This is an incredibly creative space we work in as arts marketers. We’re fortunate to be surrounded by creativity everywhere we look and being able to work with those who are truly blessed with artistic genius or talent from writing, performing, designing, drawing, painting or crafting.
However, many of those skills do not translate well to the actual selling or promoting of the art. That’s where our genius or creativity or at the very least, our passion for the arts comes into play. In a well-run organization, administration of the arts works as seamlessly as the dance company or the ensemble cast or the chamber orchestra. Each person playing their role, their part to create a work of art all its own – as defined by accurate and timely financial reports, empathetic yet firm human resources, mutually beneficial development and constituent relations and persuasive and impactful marketing.
It’s just not something that people want to buy tickets or pay admission to watch – unless you do it very, very well.
Enter The Marketist. Part artist, part analyst, part business person, it is the Marketist’s role to craft the best possible opportunity for reaching any arts orgs business goals.
Just as the artist or composer or poet chooses the write colors, notes or words, the same can be said for the marketers who have to choose from all of the mediums available, content varying from humorous to the serious, context from the subtle to the substantial. Each one of these options has to be reviewed, evaluated and tested before you make a decision on which direction in which to take your campaign. But who is to say which plan of attack will provide the best results?
These critical evaluations usually take place in your head, on your laptop, over lunch or however you tend to do your brainstorming and subsequent decision making. But once those decisions are made and the pitch is made to the Executive team and/or the board, it’s the combination of the idea and the execution that will determine it’s success. However, there still isn’t a guarantee of success or that the correct decision was made.
Here, once again, is where the parallel between the creation of art and acceptance by the public is similar to the creation of the marketing plan and engagement by the public. If either the art or the campaign are out of phase, the chances are good that the artist will look at the Marketist and the Marketist looks at the artist, each questioning one another. In these cases it usually is the Marketist, with whatever data she has at her fingertips that can provide some sort of analysis versus prior campaigns, or similar projects to determine what went wrong and hopefully how to avoid those failures in the future.
It’s not an easy job. No-one ever said it was. But understanding the importance and relevance is each step of the marketing plan is critical to making your next project your most successful one ever. Realizing we’re all in the same business and that our work has a lot more in common than just the artistic outlet we work for is a great step toward bringing art and marketing together to provide better results for your community and the world.
Welcome to being an Arts Marketist. Join me as we define this role for the future.