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A Segmentation Model for Performing Arts Ticket Buyers

November 21, 200821 November 2008

Issue
Performing arts: Attendance, donors and social impacts

Article Link
http://www.wolfbrown.com/index.php?page=mups

This report argues that “values, beliefs, aspirations and motivations drive [performing arts] purchase and donation”. Along with other reports in a “Values Survey”, the report attempts to “build new customer segmentation models for performing arts ticket buyers and donors, to aid in future marketing and fundraising efforts”. Specifically, the author argues that attendees’ values, preferences and tastes can be used to create “a fundamentally better way to market and fundraise for the arts”, rather than simply relying on past purchase behaviours.

An online survey was conducted in conjunction with 14 major university presenters (“MUPs”). Despite its potential value for other organizations, the report notes that the data represent only the 14 sites, and “should not be used as a general model for all performing arts audiences”. This caution highlights the need for organizations to talk to their own audiences to examine what motivates them and what values they hold most dear.

Although the segmentation results should not be applied to other performing arts audiences, the results are interesting and can stimulate other organizations’ thinking about their own audiences. Based on an online survey of over 7,600 attendees, the report identified six groups of attendees based on interests and preferences: 1) classical art forms based in western tradition, primarily classical music; 2) jazz; 3) dance or visual performances; 4) narrative-based art forms; 5) Broadway or entertainment performances; 6) folk or ethnic-based performances.

Based on attendees’ values, beliefs, motivations and preferences, the report identified 10 market segments for ticket buyers. In descending order of risk tolerance, the segments are:

  • Mavericks (8% of all attendees);
  • Experientials (10%);
  • Remixers (10%);
  • Diversity seekers (13%);
  • Classical devotees (9%);
  • Networked students (8%);
  • Blockbusters (12%);
  • Civically-engaged (13%);
  • Faith and family (9%); and
  • Serenity-seekers (8%).

The report provides a brief summary of each segment, detailed tables for key variables in the analysis, as well as the online survey protocol.

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