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Five Arts Marketing Ideas that Empower Sales

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As the first point of contact for patrons, box office teams are their organizations’ tactical front lines. Beyond supporting these invaluable interactions, box offices are also responsible for capturing audience data that fuels their marketing teams’ strategies.

With that in mind, it’s crucial that these two teams are aligned so they can grow attendance and loyalty from patrons. While attracting new patrons will always be necessary, retaining existing ones has more revenue potential and costs up to 25 times less. Cultivating single ticket buyers into repeat attenders and then subscribers is a key opportunity for arts organizations to secure sustainable earned revenue.

For those looking to revamp their shared strategies, or just in need of some new ideas, here is a list of five approaches that marketing managers can take to help enable their sales team to increase revenue for their organizations.

5 Arts Marketing Ideas that Empower Sales

1. Target new patrons with unique offers after their first show

More than half of patrons who purchased tickets to a show in 2018 had never seen a performance at that venue before. This means there is huge potential for arts organizations to convert new patrons into loyal reattenders.

Marketing teams can harness the excitement first-time patrons feel after seeing their first show with creative and well-timed offers, like a $20 account credit or a personalized email from a well-loved artist, compelling them to come back.

2. Segment patrons to enable personalized marketing and sales campaigns

No matter what level of segmentation an organization uses, looking for ways to further tailor their communications will help ensure patrons are engaging with what’s in their inboxes.

Providing patrons with personalized content drives up revenue by making them more likely to answer those communications’ calls to action, be they to book tickets to a show aligned with their interests or buy a flex subscription. Showing they know them and providing relevant content can help organizations move patrons further along the loyalty path, securing more revenue from them over time.

3. Craft an automated reattendance program

As straightforward as it sounds, thanking patrons for attending and prompting them to come back is a time-intensive process at best. Automating those emails is an excellent way to make those timed touchpoints both repeatable and scalable.

Taking this task off of the sales and marketing teams’ plates allows them to spend more time strategizing on how to target different patron groups with these emails, honing their messages and analyzing their performance to maximize the revenue these touchpoints make.

4. Simplify secondary spend offerings

Make it easier for patrons to purchase non-ticket items like concessions, merchandise and additional experiences online. (For organizations that don’t offer other items, it might be a great time to diversify revenue streams.) Consider creating a package offer incentivizing patrons to pre-order drinks, food or other items when they buy their tickets online for a slight discount.

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival sells picnic items online.

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival sells picnic items online.

These supplementary offerings are more than just a way to earn more revenue alongside tickets: They can help deepen patrons’ experiences by creating more ways for them to engage with and spend time at the organization. In other words, they build loyalty. Also, pre-selling more items online allows organizations to anticipate their inventory and shortens concessions and merchandise lines, encouraging walk-up purchases and driving more revenue on performance day.

5. Centralize marketing and sales insights

Sometimes the numbers say it all. Reporting on marketing efforts and sales performance together can help organizations make sure their departments are aligned and effectively measuring their strategies’ success.

Sharing insights gives marketing and sales teams a roadmap for tailoring their communications. It can help them set defined categories for who their first-timers, repeat attenders and lapsed bookers are, and target them accordingly to convert them to the next loyalty level. It can also help teams find ways where they can improve their own communication to better deliver these strategies.

Shared goals

These ideas will empower marketing and sales teams to drive revenue growth by understanding their patrons better, reaching them more effectively and working together to build their loyalty. Channeling their shared resources will set these teams up for creating genuine long-term relationships with patrons as well as maximum revenue return, allowing the organization to have a steadfast audience that sustains and supports it year over year.

Learn more ways to build revenue at arts organizations with Spektrix’s Revenue Maximization Guide.

Screen capture of Spektrix's Revenue Maximization Guide cover