2 min read

Create a Theatre Marketing Plan That Drives Revenue

About 40% of marketers say proving their strategies create a return on their investment is a top challenge, according to HubSpot. Performing arts marketers are no different. To ensure you are successful when crafting an arts marketing campaign, it’s essential to know exactly how each opportunity can drive engagement, attendance and revenue for your organisation.


So what can you do to drive revenue and measure the impact your work has for the organisation? First know what you're measuring. Next make sure all of your data is in order. Come up with a content strategy. Then create secondary spend opportunities.

Key metrics

Before building a plan, it’s important for marketers to establish how you'll set goals and measure your success. These customer retention key performance indicators (KPIs) are examples of metrics that can help arts organisations understand the impact they’re making with their time and resources:

Customer retention: The number of first-time patrons who make repeat visits within the two years following their first visit.  Get more ideas on how to avoid customer churn and improve reattendance

Web sales: The majority of your patrons book tickets online, so tracking these purchases and their associated behaviours are an efficient way to gauge and set targets for earned revenue.

Advance ticket sales: Getting patrons to book early can help guarantee income, maximise their inventory and avoid last-minute discounting. They’re also a direct way for marketers to measure their campaigns’ success.

Centralizing patron data

Understanding customers is key to furthering your relationships with them. Lucky for you, your Spektrix system gives you a 360° view of your customer. Improve your reach by looking at all of the areas where you're collecting data on your patrons, consolidating them into one place, and leveraging your data to make strategic decisions.

For example, this could mean cross-referencing patrons’ ticket-buying habits with their donation history to find opportunities to upsell them into members or higher-level donors. But it doesn’t need to stop there: Experiment with other data pairings and see what insights they can lead to.

Content marketing

Telling meaningful stories about your organisation can help arts marketers break through all of the noise in a crowded inbox and strengthen your relationships with patrons.

To grow your content marketing strategies, take stock of what content your organisation generates and how you channel it to engage patrons online and in print. Whether it’s finding production photos that could take a more central role on the website, creating a video strategy to urge social media followers to book tickets or starting a weekly blog column from resident artists, theatres have a wells of interesting stories to choose from.

Related Reading: 5 Theatre Marketing Strategies That Help Increase Revenue

Creating secondary spend opportunities

One of the most overlooked and effective ways for arts organisations to build revenue is by maximizing ways for existing patrons to spend more money. Adding online upsells that let committed patrons deepen their experience is a great way to maximise revenue through secondary spend before show day. Think about offering:

  • Food and drinks
  • Merchandise
  • Package offers (meal deals, drink vouchers)
  • Parking
  • Pre- and post-show events (talkbacks, workshops, celebrations)
  • Ticket upgrades or exchange protection

Get started

With these strategies in hand, you will not only know exactly what you are aiming to achieve with every initiative you start, but be able to show leadership how you’re growing revenue.


More insights and best practice ideas from Spektrix


Hailey Colwell is a former Marketing Manager at Spektrix

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