To the Naked Eye

Successful arts marketers have one thing in common: they can see connections when they might not be noticeable to the naked eye.

How the arts marketer sees these connections is vital to reaching the business objectives of the organization. Sometimes this vision is a learned craft and other times a natural born talent. However you add these tricks to your tool kit can be the difference between successful events and campaigns that stand out and others that merely get by or go unnoticed.

Our job here at ArtsMarketingBlog.org is to help push your marketing to higher heights, while also eradicating the world from lame and ineffective marketing, advertising and promotion. There is no single recommendation or set of steps to teach you how to see the connections between what message you put out there, whether that message will resonate with your audience.  What we do know is that when the message is in sync with your audience, there is an explosive combination is converted into active business energy. We hope to provide you with the basics of what to watch out for when putting your plan into motion.

First, you must identify the necessity of utilizing the different components of marketing to meet your objectives. All marketing is comprised of the medium, message and frequency. In some cases, if one of those is so powerful, it will allow the other components to be used in lesser quantity because the dominant component sets the tone for success.

Think of it like this: if you have aligned the perfect artistic program with the most effective medium for the audience, your fans will no doubt hear about it, and be excited about attending.

On the other hand, if one of these are out of phase, such as the program doesn’t meet your audience’s tastes or sensibilities, or the medium is inefficient, or your frequency of sharing the message is negligible, then it is possible no-one will hear about your offering and it will be destined to be a failure.

The connections you are searching for are usually common sense and impact the audience immediately. Although, there are many times common sense alone is not what works in making creative marketing decisions such as tone and content. Sometimes it is the ability to see the counterintuitive benefits associated with your marketing direction that makes the difference between a good arts marketer and a great one. Don’t be afraid to explore all aspects of your message in order to find the most effective one.

Just as the artist, composer and choreographer looks at a blank sheet and can see the art in their mind’s eye, the marketer can see the finished project and know what it takes to get there. Some of this is natural born talent, but much of it is relying on personal and professional experience for the inspiration. Unlike the artist, arts marketers have more data than they could ever analyze to review past projects to predict future outcomes. This is a good thing!

Beyond ensuring the message, medium and frequency are properly aligned, the marketist, (one who has elevated marketing to an art form in their org), must ensure that the other mechanics involved in successful conversion to measure business outcomes have no additional impediments to success. If links to the website for more information or ticket and donation links via web and phone are not functioning properly, then all the good work up-front goes for naught. These are the sort of connections which everyone can see, but many forget or take for granted when creating great art.

Marketing can be a natural born talent, but in most cases it is the testing, experimenting and failing that creates the body of work which builds the reservoir of knowledge to provide for a successful career – naked or fully clothed.

 

About

Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years. Currently, Sean is a principal in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the U.S. including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference. Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street, a program of the Allentown Chamber of Commerce in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire or email him anytime at sking.aspire@gmail.com

Posted in Marketing, Marketist

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About Sean King
Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years.  Currently, Sean is a principle in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the United States including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference.  Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street program in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. He also blogs a artsmarketingblog.org.  You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire. Sean resides with his wife Natalie and son Haydn in the global crossroads of Fogelsville, Pa.