Last week we held 'The Art of Digital' workshop at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow. Teams from Spektrix, We Are AD and Culture Republic came together along with professionals in the arts, to discuss what aggregate data from the arts sector can tell us and how to engage our social media followers.
Spektrix Account Manager Paul was first up to start the discussion, by presenting an analysis of the sales and marketing data from across the Spektrix client-base in 2014. Through these findings, Paul highlighted the two key obstacles facing the sector: customer retention and charitable giving, and how we might address these.
Across the Spektrix client base, we’ve found that retention is extremely important to revenue. Those customers who visit your venue 2 times or more make up a much higher proportion of your revenue. As a result, Paul encouraged everyone to focus resources on encouraging people to come back. For example, make your customers feel extra welcome on their first visit and encourage re-attendance with a low-cost incentive such as a free drink or waived booking fee on the next visit.
Another obstacle Paul looked at was charitable giving. The success rate for over the phone and counter transactions is much lower than for web transactions. However, there are a handful of organisations that are achieving a good level of donations on the phone so clearly, it is possible to do better. Paul’s tip in this case was to give your box office staff the training and support to feel comfortable making the ask.
Next up was Ashley from Culture Republic, who explained how integrating a range of data sets provides a clearer picture of who your key audience groups are for an event or venue and how to connect with them. By looking at demographics, ticket sales and social media activity, we can humanise our audience and get a more nuanced picture of what motivates an audience to attend and what you can do to keep them coming back.
In particular, social media can be a brilliant way to engage potential new audience members as it reaches new people while showcasing the nostalgia and enthusiasm of fans. Real time conversations can also enrich findings around quality ratings. For example, how was the quality of the production? Did the audience have a good experience? Both Twitter and Facebook give us qualitative data through the contents of comments and tweets, as well as quantitative data in the form of retweets, number of comments and likes.
As a result, combining data sets such as social media data with box office data is tremendously useful, enabling organisations to keep up with rapid pace of change more widely taking place in the market and in society at large. You could also compare self reporting what people say in research or on social media) with actual behaviour (i.e. what they actually spend their money on) giving you a 360 degree view of your customers and more confidence in results.
Cat from the digital agency We Are AD, explored ways of turning social media followers into brand advocates. She made a very pertinent point that it’s not about the number of followers you have, but about how willing they are to engage with your organisation and become advocates. Cat also pointed out that selling doesn’t stop after you’ve sold a ticket. An ideal customer journey ends in advocacy.
Advocacy is taking marketing to the next level, reaching out to audiences to tell a story about the value and impact of your offering and get people to care as much as you do. In your marketing strategy, acknowledge that fans on social media platforms have influence and can therefore be of great value.
We can’t wait to catch up with everyone soon at our next event. In the mean time, check out these slides from the day.