Who should we target?

This blog was posted by Zahida Din on July 20, 2015 as part of the CultureHive Digital Marketing Academy. You can find out more about the project here.

My experiment looks at whether post show emails can help to increase repeat visits to artsdepot.

I started by exploring audience types with my Mentor. artsdepot has two distinct audience types:

  • Family audiences: we know that booking patterns are driven by a wide range of factors, many of which are not related to the show itself, e.g. the weather, a need to occupy the children. Bookings are often made simply based on the name of show (a known title e.g. a book adapted for the stage), age suitability, location of venue and time of day. There’s a tendency to book in advance for school holiday shows but at the last minute for regular Sunday shows, which often have lesser known titles.
  • Adult audiences: are driven by show content and will travel greater distances for the shows they want to see.

After discussing this with my Mentor I decided to progress the experiment with the adult audience, and went away to plot performances against their recommended shows. I soon realised that as a multi-art form venue means it is tricky to find two or more shows to recommend to those that book for a performance from the adult programme. Recommendations need to be a good match in terms of content and also occur within a reasonable time frame i.e. within 3 months. Originally, I’d thought we might be able to send post-show emails with recommendations after every show but the matching exercise has shown this wouldn’t be a prudent approach. A poor match could result in customers being confused and unsubscribing from email communication.

The matching exercise also made me realise that we need to revisit how free events are set up. If some of these could be ticketed (with zero value tickets) it would improve data capture and audiences could be encouraged to re-attend.

There are only three events which have good matches between now and mid-September, and all are family shows. So I’ll move forward with the experiment using these. The next step is to design the email template, create the content and start sending!

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