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Communicating Value / Peer-to-Peer Marketing

Presentation by Alan S. Brown, WolfBrown

January 15, 200815 January 2008

Audience development, arts marketing and communications

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In a presentation about Communicating Value, Alan S. Brown outlines the “benefits emanating from the arts experience”, including individual, interpersonal and community impacts. The presentation notes that benefits can be felt before, during and after activities. In addition, there may be cumulative benefits that accrue over time. The benefits are grouped into five “value clusters”, including personal development, economic and social benefits, human interaction, communal meaning and the imprint of the arts experience.

Various potential benefits are highlighted within each value cluster:

  • Personal development can include self-actualization, improved social skills, the ability to think critically, health and wellness, and others.
  • Among the economic and social benefits are tolerance, civic pride, economic impact, harm avoidance, and more.
  • In terms of human interaction, benefits can include more satisfying relationships, family cohesion, teamwork skills, and others.
  • Regarding communal meaning, the presentation outlines benefits such as community engagement, political dialogue, the transfer of values and ideals, a sense of belonging, and more.
  • The imprint of the arts experience can include social bonding, aesthetic growth, intellectual stimulation, emotional resonance, and others.

Alan S. Brown’s second resource available on the conference website is a presentation about Peer-to-Peer Marketing, including key concepts, implementation approaches and marketing practices. Given the trend away from subscriptions and towards late buying, Brown argues that the arts industry is “in search of a new marketing model”. Peer-to-peer (P2P) marketing is defined as “a sales channel that leverages social context within peer networks to stimulate arts attendance in small social groups”.

P2P marketing is supported by “structured word-of-mouth”, which can eventually take on a life of its own. “The objective of P2P marketing is to recruit, motivate and satisfy a network of resellers”, who can be “powerful advocates for your organization”. Brown cites statistics (unfortunately without identifying the source) regarding the attractiveness of “initiators”, including how interested they are in the arts, how frequently they attend arts activities, how interested they are in arts educational aspects, and more.

Brown’s presentation provides examples of existing peer-to-peer communications and clubs as well as implementation models and recruitment methods. P2P “enabling tools” include pass-along emails, automated reminder services, online invitation tools, blogging, online social networking, and others.

Brown describes a five year vision for organizations:

  • “You have a ‘Lead Activator’ on staff.”
  • “You have a self-motivated network of Ambassadors, Initiators and Activators.”
  • “In your database, they are categorized by values, interest area, target group.”
  • “On your website, anyone can sign up to join a group hosted by one of your Activators.”
  • “Your audience is composed of hundreds of small social cells, each of which has a customized experience.”

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