So often marketing is boiled down to ways of communicating – or honestly, talking AT people. The newest tools of social media, while providing means to continue the constant barrage of messages sent out, hold their true promise on the other side of the communcations coin – LISTENING. Let’s face it, when is the last time you as an overworked, underpaid arts marketer took the time to listen to your audiences. I’m not just talking about customer service gripes, though those are very important to pay attention to. I mean, when is the last time you even attempted to strike up a conversation with your audience where they did more talking than the organization’s representatives? Before the advent of Twitter and Facebook, starting such a conversation was incredibly difficult for most organizations other than the super small ones where it happened naturally because everyone in the audience knew everyone in the organization. But today there is absolutely no excuse for not listening.
So what are some practical ways to listen? A number of arts organizations are giving it a try. Read the rest of this entry »