We talk a lot about segmentations at Spektrix. Sometimes this is because it’s the feature of the moment; for example, after our Purchasing Profiles were released three weeks ago, we’ve been a bit enchanted by the new possibilities. They’re also fantastic for focusing your reports, and we often recommend segmenting customers first, then running them through a report, to produce clever things like crossover reports and comparative reattendance. And of course whenever we talk about integrated email or mailing ROI (which is often) we harp on about segmenting the audience first.
There are a lot of segmentation models to consider. You could embrace the Culture Segments concept of psychographic segmentation, based on surveys and focus groups, which filters customers into eight segments according to the reasons why people want art and culture in their lives, and how it fits into their view of the world. This was introduced by Morris Hargreaves McIntyre’s Jo Taylor at our St James User Day in November, and has already been successfully used at some Spektrix venues.
There is the Arts Council’s Audiences Insight profile, which examines patterns of arts consumption and attitudes towards the arts. This splits the UK into 13 segments (four of which are for people who are not currently engaged with the arts) and reveals details about socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle habits, media profile and attitudes.
Alternatively you could use the Mosaic approach, which classifies UK customers into one of 67 types and 15 groups, and uses postcodes as a starting point. These segmentations are based on analysis of societal trends, the Electoral Roll, Council Tax property valuations, house sale prices, lifestyle surveys and other compiled customer data.
Or you could try the Audience Loyalty Healthcheck, as described by Indigo’s Katy Raines at our Unicorn User Day in February, which produces benchmarkable loyalty figures and allows comparisons by art form, turnover and geographic location.
They are all mind-blowing in their way, and allow you to think of your mass audience as individuals with personalities and lives outside of their involvement with your venue. This, in turn, helps you communicate with them much more efficiently, with the ultimate goal of increasing their attendance or spend on future events.
The trouble with segmentations, from the point of view of venues, is that they appear expensive (all, save for the Arts Council, charge for their surveys and services) and time-consuming (they require things like consultancy, analysis and implementation – words that scream “time you haven’t got!” to marketers). Worse, segmenting an audience can feel like a huge leap away from the comfort of tried-and-tested mailing strategies… even if the current model isn’t performing brilliantly. So it’s very easy to put it off.
Spektrix comes with a set of tools for segmenting your audience based on their booking habits. This won’t give you everything that the above specialists can, but it’s a detailed and interesting place to start. The customer tags and attributes allow you to use any/all of the above schemes at any time, and to fully integrate their results into your customer service, reports, mailings and behaviour analysis. And the speed at which these can be setup is astonishing.
They segmentation tools are not just there to send different mailings to different people; their real strength is to make it easy to send the same mailing to different people, and to track the different responses from each segment… which will inform what you do with them next time. So if you think you haven’t got time to create a five-year plan, do what you can in five minutes and just send it. You can worry about the finer details next time – when at least you’ll have some previous data to respond to. You can do it with baby steps… and the first step can happen today.