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When was the last time you analyzed the effectiveness of your theatre company’s marketing? If you’re reading this, chances are, it’s been awhile. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here’s how to evaluate your theatre’s marketing mid-way through the year (or however long it’s been).
Take the time to ask questions and reflect on your current strategy. Do your marketing tactics fit into your overall marketing plan and big picture goals? Does your marketing plan feed into the company’s goals and mission? If you answered “no” or “unsure” to either of these questions, it’s time to pull out your mission statement and determine how your marketing can support your theatre’s mission, because otherwise, what’s the point of all the time and effort spent on it? A project that is interesting or looks good on paper but doesn’t fit into a company’s overall mission only diverts time and resources away from the mission and the people you aim to serve, and we know you’re probably already spread thin as it is. Your marketing processes should be efficient and effective, and they’re not if they don’t support your theatre’s mission.
Are you on track to reach your goals? Look at everything you’re tracking in your marketing. If you’re not actively tracking your marketing tactics, it’s not too late! Today is a great day to start. Things like email subscribers, open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, post likes, comments, and an overall growth of your follower list and email subscriber list are good stats to track. Remember that what you measure, you can improve, and you want to measure things that speak to your overall marketing and company goals.
If your goals are vague or not quantifiable, take the time to clarify them because you cannot effectively track or evaluate what cannot be measured. (See: SMART goals.) Sometimes it’s a matter of having the right analytics tools and knowing how to use them. Marketing is not just about advertising and getting the word out, it’s also about knowing what advertising people see and respond to because you have established a way to track this data.
Check your sales reports and note any correlation between sales spikes and what marketing pieces were released right before the spikes. Ideally you’ll be able to trace what unique marketing links people are clicking on to take them to your ticketing page.
Use the 80/20 rule as it applies to your theatre. Also called the Pareto Principle, it states that 80% of your outcomes are the result of 20% of your overall efforts. What are the one to two things that generate most of your ticket sales? Double down on those and consider eliminating the rest. Your tracking and analytics will help you determine what’s working and show you what’s not. Your time is valuable, and so even if you currently love posting twice a day on social media, if it’s not giving your theatre a good ROI on time (yours or your staff’s) or money, it’s time to cut back.
Now that you’ve got your success metrics established and your tracking protocol in place, and reworked your tactics, it’s time to put your marketing to work.
Make sure you’ve plugged in future “marketing evaluation days” into your marketing timeline so you can regularly check-in and see how you’re doing. The middle and end of a production or fundraiser are great times to recheck your stats – especially so you can discuss your findings during post-mortems. Evaluating your marketing regularly and course-correcting as needed will be the key to reaching your theatre’s goals.
Our goal is to make theatre administration as easy as possible so you can get time back for creating great theatre for your audience. On The Stage’s all-in-one platform covers promotion, ticketing, audience engagement, and more—including complete online production and streaming services! You’re just a click away from learning how to simplify your marketing and sales processes. Book a demo with us today, and we’ll show you how to make 2022 your theatre’s best year yet.