Segmentation of cultural audiences : definition and examples

If you work in a cultural venue, you have two important objectives: to develop and retain your audiences. Both of these objectives will be more easily achieved if you communicate with your audience, and do so in a way they will find relevant.
And what's the best way to make a message relevant to your target audience? Personalization.

Before you can personalize your messages and thus engage your audiences, you need to do some preliminary work that concerns both your potential and loyal audiences : segmenting your contacts.
What is segmentation? What criteria are truly relevant for segmenting cultural audiences? In this article, we take a look at the answers to these questions, along with a few illustrated examples.
What is segmentation ?
Segmenting your audience involves dividing it into groups of individuals sharing common characteristics: segments. There are a number of criteria you can use to segment your audience: 

  • Socio-demographic criteria: age, place of residence, family situation, etc.
  • Psychological criteria: interests, relationship to the structure, lifestyle...
  • Behavioral criteria: consumer habits, loyalty, etc.

Once you've established your segments, you'll be able to get to know your audience better and refine your communications through appropriate targeting. Segmentation is the perfect tool for sending the right message, at the right time, to the right person.

To segment, you'll need 3 things:

A solution that centralizes your audience data. To segment your audience properly, you need to start with a database that aggregates the information gathered from your various digital tools (ticketing, website, resale, online store, access control, cashless, micro-donation...). This will give you a unified view of what you know about your audience and the points of contact with which they are engaged.

A tool that lets you create segments. To create relevant lists, you can rely on criteria that make sense for the cultural sector. To this end, we advise you to choose a CRM solution specialized in your field rather than a generalist solution. In the cultural sector, we'll see that it's often more relevant to segment based on behavioral and interest criteria than on purely socio-demographic criteria. The visual below is a good illustration of this, isn't it?

Ideas and best practices adapted to the cultural sector
. Over and above the tool you choose, it's your choice of segments that will guarantee a relevant segmentation. At Arenametrix, we work with over 190 customers, advising them on their segmentation needs. Here are a few ideas and best practices drawn from our experience and the ideas we've developed with our customers.

8 segmentation ideas for the cultural sector

1. Segmentation based on interests
seg des publics
This segmentation is based on your audience's consumption habits and interests. Segment it by musical aesthetic, theatrical genre, type of exhibition, artistic field or type of product purchased, and let your list grow as your contacts make purchases.

Thanks to this dynamic list, you can set up an adapted communication and propose a rich, tailor-made marketing offer to each contact. Does your contact mainly go to folk concerts? Then they love this musical genre. Send them your concert hall's folk program, while remembering to integrate it into communications on other genres too, so as not to lock them into a single type of proposal.

Email to contacts identified as Folk fans
2. Segmentation by age group
You can also divide your audience into segments according to age and associated programming. There are two options: use your CRM's "age" filter, or segment by the price formula chosen by your contact at the time of purchase. Segmentation by price can be particularly useful if you want to create a newsletter focusing on "young audience" programming or family events, and send it to parents with young children.
Le Fil : Email for contacts identified as parents or
purchasing tickets for their families

3. Segmentation by frequency of visit and loyalty
Among audiences who have already visited your establishment, there can be considerable disparities in behavior, depending on the frequency of their visit.
First-time visitors, repeaters or regulars: these audiences should not be addressed in the same way.

Take first-time visitors: these audiences have only visited your establishment once. Depending on the context of their visit, it's very important to adapt your messages so as to build a progressive and lasting relationship with them. Don't offer them a subscription right away, for example.

Conversely, tailor your communications to loyal customers: offer them a loyalty package, thank them with special offers at key moments (start of the season, launch of subscriptions, opening of preview sales for a popular event...), invite them to special events or private sales... These contacts need to be pampered!
In its segmentation tool, Arenametrix features a "loyalty" filter that allows you to see in just a few clicks who your frequent visitors are.


Email to your most loyal contacts

4. Segmentation of inactive people

Who are those contacts who used to be among your loyal audience, but who haven't made a purchase for several months? Create a list of contacts according to these criteria and offer them attractive offers to reactivate them: promotions on upcoming events, "come with us: 1 ticket bought = 1 ticket offered" offers, promotions on food & beverages or boutique...

Promotional email to reactivate inactive contacts

5. Segmentation based on time-to-purchase

Opportunistic buyers are contacts who usually buy at the last minute, following a promotional offer. To identify them, target people who buy tickets using promo codes, or those who buy in the two days leading up to the event.

This type of opportunistic viewer is particularly keen on last-minute deals, and quick to react. The best way to contact them is usually by SMS.

Email to contacts identified as last-minute buyers

6. Segmentation based on satisfaction

Collecting feedback from your visitors is of crucial importance in managing your customer relations. By creating segments based on the level of satisfaction expressed by your visitors, you can fine-tune the message and the nature of the customer relationship you offer.

All feedback should be processed, but an extremely satisfied contact should not be directed to the same content as a dissatisfied one. For example, this segmentation helps you direct your promoters to public rating platforms such as TripAdvisor to capitalize on their positive feedback and, at the same time, reach your detractors directly.

Email to contacts who have left a positive review

7. Segmentation based on the purchase of a particular product

Are you planning to promote a specific product or offer? Have you considered analyzing the buying habits and characteristics of your contact base who have already purchased this product?

By cross-referencing transactional information with the personal data of the buyers of a particular offer, you can identify similar contacts in your database, and thus guide your recommendations!

Email to contacts who have purchased a similar product

8. Segmentation based on reactions to mailings

The reactions generated by your e-mail campaigns play a crucial role in measuring contacts' commitment to your offer. Indeed, when a recipient clicks on your e-mail, this indicates significant interest, whereas a contact who does not open the message has shown no interest in your mailing. Using these indicators to segment your audience makes perfect sense, because the approaches required for these two situations are radically different, and your communication needs to adapt accordingly.

For recipients who have shown their interest by clicking, it may be relevant to generate a sense of urgency to encourage them to make a purchase.
On the other hand, for inactive contacts, it's necessary to persuade them further, whether by providing additional content or offering a discount, for example.

Email for first-time campaign openers

Email to non-openers of a first campaign

Where to start segmenting your audience ?

As you can see, relevant segmentation of your audience is essential. It enables you to get to know your audience better and communicate with them effectively, offering them personalized content and services.

Perhaps you don't know where to start? Whether you're just starting out or you want to go further than you are today on this topic, here are the 3 questions you need to ask yourself:

What are your objectives ? Defining one or more specific objectives (increasing your venue filling rate, attracting first-time visitors, building loyalty, developing attendance for a particular type of event...) It will enable you to choose the best approach for segmenting your audience.

What are the most relevant segments and sub-segments to consider ? 
Here are just a few examples of what you can imagine. Don't hesitate to discuss these topics with your counterparts in other locations, or to ask for help of CRM and cultural marketing specialists like Arenametrix.

Do you have the right tool and strategy for segmenting and distributing your communications ? To segment effectively, you need a high-performance CRM tool. You also need to define a roadmap to deploy your CRM strategy effectively and involve your teams collaboratively. At Arenametrix, we offer a simple, intuitive tool and a support plan to guide you step by step through these issues.
Contact us to find out how Arenametrix can help you.