AMA conference 2013 looked at how we develop audiences now and how we might do it in the future. How can we engage a wider audience and engage them more deeply? How can we recognize and meet different people’s different needs – and give individuals the kinds of experiences and outcomes they look to us for? How can we build broader, wider, deeper relationships in order that we also meet our organisation’s own artistic, social and financial objectives? Jo Taylor’s opening keynote looked back through the years of political history and the arts and set the theme for the conference.
Digitisation though also helped accelerate our thinking around offers that could be both interactive and personalised. So broadly speaking our organisations started off being product-focused; then, faced with growing financial challenge, became selling-focused. As the market and consumers increased in sophistication we became marketing-focused and eventually must all become audience-focused.
It won’t have escaped anyone’s notice our current government has returned to the economic impact argument of more than 30 years ago. And it’s been pointed out by several influential leaders that this argument is already substantiated and that we need to move on from it. This won’t help us win the hearts and minds of audiences. This won’t help us in our quest to engage and fulfil, excite and inspire, challenge and stimulate. Our evolution has taught us several important lessons that will help us become more resilient.