If so many arts leaders believe that marketing and development departments working together will generate better patronage results, why are so few organizations actually doing it?
To be sure, there are ample tactical examples of successful cross-departmental collaboration on campaigns. And, a few industry leaders are engaging in organization-wide patron development: Arts Club Theatre Company and 5th Avenue Theatre are two I admire.
But integrated patron management is far from being a mainstream practice. Perhaps it’s because true marketing-development collaboration requires change and new ways of doing things that most organizations find impossibly difficult—especially on top of everything else that’s necessary to keep the art on our stages and in our exhibit halls.
Look beyond the challenges toward a starting point.
Marketing and development need a bridge linking their often siloed departments. A couple of management initiatives and tools can build that bridge.
1. Integrated patron reporting. Most arts managers see their season as a string of single-ticket revenue targets, an exhibition with a visitor goal to hit, or an annual fund effort to bring in donations. It’s easy to miss individual patrons’ passion for your art when you are looking at them through the singular lens of individual campaigns.
Take this sample patron history. At first, you’ll mostly likely see it as it’s usually reported, along departmental campaign lines:
To marketing, this patron is a big-time subscriber:
But does marketing know, as the box office likely sees on their screen, that this patron has also been buying extra tickets? Read the rest of this entry »