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Data fuels Audience Development at the Actors Theatre of Louisville

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Many organizations track data on pricing, audience retention, and audience response to different types of artistic programming. But what happens when an organization looks at these categories together, holistically? That’s what Actors Theatre of Louisville did. What they found led them to begin to manage demand, cultivate audiences, and approach the strategic planning process in a completely new ways.
This is a story about how data can re-focus an organization around audiences, and how Actors Theatre of Louisville is acting on that data. Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein and ‎Jim DeGood of TRG Arts gave this presentation at the 2015 Theatre Communications Group, detailing how Actors Theatre of Louisville has translated data findings into a plan, how leadership is re-aligning around data and audience loyalty, and some initial results from their efforts.
You’ll learn:
– How pricing data revealed opportunities for revenue growth
-- About a new data-based approach to predict audience behavior based on artistic programming
-- Which data points told ATL the most about who its audience is and how that informed strategic planning
– Simple strategies for loyalty that you can begin implementing at your own organization

Published in: Data & Analytics
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Data fuels Audience Development at the Actors Theatre of Louisville

  1. 1. DATA FUELS AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT at the Actors Theatre of Louisville Jennifer Bielstein Managing Director Actors Theatre of Louisville Copyright © 2015 TRG Arts All Rights Reserved Jim DeGood Director of Client Services TRG Arts
  2. 2. donation data ticketing data Good fences don’t make good data
  3. 3. Good fences don’t make good data Pricing metrics Retention metrics Audience/ artistic metrics Demographic data
  4. 4. • How pricing data revealed opportunities for revenue growth • Predicting audience behavior based on artistic programming • Which data points told Actors Theatre of Louisville the most about its audience • Simple strategies for loyalty that you can implement now Today
  5. 5. Why use data to inform institutional change?
  6. 6. Key Loyalty Findings at Actors STB Multi transactions Donor Sub Advocate Major donor SUBs declined by 31% over study period Lower-level annual fund recovering Broken steps in loyalty continuum Major donors compensating for declines elsewhere BF Series recent STB decline; High Pops volume
  7. 7. Photo: Gavin Brogan (CC BY 2.0) What gets measured gets managed
  8. 8. Benchmarking Patron Data Modeling Programmatic and Market Opportunity Analysis
  9. 9. Opportunities for growth in pricing
  10. 10. Marketing Ticketing Develop- ment Artistic/ Executive
  11. 11. political reactive Pricing is emotional
  12. 12. political reactive Pricing is emotional Data makes emotional decisions logical.
  13. 13. Pricing should drive patron behavior.
  14. 14. Jose Leon and Max Monnig in The Glory of the World. Photo by Bill Brymer.
  15. 15. Ensemble of A Christmas Carol. Photo by Bill Brymer.
  16. 16. Ali Burch and Randolph Cutis in Dracula. Photo by Bill Brymer.
  17. 17. Revenue Pacing Meetings Marketing Executive Ticketing Develop- ment
  18. 18. Proposed Single Ticket Prices Current Avg Price Price Jump Proposed Price +/- Change Price Jump Premium 52$ 52$ 7$ Prime 41.00$ 45$ 4$ Single Tickets Bingham – Pops Series: Dracula Top price on Halloween: $91
  19. 19. Impact: Higher Revenues, Units TRG pricing, scale-of-house, and inventory management recommendations yield 36% growth $- $200,000 $400,000 $600,000 $800,000 $1,000,000 $1,200,000 $1,400,000 19,000 20,000 21,000 22,000 23,000 24,000 25,000 26,000 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Revenue Units Single Tickets vs. Revenue Dracula and A Christmas Carol Only Single Ticket and Group Units Single Ticket and Group Revenues
  20. 20. Predicting audience behavior based on artistic programming
  21. 21. Entry-Level Tryer Participation Genres reveal affinity patterns within overall loyalty Family/ Holiday 63% HH $30 avg/HH Shakespeare 9% HH $10 avg/HH Premiere 21% HH $22 avg/HH Comedy 20% HH $21 avg/HH
  22. 22. Genre Avg 57% 47% 59% 18% 62% 47% 72% 39% Shakespeare 6,448 71% 66% 66% 79% 74% 76% ############ 71% 54% Premiere 12,692 44% 50% 51% 52% 49% ########## 18% 20% 15% Musical 8,834 56% 60% 64% 67% ######### Family/Holiday 32,799 18% 21% 17% ############# 35% Drama 9,391 52% 64% ######### 61% 61% 69% 46% 61% 50% Comedy 12,111 44% ########## 50% 56% 44% 52% Musical Premiere Shakespeare Adaptation 9,093 ########## 58% 54% 66% 54% Total HHs Adaptation Comedy Drama Family/Holiday What Genres Have Crossover? Crossover helps in identifying the next best offer
  23. 23. Who is the audience? Do you know your patrons?
  24. 24. Income Higher income levels than U.S. average and TCG peers Source: The Urban Institute
  25. 25. Revenue Opportunity Undermined by Low Per Caps Sources: TCG Theatre Facts, ATL Baseline Assessment: FY14 $36.76 6,194 SUBs $27.80 7,764 SUBs $37.27 40,090 STBs $27.60 59,604 STBs
  26. 26. Where Do Patrons Fall? Actors Theatre statistics National Actors Theatre .5-2% HH 20-40% Revenue 5-10% HH 13-38% Revenue 90-95% HH 38-66% Revenue .4% HH 20.9% Revenue 4.3% HH 28.5% Revenue 95.2% HH 50.6% Revenue
  27. 27. Fast Facts Buyer # of HHs 2,211 % of Total HHs 4.3% % of Total Revenue 28.5% % of PLI Group HHs Donor 31.5% Subscriber 96.9% Flex 7.1% Single Ticket Buyer 93.7% Average Annual HH Spend Donor $232 Subscriber $364 Flex $144 Single Ticket Buyer $34 Average Frequency (Years) Donor 2.9 Subscriber 4.7 Flex 3.2 Single Ticket Buyer 4 % of HHs with Recent Activity Donor 23.4% Subscriber 94.2% Flex 5.0% Single Ticket Buyer 79.5% What Makes a Buyer? Loyal ticket buyers ready to be cultivated into donors High rates of SUB, STB; 31.5% contribute
  28. 28. Clear loyalty path for Actors Theatre EXPENSES ROI
  29. 29. What you can do The Art of the Upgrade
  30. 30. Photo by Tobias Schlitt (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Where’s your leaky bucket?
  31. 31. More retention + lower attrition = GROWTH New-to-file single ticket buyer attrition rate Same-season multi single ticket buyers
  32. 32. Loyalty A Love Story
  33. 33. Photo by Todd Huffman via flickr (CC BY 2.0) First: Data
  34. 34. Relationships take time ticket subscription/ membership donation
  35. 35. Photo by Tobias Schlitt (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) How? Upgrades every patron’s right next step
  36. 36. What’s an upgrade? Action Next Step Buy a ticket Buy a small subscription or membership Renewing subscriber or member Buy another ticket Buy a full series subscription or larger membership Add on donation or events
  37. 37. UPGRADING Everyone’s job Upgrading Marketing Executive Ticketing Develop- ment
  38. 38. DATA FUELS AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT at the Actors Theatre of Louisville Jennifer Bielstein Managing Director Actors Theatre of Louisville Copyright © 2015 TRG Arts All Rights Reserved Jim DeGood Director of Client Service TRG Arts

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