The arts don't need marketing.
We find audiences fascinating, and feel successful audience engagement as an emotional response. Yet search listings of ‘arts marketing consultants’ and you’ll find a serious lack of understanding of this simple and important perspective. Still using a dated marketing approach with no focus on the individual's engagement psychology, many employ the same strategies and tactics for the arts as you would for Coca-Cola or an iPhone.
We’re proud of our unique approach to arts engagement; a process that involves a more innovate use of ‘traditional marketing’; combining our latest research with key elements of marketing alongside psychological models and research, acknowledging the unique requirements of arts engagement and audience development in 2021.
We look forward to continuing to develop more relevant audience engagement strategies and in turn enabling more people to choose, create and take part in brilliant cultural experiences; and optimistically move the arts industry away from being marketed.
Mapping 'The Hidden'
National Arts Audience Research
A national investigation to identify ‘hidden’ audiences - the many niche, underrepresented, under-engaged and discriminated-against people being overlooked in current nationwide arts audience research, policies and long-term strategies.
As leading arts marketing experts and audience engagement consultants, we support clients with the audience challenges they are facing through overarching advice and practical arts engagement or marketing planning support.
Our range of customisable solutions have been designed to meet the requirements of both independent artists and arts organisations of all sizes, through either the completion of full engagement/marketing documents or by supporting grant applicants with public engagement planning.
Emma martin, Rachel Escott, then mehmet, audience development consulting, museum association engagement
2021 in numbers
411 hours of free advice given.
71,000 people engaged physically (34,000 first time attenders)
2.1 million people engaged digitally.
5 national research projects.
2 international research projects.
"Art without discovery moves nobody; creation must be made accessible for consumption".
The Importance of Understanding
Moving Beyond Dead-End Data
Understanding the psychological make-up of an audience is essential in ensuring audience engagement moves past the limitations of arts marketing.
Dissection of the psychological needs and preferences of the audience allows for appreciation of any personal, situational, cultural, institutional and historical factors that may be influencing an audience’s willingness to engage.
As the only audience engagement consultants that place such heavy emphasis on psychology over marketing, our approach is based upon significant past research into audience habits and preferences. By aligning psychographic considerations we can provide more relevant engagement guidance as to effectively reach and connect with your audience segment; informing the building of cultural experiences so the public receive maximum value from your work.
Audiences aren’t just numbers to report back to ACE with, they have clear and determined psychologies influencing their engagement with the arts.
Only through exploration of psychology can the arts remain relevant and essential to the wider public good, data driven planning simply can not cut it.
Much of current arts marketing and engagement planning is based upon impressive seeming census-style data reports that provide extensive results but give no explanation as to how these are relevant to the arts or arts engagement planning.
We feel it's a dangerous, ineffective and impersonal approach to be developing cultural experiences based upon statistics and not recognising audiences as individuals. Grouping audiences solely through demographic data is not only extremely presumptuous of their psychographics but also boarders on prejudice and discrimination. Allowing the future of the arts to be shaped through such a cold, analytical approach fills us with dread. ©
Our Unique 'Multiverse Approach' to Audience Engagement. ©
Choices & Decisions
Arrival & Departure
An audience's first contact with your programme; attracting them, engaging them and moving them to attend.
The stage where audiences weigh up alternative options and consider what choosing you will mean to them.
Moving the audience through their journey with you; providing value to them and creating a lasting impression that evokes further engagement.
Reducing 'mental barriers to participation' that prevent attendance and ensure audiences leave having been artistically and intellectually challenged.
The influence your programme has had on an audience, what they take away; tangible or intangible.
Our Work with Arts Audience Insights CIC
Research into the arts audience is crucial to support the industry moving forward. We pride ourselves on our knowledge of contemporary arts audiences, their changing habits and the means of connecting with them. We work alongside arts audience R&D CIC, Arts Audience Insights to widen access for traditionally unengaged, underrepresented or discriminated groups. Key findings from our research can be read here.
Our research projects have included,
Arts Audiences: Establishing Opportunities for Engagement.
An Experimental Investigation of how Digital Engagement Can Deepen and Democratise Artistic Exchange with Audiences.
Audience Development: A Focus on Widening Participation.
Our Work and ACE.
Working to ACE strategies and objectives, we align the work of those who come to us to ensure the public value of that work is being demonstrated clearly.
We have worked to understand ACE Project Grants, the requirements and how we can contribute our expertise to strengthen applications.
We offer our knowledge of audiences to make suggestions of where a project's public engagement planning is falling short and how best to move forward.
Our goal is to enable more people to participate in exciting and brilliant culture experiences, in many cases the first step to achieving this is through funding being secured.
"Art organisations are only valuable to society when their work fully engages, challenges and connects with an audience".
We support clients with the audience challenges they are facing through overarching audience advice and practical arts engagement or marketing planning support.
Our range of customisable audience solutions have been designed to meet the requirements of both independent artists and arts organisations of all sizes, including the meeting of ACE Project Grant and NPO engagement criteria.
Audience Engagement Consultancy Clinic.
A straightforward conversation that takes the uncertainty out of audience engagement and supports you to identify, explore, understand or reach your intended audience.
We look to provide individualised advise on the audience participation issues you're facing as either an independent artist or arts organisation during COVID-19.
Book a Free 30-Minute Video Consultation.
A complimentary consultation to discuss your requirements or any current engagement sticking points you may be facing.
We’re happy to provide free guidance that may resolve your questions within the half hour, or happy to discuss how we can work together longer term.
Recent Clients & Partnerships