Traditionally marketing is market focused; aiming a product to the market and promoting it in a way that customers feel that they need or want this product. Marketing is constantly in our faces, TV adverts, computers, magazines are full of them; Spotify adverts, posters around university or work and in the local supermarket. They all require you to want something that you didn’t have before or the need to upgrade.
Arts can be thought of as older people going to view the opera through their small magnifying glasses up high in boxes (Pretty Woman, may spring to mind). Or watching the pantomime with your 7 year old siblings shouting, “he’s behind you!!!”
But arts is much more than these examples, the younger generation (such as mine) may have long forgotten the arts as being fun, unique and expressive events. Or even forgotten how broad the arts’ world actually is and that we actually love the arts but never thought of it as something we would actually consider going to without Simon Cowell making money of us.
Marketing within the current market is more constant and with technology becoming more and more advanced; marketing has had to change with the lifestyle shifts. Arts, has had to change too and with it, more studies into what is the ‘arts’ exactly, why people should still attend and how to market the arts successfully.
This blog is going to delve into the world of arts marketing and how marketing has to be adapted to complement the arts entirety to make sure beautiful performances such as ballet, opera, dance and theatre are buzzing with atmosphere and experiences that will last in customers minds.
But can arts marketing influence the way we see and understand marketing itself?
One could argue that arts marketing looks at concepts of how different sectors can manipulate the traditional views on marketing to create newer, more efficient methods to attract more customers.
Additionally, to take a step further and produce an entirely new outlook on marketing, just for arts organisations.
Another view could be that arts are essentially within the business sector and therefore, traditional marketing methods should be transferrable for all business types. But is this view too simple for the large vast of art events?
All three different views on marketing the arts give an insight into the different kinds of literature there has been throughout the years.
The one main significance of the traditional marketing is that it is market focused. Marketing consists of creating a product for a sector of potential customers who have a particular need or a want for said product, and through using the marketing mix effectively will help to aim at the selected market (Baines et al, 2008).
The traditional marketing method is:
2. Market research
3. Creating the product needed
4. Marketing mix for the market
The marketing mix consists of 4 or 7 P’s: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence. This is no different in either traditional or arts marketing however, the elements within the P’s should be adapted to work within the chosen organisations.
It has been difficult to define the arts’ as it is a broad area made up of many components such as theatre, museums, film, music, art pieces, opera and dance. However artists that create such art for the different components can be described as Buck (2004, p.22) said, “Artists can be seen as highly efficient micro businesses, which, often on the slenderest of means, are able to convert creative value into commercial worth.”
There are many great advantages of arts marketing, the main one being to create experiences with customers and to help people have a better understanding of the arts through their experience at an event. A quote from Kotler and Scheff (1996) stated that “If the essence of art is the relationship between the artist and the audience, the arts organization must be vigilant in pursuing both the artists' and the audiences' best interests.”
Whether it’s an anticipated ballet performance or an interactive family Christmas show, having the customer’s experience creates a value-in-experience. It depends on the customer to be able to co-create this kind of experience of an event (Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2004).
Definitions of Arts Marketing
The arts are ‘production-led’ because they provide a service. The original marketing models need to be adjusted to focus more on the services and customers than on the market itself. Mokwa et al. (1980) stated that the marketing of arts have to match the artist’s creations to an appropriate audience, which is in itself, is a special case of marketing as it doesn’t follow most marketing tools. Traditional marketing has to be moulded and re-evaluated to be able to fit in with arts.
One definition of arts marketing from Hill et al. (2003, p.1): “an integrated management process which sees mutually satisfying exchange relationships with customers as the route to achieving organisations and artistic objectives.”
This aims to build a relationship with current and potential arts customers to create a arts experience as well as, integrating all organisation objectives around the customer to constantly learn and evolve with the arts.
A personal definition of arts marketing is: re-adjusting and re-creating the marketing models to produce a more definite and accurate process to effectively encourage customers to experience the world of art.
This signifies how arts/ culture organisations can take the original methods and make them their own to achieve more effectiveness and efficiency. Nevertheless, throughout this blog there are constantly different versions of what makes arts marketing and so, this personal definition needs improvement as my personal development of arts marketing increases.
