The National Arts Marketing Project, provides information, tools, and practical ideas to design high-quality, cost-effective marketing programs and strengthen arts organizations. Our Advisory Committee provides expert guidance and constantly seeks new resources and information to keep the site relevant and useful.
If you still say “Facebook is not a direct sales tool” you’re not using it correctly. And you don’t understand how the marketing world has dramatically changed.
At a recent arts conference there were evidently some sessions where presenters said “Facebook doesn’t sell tickets” or “we just use Facebook for branding and awareness.”
We are in a new world where social storytelling and smart digital targeting are cornerstones of marketing. And those organizations that don’t know how to do it are going to keep falling further and further behind. Spreading this misinformation is just going to keep our sector amongst the dinosaurs who think we can keep interrupting our way to ticket sales by buying traditional media. Read the rest of this entry »
Audience is something we think about every moment. How are viewers engaging with our exhibitions? How are they responding to the organization’s methods of outreach? Are they even showing up in the first place?
From very early on, Dash has had a large outpouring of community support. My partner and I are both Atlanta natives and were lucky enough to leverage relationships we had with press, artists, and musicians in the city. As we continued to grow within our mission, we cultivated (and continue to cultivate) a solid, committed constituency. Efforts to engage an audience outside the traditional art-viewing public such as university students and faculty, small businesses, and city government, paid off. Quite literally, we were networking – meeting with leaders in these industries to explain our work and ask for their support via their own promotional tools like social media, web links, etc. Read the rest of this entry »
The ancient story of David, a young man who defeated the giant Goliath using only a small stone and a slingshot, is an apt metaphor for the situation most (perhaps all?) arts organizations find themselves in these days. The marketing world has become entirely fragmented, with hundreds of different channels competing for the attention of every consumer – that means every potential audience member. We are all inundated with emails, ever-multiplying social networks, television, radio, print, digital magazines, review sites, event sites, crowdfunding, discount ticket sites, etc, etc.
How can we cut through the clutter? How can we get our message across when the channels are overflowing with behemoth corporations spending the equivalent of our yearly operating expenses on a month’s worth of Facebook ads? Read the rest of this entry »
Mobile device adoption and usage is a global phenomenon with over 4.5 billion mobile users worldwide. In the United States, smartphone adoption has exceeded standard cell phone ownership by nearly 2-to-1. We no longer use our phones to simply make calls and send text messages. We use them to explore our world. Anything we experience can be recorded, researched, and shared from the palms of our hands – anytime, anywhere.
As our adoption and usage of mobile technology has grown, so have our expectations for engaging with the world around us at a moment’s notice. Researchers at Forrester define this as the mobile mind shift “the expectation that [we] can get what we want in our immediate context and moments of need.” Read the rest of this entry »
- The average American adult spends 11 hours per day with electronic media.
- 58% of adults in the United States own a smartphone and 40% own a tablet. Cellphone adoption transcends race, location, and income level.
- 73% of adults use at least one social media channel.
These facts help to establish a truism of life today. We live in an augmented reality; for more and more of us, we value and desire digital experiences alongside “real world” ones. And one need not negate the other. Our lives do not only take place in the physical world; why should our experiences with art and culture? Read the rest of this entry »
For Geva Theatre in Rochester, NY, I created an engagement group that has significantly impacted the way we interact with patrons and stakeholders, it’s called The Cohort Club.
I started with four ideas:
1) Education breeds excitement.
2) People wanna see how the sausage is made.
3) If you want people to come see your shows, you need to speak their language, or teach them yours.
4) “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”—Chinese proverb. Read the rest of this entry »
You know that question, “how do we build new audiences without losing current ones?” Here’s a thought exercise for you: what if you flipped it, reframed the question? What if you prioritized the audience you’ve already lost, rather than the audience you might lose?
That’s right: you’ve already lost audiences. Point of fact: there’s a giant pool of audience members that you’ve never had–never even knew you existed–that you’ve left out or even actively displaced because of choices you and your organization have made over time. And continue to make. Read the rest of this entry »
There are a lot of obstacles a person must overcome during any given day to engage in your art: traffic, finding a babysitter, transportation – the list can go on. Sometimes people are just plain tired. It is much easier to order up entertainment at home with on-demand options readily available through just a few clicks. So how do we overcome the forces that block patron engagement?
“Get out of the building!” It is the mantra of serial-entrepreneur, Steve Blank, and the cornerstone of “lean” marketing principles further popularized by Eric Reis in his book, The Lean Startup. Both Blank and Reis focus on a concept known as customer discovery. In short, customer (patron) discovery is about solving the customer’s needs by testing product concepts. For artists and arts organizations, this may involve conducting customer interviews, creating prototypes, gathering feedback and validating the right market. In other words, the patron is integral to the process and the focus of the creative offering (the art itself). Read the rest of this entry »
After such an amazing experience last year in Portland, I am delighted to be returning with fellow dog & pony dc conspirator Rachel Grossman to Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Marketing Project Conference in Atlanta. This year’s conference theme of “all the places we’ll go” caught my eye for two reasons; first due to the well-executed Dr. Seuss reference, and second because of the definition of “we.”
Who is the “we” in “all the places we’ll go”?
The obvious “we” is the arts administrator. The marketer. The engagement manager. The managing director. The donor relations associate. The small army of hard working people who work tirelessly to make sure the art happens, that it has a space, and that people hear about it. Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve already begun the countdown to the 2014 National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference! With just 6 weeks remaining, what better way to kick off a convening on the future of arts marketing than an online discussion with you and some of the best minds in the business (many of whom will also be speaking at NAMPC!)?
