Ask Me Anything: Segmentation Metrics

Jennifer Sowinski Nemeth

Senior Consultant & Analyst

Jennifer enjoys working with arts and culture clients to help them increase revenue and grow audience through data-driven strategies including pricing studies, venue re-scaling, customer behavior analyses, and segmentation.
October 08, 2018

“We’ve recently started being more strategic about our segmentation strategy. What key metrics do you recommend we use to measure our results?


When we think about measuring the success of our marketing and development campaigns, the first metrics that probably come to mind are things like: how much did we spend, what was our open rate, and what was the ROI? Those metrics are important! But, when we talk about segmentation strategy, you’ll learn a lot by paying attention to how your audience’s behavior changes as a result of your efforts.

Which behaviors are most important for your organization will depend on your strategies and goals, but here are some metrics you might consider:

  • Number of first-time returners. Or, in other words, people who come to their second performance. The step from “oncer” to “multi-single ticket buyer” is a big one, and if you can identify ways that you’ve been successful in bringing those people back for their second time, that’s very valuable for your organization.
  • Increase in average frequency. Are you succeeding in getting more people through the door more often? In general, a patron with higher frequency is more likely to come back again, and less likely to lapse year-over-year. Increases in frequency are a great sign for future retention.
  • Increase in yearly spend. An increase in engagement with your organization doesn’t always mean the patron comes to your organization more often. Sometimes it might mean choosing better seats, and in turn, spending more money.
  • Retention rate of single ticket buyers. Organizations often put a lot of effort into retaining subscribers, but do you also measure your single ticket buyer retention rate? Subscriber retention is usually focused around the beginning of the season, but single ticket buyer retention needs to happen all year long!

With so many metrics you can use to measure the success of your segmentation strategies, no single set of measures is perfect for every organization. Take a look at your strategies, your goals, and the examples above, and you should be well on your way to identifying key metrics that work best for you and your organization!

Are you confident in your segmentation strategy?
Sophisticated audience segmentation strategies allow you to target the right people at the right time with the right message. Without a strong strategy, you might be leaving money on the table. We can help.

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.

Jennifer Sowinski, Consultant, JCA Arts Marketing