Information and arts marketing

On completing a consumer survey for the Melbourne Theatre Company. I was intrigued to come upon this table.

Which of the following would encourage you to attend the theatre more frequently?

(Select all that apply)

Apparently, the problem that I think is central, in marketing and advertising generally, but particularly in the arts on account of the diversity of arts offerings and the diversity of tastes and values, hasn’t occurred to them. It’s extremely hard for me to know whether I’ll like anything they put on. The best way they could get me to their shows is to find a way to signal me when reviewers I respect think well of the offering but not to try to get my arse onto their seats if I’ll dislike the show. You wouldn’t think that would be so hard, but there you go. Looks like you’d be wrong because I know of no examples of it happening. Anywhere.

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4 Responses to Information and arts marketing

  1. Chris Lloyd says:

    I just read the article you linked to: “..but as a member of the traditional owners of the land on which we met, the late late people.” Funniest gag I have read in many years Nick. I’m going to use it shamelessly from now on.

  2. Nicholas Gruen says:

    Oops I guess it should be “latte latte” people. Corrected now.

  3. Antonios says:

    The big problem for reviews in theatre, with its high labour intensiveness in a relatively small geographical space, is that the reviewers usually know most everyone who they’re reviewing personally. With movies and books, the reviewer often has nothing to do with the creators or the participants, so the review itself can be more honest.

    I’ve often wondered if theatre shows would be better off working like a musical band or stand-up comedian does. Instead of a series of back-to-back performances that each might fail without much scope for improvement, a bunch of performances over a period of time where aspects are tweaked continuously.

    Also, going to see a musical band or a stand-up comedian or a movie is just a casual thing that you’d do one night just for the casual fun of it. Theatre should try to find a way to crack that casual culture-seeking market, which was a significant part of its history.

  4. derrida derider says:

    With movies and books, the reviewer often has nothing to do with the creators or the participants, so the review itself can be more honest.

    – Antonios

    Movies, maybe, though paid reviews are not exactly unknown there. But you are clearly unfamiliar with the literary world – it is quite as incestuous as (and a good deal more bitchy than) the visual arts. Do you really think those selected quotes in the publisher’s blurb for that latest imperishable gem of a novel came from people who did not know the author?

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