Post on Mission Paradox this week: Don’t Spin Yourself. Two sentences that struck me: To effectively market what you have, you must be able to see it clearly, and If I see the problems they I can create marketing that helps to deal with the problems.
And I was thinking maybe this post was a bit over-simplified – then again I come from the school of defensive pessimism,* so I tend to do this without even thinking about it – I got an email from the author:
I want to expand on a blog post I wrote titled “Don’t Spin Yourself“.
There is a link between being able to see your art clearly and effective marketing. If you can understand why people may come to your art exhibition AND why they may not come you can see some pretty dramatic improvements in your outcomes.
The way I make sure that I’m seeing art clearly is by using the pro/con approach. Whenever I start the marketing process for art I create a list of pros and cons for each production. For example, here is a pro/con list I created for a show being produced at my day job, August Wilson’s Jitney.
- Strong history of producing August Wilson productions
- Good relationship with target audiences, i.e. students, people of color, etc.
- Good relationship with community partners, i.e. the Dusable Museum, Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, etc.
- The Chicago theatre scene is crowded in the month of September (when Jitney opens) may be difficult to get press attention
- The bulk of the marketing for the show will take place in late August, a time when it is difficult to get our potential audience to pay attention because they are still in “summer” mode.
- Top end ticket price is $65. Is this too much for our target audience?
- While August Wilson is popular, Jitney is one of his lesser known pieces. It’s one of his few productions to NOT make it to Broadway. Will we need to work harder to introduce this work to the public?
Please note that I try to make the list as specific as possible and that I try to include EVERYTHING that may hurt or help the art. I think about the price, I think about the time of year the art is being produced, etc.
You should also notice that I list cons that I’m not even able to change. I can’t change the time of year the show is being produced. That decision is out my hands. All I can do is make the best of it.
This pro/con list can help me (and you) figure out how to market the art. For example, if I think it will be difficult to get press attention I may factor that into the revenue expectations for the show. I may also increase the advertising budget to offset the lack of press attention.
If price is an issue, I may need to work on a limited time sale offer on tickets. You get the idea.
This pro/con list is a surprisingly simple and effective tool for great arts marketing. Individual artists can do it, small arts organizations can do it, large organizations can do it.
Put your list together and see if it helps you make better marketing decision.
Great initial post, fabulous expansion on it. Love it. Probably because that’s pretty much how I work – I try to look for every possible angle to market to those who will come, lure in those who might come with the right assistance or incentive, and once I’ve determined who’s not coming no matter what – stop worrying about them.
I might at some out lay out a current marketing plan here that I’m working on. Maybe. Anyway – go and make your list!
*Oh stop judging. People like me are the reason the Worst Case Scenario Handbook exists. So next time you need to wrestle free of an alligator, don’t come crying to me.
(You punch it in the nose).