Arts Marketing Processes
Arts Marketing Model
Re-creating the traditional marketing model for the arts consists of more steps to building a successful arts marketing plan. Being that the arts is not market-led and more product/ services based, the arts marketing model starts with the company or the product (which would be a play, opera or ballet performance) as its first step. Steps two and three is the research into the market and finalising which market is the correct one to aim to. After, more research into the market and the start of marketing. The company will then look into the objectives, planning, customer experience and other elements in hopes of being able to co-create with the customer. At last, the marketing mix is implemented into the process and the final step is getting the product out to the chosen market (Colbert, 2007).
The steps of the new Arts marketing model, therefore will be:
1. Company/ Product
6. Marketing mix
Maslow’s Hierarchy and the Arts
Another example, the well-known Maslow Hierarchy (1943) and his pyramid of motivation have been adapted to fit the motivation to attend the arts.
Maslow’s hierarchy sees people wanting to satisfy basic needs instead of the marketing norm of creating needs and wants. Through this arts related hierarchy, there is explanation that arts can indeed satisfy on all levels contributing to the overall arts experience.
5. Physiological – The facility brings comfort, warmth and refreshments
4. Safety – Having confident staff with knowledge into the attraction
3. Social – Conversational and participation opportunities with others
2. Esteem – Enhancement/ self-image
1. Self-Actualisation – Knowledge/ education
Butler (2000) critiques that popular textbooks such as Colbert (2007) and Hill et al (2003), identify why arts marketing is so different however, uses the traditional textbook marketing highlighting the marketing mix and planning processes. This is the assumption that all marketing can be transferrable throughout many different sectors as stated earlier in this blog. Butler also states that since there is not a full understanding of the arts as a marketing context then all previous literature is untrue. Having said this, he mentions that arts overlap with services, non-profit and public service contexts.
Which would somehow contradict his previous statement as this would question why couldn’t traditional marketing methods overlap with arts too?
In contrast to this, the arts marketing incorporating Maslow’s theory is very interesting within the four levels of product in arts experience because it highlights that a customer can be satisfied on each level. Equally, it emphasises that re-adjusting traditional marketing does indeed work and can be quite effective.
All authors from Hill et al. (2003), Baines et al. (2008) and Colbert (2007) make good conclusions on why arts’ marketing is unique to traditional marketing. In spite of this, Butler makes a good argument that arts’ marketing does need more than re-modelling traditional methods. However, marketing has always been about evolving the standardised meaning of marketing and making something new and more exciting out of it to attract new customers and to engage them. One could argue that this is what arts’ marketing does too.
This blog has focused on adjusting the traditional methods to create useful newer models for arts marketing and arts organisations. There has been criticism of these methods however, it seems to be successful for organisations as it looks at arts experiences and customers needs and wants too. Therefore, combining arts within marketing should be used for now until there is a more unique way to sum up arts as a marketing context.
· Baines, P., Fill, C. and Page, K., 2008. Marketing. USA: Oxford University Press.
· Butler, P., 2000. By Popular Demand: Marketing the Arts. Journal Of Marketing Management [online], 16 (4), 343-364.
· Bucks, L., 2004. Market Matters: the dynamics of the contemporary art market [online]. London: Arts Council England.
· Colbert, F., 2007. Marketing Culture and the Arts. 3rd ed. Montreal: Presses HEC.
· Hill E., O’Sullivan C. and O’Sullivan, T., 2003. Creative Arts Marketing. 2nd ed. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
· Kotler, P., and Scheff, J., 1996. Crisis in the arts: The Marketing response, California Management Review [online], 39 (1), 28-52.
· Maslow, A., 1943. A theory of human motivation, Psychological Review [online], 50 (4), 370-396.
· Mokwa, M.P, Dawson, W.M. and Prieve, E.A., 1980. In Hill E., O’Sullivan C. and O’Sullivan, T., 2003. Creative Arts Marketing. 2nd ed. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
· Prahalad, C. K. and Ramaswamy, V., 2004. Co-creating unique value with customers. Strategy and Leadership [online], 32 (3), 4-9.