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Operas: welcoming new audiences to diversify the profiles of your spectators

Welcoming new audiences to diversify the profiles of your spectators

How do you get new people to walk through the doors of your opera house? Once to start with! Then twice, then a third time... This is the exciting challenge that Apolline Locquet Performing Arts account manager at Arenametrix and Alain Duchêne Marketing Director of Grand Théâtre de Genève  chose to address together in a keynote at Communicating the arts 2021 - Lausanne. Each year, this conference brings together a hundred or so professionals from the world of museums and performing arts to discuss the challenges facing the cultural sector.

"The most important thing for us is to have two strategies: a strategy for welcoming new audiences and then a strategy for retaining them."

Alain Duchêne - GTG

I. Welcoming new audiences to opera

To diversify its audiences, the GTG is full of proposals. Both from a practical point of view, by taking charge of baby-sittings, and from a strategic point of view, by the deployment of a unique experience: La Plage. But is this enough to welcome a new audience to the opera ? Let's go back to the 3 key steps shared by Alain Duchêne.

1- Developing an adapted offer: from experience to destination
Going from captivating content lasting a few seconds on your smartphone to an opera from another century that stretches out in time... A contemporary problem that definitely needs to be taken into account. How do you create a bridge between 4 hours of Wagner and these spectators who escape you because they live at a different pace?

The GTG proposal: La Plage, a new destination

"La Plage, is five productions, a myriad of activities, mutual aid and partnerships, school and association and tailor-made projects for all those who try to land and who allow us to approach them." - To be discovered on the GTG WEBSITE.

In an original response to the attention economy, the GTG transforms the experience of live performance by creating a space dedicated to new audiences. The Aperopera or Intropera attract and familiarise the spectators. Thanks to these experiences adapted to their lifestyles, the opera is gradually becoming a "destination" of choice for these new audiences.

And it cannot be said often enough: knowledge of your audience determines the success of any development policy! This is how the GTG has been able to identify new segments to be explored and create an experience adapted to each type of audience. Beyond the socio-demographic criteria, for example the average age of the audience, which often leads opera houses to adopt strategies to rejuvenate their audiences, it is also the the booking or purchasing behaviour of your audience that it is necessary to identify.

For this purpose, Arenametrix - the CDP of the Grand Theatre, integrates data related to the purchase history. It also allows you to quickly identify when and for what average price your spectators buy their tickets. The "recency" filters or even "loyalty" filters help to follow their habits in one click.

Capture of the Arenametrix 2022 homepage: your statistics at a glance.
Capture of the Arenametrix 2022 homepage: your statistics at a glance.
2- Use partner channels to promote your events

Once your new offer has been created, the question arises of how to promote it. Where to find your new audiences? But above all, how do you address them to generate interest and action? A good practice of the GTG: exchanging visibility in the newsletters of selected partners.

In particular, the first exchanges with new audiences are most successful when they take place in a familiar and valued context. You can do this by focusing on contact points for which the people you are targeting already have an affinity. For example: the newsletter of one of your partners.

"To attract new audiences, we need to multiply contact points".

Alain Duchêne - GTG

Consider creating partnerships with other cultural organisations such as art schools or music festivals...In terms of communication, you can share with your partners the theme of your artistic season and your programme. They will choose the best way to communicate these elements to their audiences. And vice versa on your side.

GTG Subscribers Newsletter of Wednesday 03-11-2021
3- Reinforce the experience through specific communication
One last point that cultural institutions would benefit from systematically taking in hand: welcoming their new audiences through specific communication. At first glance, it may seem more efficient internally to merge your new spectators with those who subscribe to your main newsletter. But in the long run, this means depriving yourself of the benefits of a personalised welcome campaign! Paying special attention to these first-time buyers will give you the best chance of getting them to come back.

In concrete terms, an adapted CDP allows you to :

  • to add new spectators to several mailing lists (multi opt-in)  in accordance with the GDPR
  • to filter your contact database according to the purchase period and the date of the event to build specific emailing campaigns.

This valuable information allows you to feed your strategic vision and and support your cultural action. To enhance the visitor experience for first-time visitorsyou can then customise the tone and content of your welcome campaign with specific differentiating elements.

II. Retaining the occasional spectator

As you may have guessed, the campaign to welcome your new spectators already offers you a great opportunity toto start your loyalty strategy. Alongside post-event campaigns whose objective is to enrich your customer knowledge (read satisfaction survey), the personalised suggestion of events is a powerful vector for conversion when returning to the venue. All the more so as you can rely on a tool such as marketing automation to make automatic suggestions quickly and easily.

1 - Send targeted and personalised suggestions

An increasingly common "dream" is spreading among cultural institutions: to create a Netflix of art, capable of serving you content on a platter. The strength and relevance of the entertainment powerhouse's personalised suggestions have been amply demonstrated.

The good news is that you too can set up a system of targeted and personalised suggestions thanks to your CDP. This is simple and respects the data of your spectators. This is because, by relying on your core business, notably your programming expertiseand the knowledge of your audience, you already know what types of shows to recommend to your new spectators to continue their discovery of opera.

What are the prerequisites for suggestions that fill your venues? A good categorisation of your shows and a fine segmentation of your contact base. Thus, in addition to your more general communications such as your main newsletter, you can implement targeted and personalised actions.

"The key to engaging in a personal conversation with your viewers is to offer them targeted and relevant communications. "

Alain Duchêne - GTG
2 - Gaining efficiency through marketing automation

In many cases, the main obstacle for cultural institutions wishing to develop a wider range of communications is time. Sorting and selecting contacts alone can take a lot of energy. This is why using a marketing automation tool that is directly connected to your CDP and contact lists is extremely advantageous.

Marketing automation is simply the automation of tedious tasks related to your marketing actions (sending an email or an SMS, segmenting your audience, etc.). All you have to do is choose one or more triggers prior to the action, according to the past or future behaviour of your audience. For example: participation in an event, purchase of a subscription, visit to a page on your website. The scenario can be extended over time in accordance with the spectator journey that you define beforehand.

Schema Automation theatre

GTG projects: Scenario "from Brunch to Wagner

  • When making a reservation, the client gives his/her e-mail address and the GTG sends him/her a thank you note with a call to action to discover the GTG's activity.

  • On D-1, the GTG sends a booking reminder with the practical information.

  • After the brunch, the GTG sends a satisfaction survey with suggestions such as: "If you enjoyed your brunch at the Opera, continue the experience with Wagner. There are still some tickets left for the show!".

Of course, marketing automation can also be used if you want to offer additional experiences to a regular viewer. Your CDP should allow you to control the "sales pressure" you exert on your contact base. By building your own spectator journey, you are putting in place a strong loyalty strategyadapted to the identity of your institution and the audiences you wish to welcome.

Thank you to the Grand Théâtre de Genève for its renewed confidence this year again.

To go further, discover :

Visual Solene crop

Solène Jimenez

Would you like to carry out a data & CDP diagnosis of your organisation? Take advantage of 30 minutes of free consulting by reserving your slot.

Apolline CS Spectacle

Apolline Locquet

Would you like to carry out a data & CDP diagnosis of your organisation? Take advantage of 30 minutes of free consulting by reserving your slot.

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