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What Marketing-Development Collaboration Really Needs

Posted by Ms. Jill Robinson, Oct 02, 2012 6 comments

Jill Robinson Jill Robinson


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?

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Aim Higher

Posted by Adam Thurman, Oct 02, 2012 4 comments

Adam Thurman

The theme of the 2012 National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference is, Getting Down to Business. Here are the questions I want you to ponder:

Exactly what “business” are we talking about?

What’s the point of all this? Why do we invest incredible energy, time, and money into marketing the arts? What is the end goal?

That’s not a rhetorical question. I want you to think about it for a second.

When I ask this question to others, I get a very common answer. The goal is ticket sales, or “butts in seats”.

Here’s what I want you to consider. If all you want is sales, you are setting your ambitions way too low.

Speaking as a guy that has sold millions of dollars in of tickets to the live performing arts, please trust me when I tell you that the desire to just sell tickets (or paintings, or whatever) is the lowest form of ambition.

If you want to make something that just sells go make toothpaste, or porn, or some other thing that people actually use on a daily basis.

This thing, this ART thing, has to be about something more than that. If all it boils down to is an economic transaction where I give you X amount of dollars and you give me Y amount of art then we will always lose in the long run because art is a horrible economic transaction.

Aim higher.

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Marketing, Gangnam Style

Apart from the catchy tune and quirky moves, how can we explain the incredible global response to "Gangnam Style," a song that's almost entirely in Korean? More importantly, what are the takeaways that companies can apply to their brands and products?

Source Name: 
Harvard Business Review
Author Name: 
Dae Ryun Chang

Three Ways to Make the Most of Twitter's Makeover

Whether you're using Twitter to network or to build your personal brand, your profile page is your bona fide business card in the social media world. Sure, LinkedIn is the place where you share your professional history, but it is Twitter where you share your professional personality.

Source Name: 
Fast Company
Author Name: 
Amber Mac

Creating Social Change Through Music

In the fall of 2010, Heart of Los Angeles forged a partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to bring a youth orchestra to the Rampart community. Now in its third year, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) at HOLA (YOLA at HOLA) is the second site of Gustavo Dudamel’s signature program. YOLA is inspired by El Sistema, the Venezuelan music education system that nurtured the Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director. El Sistema uses music education to help kids from impoverished circumstances achieve their full potential and learn values that favor their growth.

Source Name: 

One Simple Rule for Good Infographics

Great infographics should tell the story of numbers. Increasingly, however, I see infographics in social being used to tell a story, all right–but not necessarily the story of the data. Some of the worst offenders cherry pick data from incomparable studies, weaving them together as if they came from the same study. A good infographic should allow the viewer to quickly make an apples-to-apples comparison of two or more complex sets of data, but many of the infographics I see, as I noted in Mark’s book, “blithely place apples, oranges and unaccredited bananas” all over the place.

Source Name: 
Brand Savant
Author Name: 
Tom Webster

10 Tips for Marketing New Seasons in the Arts

We all have our own work Twitter accounts and we find it has helped our audience engagement hugely. Users like to feel that they know the people working at the venue and it gives the venue as a whole a friendly image. We try not to use direct sales tweets, which I think is important – people aren't stupid. It also helps us get to know some of our audience too, and we'll often talk to our followers about current events (not just theater/arts related) as it helps build up trust, which I think is so important as well.

Source Name: 
Guardian UK
Author Name: 
Matthew Caines

Smile, Broadway! You're on Instagram

Amazing sets. Colorful costumes. Imaginative makeup. Historic venues. Nearly everything that makes up the live theater community screams visuals. Marketers get it. Broadway ads are typically overflowing with many of these elements. But that's all about broadcasting. As companies now understand, "better customer engagement via social media will lead to increased revenue when done correctly of course," according to It's the "doing it correctly" part that is always the challenge for marketers.

Source Name: 
Huffington Post
Author Name: 
James Sims

Is the Infographic Dead – Already?

Posted by Laura Kakolewski, Oct 02, 2012 3 comments

Laura Kakolewski

There is no question that infographics have tumbled into the world of marketing.

Infographics serve as visual narratives that arrange patterns, relationships, or trends in a creative and visually appealing way. The ideal infographic organizes large amounts of data with art and design finesse, and in the end, a story materializes.

And thanks to social media, infographics have become a popular form of shareable content for brands, serving as an engagement tool for online audiences.

When it comes to the evolution of the infographic, in the past two years, infographics have grown bigger, brighter, and richer in content. For example, compare both the size and amount of data illustrated on this 2011 infographic to that found on the average size of a 2012 infographic.

In my work as an arts marketer, I have experienced this growth first-hand. In designing our e-book, 13 Social Media Infographics Every Marketer Needs to See Volume 2, our primary challenge was fitting the volume of content so that it would match the customary dimensions of the publications our e-book library.

The rise of infographics has also been seen through the development of user-friendly websites such as, which has raised $2 million dollars to allow you to create, customize, and share your own infographics easily and for free.

However, a recent Huffington Post article discusses the notion that as content creators, it is a constant uphill battle to create fresh and engaging content that will grab the attention of our online audience. The author argues that “the time has come to take the world of infographics to the next level: video.”

According to the article, content that is in the form of the infographic, a trend that has undeniably been on the rise, will soon be replaced by explainer videos, or “short, actionable and instructive videos that businesses use to quickly explain what it is they do, and how they can solve their customer’s biggest problems.”

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Monetizing Engagement: Taking Friends to the Bank?

Posted by Mary R. Trudel, Oct 02, 2012 0 comments

Mary Trudel

Everything we ever knew about the value of authentic engagement is louder, faster, and more challenging.

My partner, Rory MacPherson, and I spend a lot of time interviewing arts organizations about their use of social media to seek out best practices and learn from field exemplars. What I come away with after hundreds of interviews is that effective use of social media is building engagement on steroids!

The best organizations understand that your greatest assets are—to use a Facebook word—your friend relationships with audiences, visitors, fans, and patrons. You can mobilize these groups to help but you CANNOT make those friends in a crisis.

Friends are made on the frontlines through individual experiences that bring fans closer or push them away. We’ve noted 7 important elements of effective engagement which can solidify engagement and make social media mission critical for your fundraising:

  1. Make it Personal + Concrete + Time Sensitive
  2. Connect with Values and Value Connections
  3. Listen and Respond
  4. Answer the Audience’s Question: What’s in It for Me?
  5. Cultivate Productive Partnerships
  6. Measure What Matters
  7. Involve the Whole Organization

Two outstanding examples:

  • Georgia Shakespeare was facing a perfect storm of funding, facing possible closure. The managing director made a personal appeal—not unusual—but what happened next was explosive and exponential. A New York actor who got his start at Georgia Shakespeare sent out a birthday wish—“Don’t buy me a beer for my birthday, donate the price of one to my theatrical ‘birthplace.’” And donations flowed in—$325,000 in 2 weeks from more than 1000 people across the U.S.
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