Ask Me Anything: Nudging

December 05, 2016

“Do you have any advice about how to use ticket pricing to promote an upcoming performance? Can pricing actually encourage patrons to buy?”


Getting people to do what you want them to do can be difficult, especially for performing arts buyers. One helpful tactic might be something we call “nudging.” You can influence a person’s behavior simply by reframing the situation so they are forced to view it differently. For example, what is the first price a potential patron sees at your organization? That price becomes their fixed point of reference. If it’s your lowest, least available price, or it’s difficult to access through sales barriers, everything else could seem out of their range or just downright expensive. If it’s the top price they first see, it may exclude a price-sensitive buyer from the outset, or perhaps, make every other price seem like a lesser value.

What if, instead of saying, “tickets start at XXX,” the message changed to “great seats are available for XXX” and a middle price was stated? JCA Arts Marketing would argue that patrons could use that nudge to not only buy a potentially better seat than the cheapest, but also use it as a jumping off point to find a price that worked for them.

JCA Arts Marketing collaborates with cultural organizations to increase revenue, boost attendance and membership, and grow patron loyalty. We provide consulting and software services to hundreds of cultural institutions across multiple genres, including dance, museums, opera, performing arts centers, symphony, and theatre. We can help you achieve your marketing goals.