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2014 Performing Arts Digital Marketing Benchmark Study

September 23, 201523 September 2015

Arts statistics and management

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This report highlights the result of a survey of the digital marketing practices of 125 performing arts organizations in the United States. Theatres (41%) and presenting organizations (27%) accounted for over two-thirds of the respondents. As noted in the report, “125+ organizations do not make this data statistically significant”. Nevertheless, there are some interesting findings regarding the digital marketing of performing arts organizations.

Regarding performing arts organizations’ websites, the survey found that 52% of tickets were sold online. Three-quarters of respondents had redesigned their website within the past three years, including one-quarter that are currently redesigning their sites. Despite strong web usage, less than one-half of responding organizations (44%) indicated that they have an adequate budget for website maintenance.

Social media marketing is very important for performing arts organizations. All survey respondents have a Facebook page, and 97% have paid for Facebook advertising. Further, 96% of respondents have a Twitter account, 91% have a YouTube account, and 81% are on Instagram. As a result of respondents’ social media efforts, their followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have substantially increased in number.

With an increasing proportion of their web traffic coming from mobile devices, almost two-thirds of responding organizations (61%) have mobile-enabled websites. About one-half of respondents (53%) purchased mobile advertising in 2014.

As in the two previous years of this survey, a lack of budget was the most common obstacle in the success of performing arts organizations’ digital marketing efforts in 2014. Other common obstacles include an inability to determine the return on their investment, insufficient internal knowledge, and the lack of a clear digital strategy.

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