back to your website, based on your patron’s previous purchasing behaviour and you’ll begin to see higher open rates, click-through rates and increased sales.

3. Direct Mail is Not Dead

Direct to Consumer advertising such as Direct Mail can still be a very effective form of marketing for arts organizations. Canada Post states “36% of people under the age of 30 look forward to checking their mailboxes every day, 95% of 18-to-29-year-olds have a positive response to receiving personalized cards and letters in the mail and 74% of Canadian consumers always or sometimes notice advertising in direct mail and 85% will open mail if it looks interesting” (Canada Post Marketing Insights)

By designing and creating personalized, engaging content that gets into the hands of your potential customers, it can generate first-time buyers and/or stimulate repeat sales.

4. Social Media Marketing IS Important

We all know Social Media and Digital Marketing are scary words, and for most of us they are still a relatively new marketing space. “Facebook has over two billion active monthly users, if there’s one stat that proves the importance of incorporating Facebook into your marketing strategy, this is it. There’s simply no other platform that offers this kind of reach” (Hootsuite, 2020).

Seniors are the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook, so if your venue or brand programs content for the 50+ demographic, then this is definitely a space for you.

Start small. Facebook & Instagram Advertising is a perfect place to begin. Create dynamic videos or photo content and utilize Facebook’s advertising platform to develop ads which can target users by age, location and interests. By tracking sales and information from Google Analytics, your team will quickly see the value in digital marketing.

Having a robust marketing program, with effective targeting using a diversity of tools will help you convert these potential customers into life-long consumers.

Kayla van Zon