Our 3 Tenets of Effective Marketing Strategy

April 09, 2024

When approaching marketing for the performing arts, we at JCA Arts Marketing espouse these 3 tenets of effective marketing strategy in our marketing consulting:

Effective marketing is…

  • Rooted in data.
  • Driven by clear and focused Objectives & Key Results (OKRs).
  • Focused on relationships.

We believe in “Good art, well marketed” (Michael Kaiser), and that the role of the marketer is intertwined with the role of the artist. After all, the experience of the performance starts with the first time the individual hears about it.

When you work with us, this philosophy centers our consulting. Here are a few tips for integrating these tenets into your marketing plans.

1. Root Strategies in Data

At JCA Arts Marketing, data is at the center of everything we do — and for good reason. Collecting and measuring data is the way that we assess our relationships with patrons, their value to us, and (more importantly) our value to them. It’s the foundation on which we build our goals, design our promotional tactics, and ultimately craft effective campaigns to deepen relationships.

As you’re working on your marketing campaigns, ask yourself “why” along each step of the way. For each tactic—why do this tactic this way? What data do we have to support its efficacy? Especially if you find yourself repeating the same, canned campaign year after year, take a moment to stop and reflect—what is the supporting data to do it this way? Is there a better way? It may seem tedious, but it will save you time and effort in the long run.

After all, our art is living, breathing, and evolving—and our marketing campaigns should be too. Cookie-cutter campaigns don’t motivate people. Data will show you the path to your campaign evolutions.

2. Develop Clear, Focused OKRs

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) is a goal-setting framework that helps you create a roadmap to end up where you need to be. For example, say you have an objective to sell 100 tickets next year. But how do you know how you are going to reach that goal? Key results will give you that map.

You can say—we’re going to sell 20 tickets to subscribers, 50 tickets to last year’s single ticket buyers, and 30 tickets to new acquisitions. Now, you can plan your tactics to support each of those key results and track your progress along the way. Not reaching a key result? Adjust your plans.

Ultimately, this kind of goal-setting makes sure that you are not only measuring what matters but also doing what matters. All of your tactics add up to reach your ultimate objective, which means you’re not wasting energy on tactics that don’t have a clear purpose.

Remember: OKRs don’t always need to be focused on ticket sales. In fact, it’s helpful to have a variety of OKRs that can support a well-rounded view of success.

3. Focus on Relationships

Strong relationships are a key element of all successful marketing efforts. Organizations often focus on relationships with subscribers, members, current ticket buyers, and potential new buyers, but oftentimes forgo incorporating other types of relationships into their plans until they are in the final pushes of event promotion.

Examples of additional relationships to consider in marketing plans include community partners, other departments, and artists. Rarely is the success of an event or production due to the efforts of one department or team alone.

Leverage those relationships within your marketing strategy and utilize them intentionally. When incorporated early, efforts can be streamlined and more effective while also forging deeper relationships with those groups.

We’re Here to Help!

If you need help collecting data on audience members, determining your goals and OKRs, or designing a season marketing plan — that is our specialty. We can help you organize your data, strategy, and processes to reach your goals.

Let’s Talk