Segmenting your audiences – it's easier than you might think.
I heard a brilliant anecdotal story recently from an Artistic Director who, when speaking to a regular audience member, was asked “Why do you keep mailing me with what’s on for the kids in the holidays? My children left home fifteen years ago!”
For me this epitomised the customer relationship challenge for arts organisations in the UK. Not only do we have diverse range of customers but their needs will also be changing over time. Personalising content for different sectors of your customer base is essential in order to maximise the relevance and resonance of your marketing messages. Segmentation analysis is an extremely useful way to determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns in these various sectors.
The season brochure is a typical example. One of our customers recently underwent a testing exercise where they identified that one segment of their audience – the ‘once-ever attendees’ who made up 45% of their previously mailed audience – returned only 90p for every £1 spent. They are now able to repurpose that marketing budget to more efficient endeavours, which could be digital marketing, or a ‘short form’ season leaflet, or a broader reach ‘video trailer’ – anything other than the traditional 16-32 page season brochure.
The best place to start segmentation analysis is on the marketing activities you have always undertaken. Chances are you will have database(s) of names you send information to in various ways. You send out the information just as you normally do with the exception that you tag the individuals into customer types. You can catalogue them how you like but models of segmentation around demographic category, type of artform, recency of attendance and frequency of attendance are popular. For example you could categorise them as frequent attendees, infrequent attendees, first time bookers and others. You don’t need to get this right first time – you can refine this over a number of mass mailings.
Having tagged the customer you can then run a report to highlight how many customers positively responded in each segment. Armed with this information you can then plan refinements to your marketing message in each segment. How you repurpose your approach is again up to you, one organisation, we know, found that by using a cheaper short form version of the season brochure actually increased business in one segment that was previously losing them money on their mailings.
One thing we would advocate is to always explore alternative approaches. To just stop something as cost saving exercise will only result in a decrease in marketing budget and ultimately audience attendance.
Spektrix has a particularly innovative approach to segmentations. Using our drag and drop Customer Segmentation Tool you can pull of customer lists filtered against virtually any criteria. Working in this way allows you to pull your data from one easily maintainable customer database. Having got your list you can then easily tag the list linked to the event(s) you are promoting.
You then decide the time period and use the return on investment analysis button to run off a report that summarises the effectiveness of the campaign in the particular segments you have defined.
We would usually advocate performing segmentation analysis on all your direct messaging campaigns. This is a realistic proposition with Spektrix because it can be performed so effortlessly unlike traditional ticketing systems where this sort of reporting is too time consuming to make the exercise a justifiable undertaking on a weekly basis.
If the Spektrix integrated emailer tool is used segmentations are another great way to improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns. You use the segmentation tool to draw down a list of customers who have expressed a preference or booked for the particular genre in the past. Then all of the statistics about the mailing such as opens, bounces and click throughs get recorded back against each customer record in Spektrix. This allows you to then measure the return on investment of the email (e.g. how much revenue was generated by each link for each show you were targeting). The real juicy bit, however, is that these statistics can also then be used as criteria for future mailings (e.g. you could construct a segmentation that targets those people who clicked on a particular link but not yet booked for the show and then perhaps email them with a special offer).
All sound too good to be true? Well, speak to our customers to get an unbiased opinion of the reporting capabilities of Spektrix and they will also talk about how the support team, who have all previously worked in the arts, provide invaluable and unlimited help giving advice and setting up reports specifically tailored to your precise requirements. With over 90 users giving a 100% satisfaction rating and no extra training or support charges that’s a support record that’s hard to beat.
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Ben Park is Global Head of Marketing & Communications at Spektrix