Listen to the audience. Target the audience. “Target audience”. Or, “Strong reasons make strong actions”, King John

(Of course we had to give an ode to William Shakespeare. We wouldn’t be a performing arts company otherwise.)

In our last post we had referenced “target audiences”.  Our belief is that if you actually listen to your audiences, they will lead you. The consumer is, and always has been, in charge. I am amazed I have seen statements such as ‘what consumer behavior needs to change in order for brand to achieve its goal?’ Backwards, it’s about consumer! Perhaps this company was targeting the wrong audience, perhaps their product or service was sub-par, perhaps costs weren’t reasonable, perhaps…

Admittedly without knowing any of the details I would argue that at its core their offering wasn’t resonating with their targeted consumer. I strongly state that the company needs to do something different however, not the consumer.

If only companies like this could find some research, if only they could develop actionable insights. As much as creativity is critical in the marketing process so too is basing certain decisions on sound data.

Well there are many sources including eMarketer, Comscore, Forrester, MRI, Simmons, etc. For our needs, we read some amazing research from the National Endowment for the Arts. The National Endowment for the Arts, 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (.pdf) has been an invaluable resource for us. At its core it solidified our belief that streaming the performing arts online is compelling. The research supports our position that the performing arts audiences aren’t necessarily in decline, they’re online.

We’ll post some interesting data in subsequent posts but overall it shows there’s great opportunity to “turn the performing arts into an interactive global experience”.

In the end, doesn’t it all come down to the consumer (read: audience)? We would love to hear your thoughts. What type of media do you consume? When? Where? Why? Does live streamed performing arts resonate with you? We’ll love to have a conversation with you.

1 comment…
  • John Goslino June 22, 2012, 1:33 pm

    Agree the premise of the article, companies need to develop two-way interactions with their audiences and continually seek the involvement of the audience, often informally, in shaping new and better products and services. In reality few do, and the objectives of the company over-shadow the customer objectives (when known), something you see also with websites. A key issue for many in the arts (and other sectors) is not if, as many appreciate the value of audience research, but how to effectively get to know their audience and derive information that is useful, not merely interesting. We have lots of free resources on our website that help organisations do their own research and solve their own problems, including uniquely-developed qualitative methods that don’t require advanced skills in research. So, if you are interested, why not browse from here If you are serious about doing your own research you can also buy the book Know Your Audience and support our work with media and community organisations in the developing world.


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