As a theatre professional looking towards 2024, you may be kicking off the budgeting season and working through various strategic plans. There are several moving parts that require portions of your budget, but one that’s quite important and often overlooked is your marketing. While you may be focusing on programming, set pieces, costumes, new lighting and sound technology, or general infrastructure upgrades, you should also be allotting some of your capital to spread the word about your theatre via top-tier marketing efforts. 

So… Why is Theatre Marketing Important?

Marketing efforts seem to be everywhere, all the time, for everything. But why exactly is marketing for a theatre important? Well … 

It Helps You Set and Reach Goals

As you’re planning your marketing strategy for the year, you’ll create certain benchmarks you want to hit – whether those are selling more tickets, increasing your organic engagement on social media, or amplifying your arsenal of community partners. 

Theatre marketing is important internally because it helps you set and keep pace with yourself and your goals. Meaning if you aren’t reaching marketing goals in the time you anticipated, you’ll be able to take a step back, reassess, and try again. 

It Brings More Eyes to Your Work

No matter how you market, you’ll more than likely get additional patrons and audience members to view your work. Marketing is a key driver of business in any industry and gives you a boost in engagement. What you do with that boost is up to you! 

It Gives You a Clearer Brand Identity 

When done correctly, marketing efforts help your theatre to create and maintain a strong brand identity. If you stay consistent in your marketing efforts – whether that’s through merchandise, email correspondences, eye-catching social media posts, or strategic partnerships, people will better understand you and your theatre at large and begin recognizing your work more consistently. 

It Helps You Understand Your Audience

As you work your way through marketing efforts, patterns will emerge as they pertain to your patrons via analytics. These insights can help you to make informed marketing decisions that will achieve the greatest ROI down the line. 

You can also utilize the data to see which groups need more attention and which are most likely to engage with your content, and you can obtain general statistics about your audience that can assist you with forming community partnerships, choosing next season’s content, and so much more. 

Where to Invest for Maximum Impact 

Now that you know why, exactly, marketing is important, it’s time to start allocating some of your budget to different efforts. But where to start? We have a few suggestions: 

Social Media and Other Digital Platforms

We know this one won’t come as much of a shock, but social media and other digital platforms should be priority number 1 when you’re setting your marketing budget.


  • Sponsored posts on your most active social media channels 
  • Upgraded equipment to ensure you’re creating and producing the best possible content for your channels that is not only engaging but high-quality 
  • A state-of-the-art, updated, and sleek show site with an embedded ticketing widget 
  • Investment in more digital streaming technologies to ensure people far and wide are seeing your work

Display Advertising 

Display advertising – digitally and in print – has been around for so long because it works. Your name, brand, theatre logo, posters, and other marketing assets should be displayed digitally and in print resources around town. A few to tap include:

  • Community calendars for your region 
  • Community partner and business sponsors’ websites/programming content 
  • Regional magazines, newspapers, and other print and digital news media outlets 
  • High-quality merchandise, especially posters and clothing, which act as a walking display ad 
  • Sponsored Google posts, a strong Google Business profile, and a focus on SEO optimization generally 

Influencer Marketing

As much as the term ‘influencer’ may make you cringe, it’s not always an overly energetic teen on TikTok. No – influencers can come in a range of identities and can truly help you elevate your theatre. Consider partnering up with local social media gurus – if only for short amounts of time or for one show. Once an influencer shares your poster, visits your show, speaks highly of your work, or tags you in a post, you’ll be shocked at how your engagement rises. 

In short, Don’t turn your nose up at local celebrities and influencers. They have passionate fan bases who trust their judgment. Their fans can become your patrons.  

Patron Outreach

Your patrons pay your bills – make sure you’re reaching them. A good chunk of your marketing budget should focus on creating, maintaining, and better patron relationships

Outreach can look like many things – dedicated eBlasts, targeted social media posts, personalized thank you notes, an organized patron database, pre-and post-show engagement … the list goes on. Just remember that your patrons always matter – not just when it’s time to sell tickets! 

Strong Data Analysis and Reporting

Understanding and targeting your preferred demographics, as well as understanding which of your marketing efforts work and don’t work, should be major goals for the coming year. And the best way to understand your demographics and engagement is by investing in strong data analysis and reporting tools.

Make it a goal to keep track of all your marketing and ticket sales with on-demand dashboards and reports, and ensure you’re utilizing technology for revenue reporting and patron data. The more organized you are in your data analysis, the more targeted and effective your marketing strategies will be.

On The Stage Marketing Tools

If you want to increase ticket sales and engagement, On The Stage offers a slew of marketing and promotional tools to help get you there.

With OTS, you can get the word out about your upcoming productions and season subscriptions to generate more awareness and increase ticket sales with a comprehensive marketing suite.

In one consolidated platform, OTS offers tools to help:

In short, On The Stage’s comprehensive platform includes marketing tools for everything you need to successfully promote your productions, gaining loyal patrons in the process. If you’re ready to up the ante on your marketing strategies, partner with OTS today and book a personalized demo.  

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