Marketing for arts and culture clients presents unique challenges that are difficult to navigate. Often with limited budgets, arts and culture organizations have an uphill battle to get audiences and attendees to take part in their events.

At William Joseph, we understand these challenges through our continuing work with the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary and Edmonton. Through our longstanding relationship, we have helped the Jube make the most of their marketing investment through a complete rebrand that carried their marketing strategy across many platforms. Modernizing the everything from their website to their staff uniforms, we developed a brand that would engage with both new visitors and returning guests.

For a successful marketing initiative, like our work with the Jubilee, you must be ever mindful of the potential audience while not alienating the core group that continues to return to the venue. To get started, it is essential to define your potential audience to best gear your marketing towards them while ensuring your messaging does not scare away any of your core group of patrons. In addition to this, you must be ever mindful of the limitations your budget may have on the success of your strategy.

There are several industry trends that can be leveraged in the marketing of arts and culture organizations, and allow them to stretch their marketing budgets.
• Mobile: Mobile ticketing and e-commerce is a great way to ensure your patrons can easily find your event, but also easily pay for and attend using only their phone.
• Analytics: Starting a reliable database not only allows you to target your marketing efforts to those who attend your events, but also gives you the opportunity to analyze the demographics of potential patrons.
• Social Media: Engagement, engagement, engagement! Giving your patrons and potential patrons something to talk about is crucial to finding donors and members. Effective social media campaigns are an inexpensive way to stretch your marketing budget and engage with a wider variety of people than a targeted email campaign.

With that in mind, here are three starting tips for a successful campaign to properly market arts and culture:

1. Utilize your budget: Invest wisely in channels that will have the greatest impact on your bottom line by engaging the right audience with the right event.
2. Utilize digital, mobile, and social media marketing: With a decent email database of returning patrons you can gear your marketing towards individuals most likely to return to your venue, as well as analyze the success of that marketing. In addition to this, utilize a complete mobile experience, from e-commerce to e-blasts, to ensure customer ease during transaction and communication. Finally, engage the public with a well-planned social media campaign to promote your venue and events.
3. Utilize your brand: Do not attempt to engage with your potential audience in a way that would push against your brand. If you do not have a clearly defined brand, how can you expect your audience to react to your marketing materials? Start with a strong brand, and utilize it to engage with the individuals most likely to become reliable patrons of your establishment.