This year’s theme, All the Places We’ll Go! sets the stage for exploring the future of arts marketing – together. With over 600+ arts leaders in attendance, we’ll investigate strategies for digital storytelling, how technology such as Google Glass is redefining engagement, audience diversification initiatives, and much, much more. Between three inspiring keynotes, group workshops, a reception at the legendary Woodruff Arts Center, and even some morning yoga, this year’s NAMP Conference is going is sure to supercharge both your organization as well as your day-to-day work. Read the rest of this entry »
The following is an article originally posted on Minnesota Playlist, written by playwright Gemma Irish, in which she describes how her daily work in marketing at a Fortune 500 company has made her a better artist.
Writers are notorious procrastinators. We would rather do the dishes, read the entire internet, eat a sandwich, or meet friends at the bar than sit down and write. When we finally get down to work (probably because we have a deadline looming, and/or we’re disgusted with ourselves) we drink sherry, we write while reclined, or standing up, or at a café, or in absolute silence. We need just the right conditions, the right pen, the right atmosphere in which to write.
I have to be honest with you: I am guilty of cleaning my entire kitchen instead of re-writing a play, and furthermore I am guilty of getting caught up in the mystique of Being A Writer. “This is how I’m supposed to act! I’m supposed to be a total weirdo and drink too much coffee and put off revising this draft by cleaning my apartment and researching serial killers! It proves that I am a Real Writer!” Read the rest of this entry »
There is an old quote attributed to John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich:
“If any man will draw up his case, and put his name at the foot of the first page, I will give him an immediate reply. Where he compels me to turn over the sheet, he must wait my leisure.”
This was the charge given to me by a business leader who needed to make a compelling case for government and corporate arts funding:
“Keep it to one page, please,” was his request. “I can get anyone to read one page.”
With the 2014 arts advocacy season upon us, the following is my updated “Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts.”
- Which of these would you rank as #1?
- Do you have a #11 to add?
- Tell us in the comments below!
You can download this handy 1-pager here.
1. Arts promote true prosperity. The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. When times are tough, art is salve for the ache.
2. Arts improve academic performance. Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates—benefits reaped by students regardless of socio-economic status. Students with 4 years of arts or music in high school average 100 points better on their SAT scores than students with just one-half year of arts or music. Read the rest of this entry »
Over the past few weeks, I’ve reflected on the 2013 National Arts Marketing Project Conference in Portland, Oregon. This was my first year attending NAMPC and I left with more than I imagined. Although the conference was filled with brilliant colleagues and inspiring sessions, my biggest take-away and learning experience came from an unscheduled, happenstance moment in the Speakers Prep room with an Americans for the Arts staff member.
First, let me provide a little context: I work at an art organization that was founded five years ago. As the newest addition to the now five-person team, I’m holding down the first communications/community engagement position in our small, yet dedicated office.
At the conference, I was scheduled to assist Danielle Williams, the website and new media manager at American for the Arts, with an interview for its blog. Unfortunately, the interview subject did not show up. However, this turned out to be an ideal opportunity for me to see ideas from many of the workshops put into direct action. Following the canceled video interview, Danielle had another appointment planned; it was a website user experience test for the new American for the Arts site. Read the rest of this entry »
Social media marketing seems to run the gamut of potential impact — from exponential success, a la Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, to screaming in the dark and bargaining for likes. It’s tricky business. Social media “gurus” make it sound like a science that you’re not analytical enough to understand or don’t have the time to keep up with, both of which are probably true. Whatever your experience has been with social media marketing, here’s what I know for sure: it’s valuable, it’s not going away, and it’s time-consuming.
Allocating the right mix of platforms and the right amount of time to maximize social media can be difficult to manage for arts organizations with already stretched budgets. However, engaging people that are not only savvy, but popular on social media presents a wonderful opportunity to expand your audience and check off social media on your marketing to-do list.
Adly, a startup that matches celebrities willing to post with consumer brands, calls this “amplifying” your content. Rather than working your poor intern to death trying to get your twitter followers up, retweeting, posting, and sharing your little heart out – identify and engage the socially savvy in your community. There are most certainly people in your immediate reach, who have a huge following on twitter, Instagram, and Vine (Facebook is so 2 hours ago) that can push your content out to the audience you want to reach. Read the rest of this entry »
If you want to show customers service that surpasses their arts-related wants and needs, you need to go beyond just the standard “bricks and mortar” museum or store and create an established online presence.
Today, this means not only having an interactive website but also utilizing social media – Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and more – to their fullest potential. Tech-savvy customers can easily search and find artwork and supplies that interest them, complete with product reviews. The more venues you provide for them to discover your offerings, the better your chances for a sale or inquiry about your collection. Additionally, your online accessibility will help interested customers learn more about all of your artwork and related products and services, and it will encourage them to retain your business for future transactions.
With a good interactive website and strong social media presence, you can interact instantly with your followers to understand what artwork they want and how to assist them. Marketing online with tools like Google Analytics provides the data you need to create personalized service strategies that help you deliver relevant artwork and cultivate a high level of engagement with clients who know you understand and respect their desires. You can use the data you collect to design customized recommendations and other content for your followers, and to develop a long-term strategy for including artwork in your collection that meets your customers’ needs. Read the rest of this entry »