How to bring marketing and programming together to create positive working partnerships

How to bring marketing and programming together to create positive working partnerships

By Jo Taylor
Louise Miles-Crust


Marketers, programmers and artistic directors often share the same frustrations of working separately and not connecting properly with each other fields, this seminar looks at how to reverse the trend and find new collaborative approaches that can deliver shared responsibility and closer collaboration. This session looks at work being done at the Wales Millennium Centre that has resulted in the marketing team having more exposure to the way the work arrives on stage and the programmers giving colleagues a list of shows to go and see in Edinburgh every year.

Marketing Campaign Planning

• The process we go through to plan a marketing campaign – starting with what words and images we’re going to use to describe the art – involves the programming team.

• We know we are experienced marketers, so should not be defensive or threatened by other people having ideas and making suggestions – instead snap up the good ones!

• They are the ones who have programmed the work – theirs is the passion that we want to convey to the audience.

• Marketing should be the invisible seam between the art and the audience – not the loud door-to-door salesman who takes the art and layers on “marketing speak” in order to push an audience into believing they need it. Speak “the beautiful truth”.

• Respect audience / encourage dialogue and curiosity / understand risk in context.

• Telling the right stories to the right people at the right time

If you were to ask your colleagues: out of all the artforms which do you rate the highest, the most moving, the most profound, it is more likely to be at the riskier end of the spectrum.

Why is it that we (marketers) are all comfortable with taking risks. We are not more intelligent than our audiences, but perhaps it is because we have constant access to the creative process. By the I [Jo] have seen a show at the centre, I’ve usually seen it before, seen the set design, spoken to the designer and the singers who are in it. By the time I get to the performance, I’ve been on a long journey of discovery.

Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2013