Membership & Marketing Integration

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Membership & Marketing Integration

  1. 1. Integrated Fundraising and Marketing<br />A Case Study for the Arts<br />
  2. 2. Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts <br />Our Mission<br />To present and create excellent and innovative performing arts programs for the enrichment, education, and enjoyment of diverse audiences and participants.<br />About Us<br />Wolf Trap Foundation plays an important role as a national leader in arts and education. <br />We offer year-round performances and innovative education programs for the enrichment and enjoyment of people of all ages. <br />Over the past four decades, nearly 20 million people have been drawn to this natural and cultural oasis. <br />We offer nearly 300 total performances each year at the Filene Center, The Barns at Wolf Trap, and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods.<br />
  3. 3. Wolf Trap Membership <br />Less than 2% of Wolf Trap’s ongoing funding for operations comes from government sources. The National Park Service, Wolf Trap’s partner since founding, is responsible for construction, management (including parking), and maintenance of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, while Wolf Trap Foundation manages performances, concessions, and events at the Park. <br />Ticket sales cover only 50% of Wolf Trap’s annual operating expenses.<br />
  4. 4. Membership Market Research: Focus Group Results <br />Initial reason for becoming a member is the benefit of early ticket access. <br />Very important to offer ticket presales benefit at the first level of membership -- idea is to excite your audience about your programming and then offer membership as the best way to access that programming.<br />For other arts organizations, the reasons for giving vary more widely, and in addition to receiving benefits, usually include wanting to:<br />support an important area arts organization<br />maintain the highest quality artistic standards<br />continue arts education and outreach programs<br />Arts donors are often hesitant to admit they joined for the benefits, thinking this might be perceived as selfish. This is not true for Wolf Trap members. <br />While Members-only ticket presale opportunities are a very important initial membership selling point, after patrons join as members, Wolf Trap Foundation seeks to raise awareness among members of the Foundation’s early childhood education programs and outreach activities in the community, thereby strengthening the relationship with members. <br />
  5. 5. Why have an Integrated Program?<br />Research has shown that members who buy tickets frequently have higher value and better retention than members who rarely buy tickets. <br />Likewise, ticket buyers who are members tend to buy more tickets over time than ticket buyers who are not members. Everyone benefits!<br /><ul><li>On average, the 7,000 Wolf Trap members purchase 15%-20% of the 400,000+ tickets sold each year ($2.25M-$3M)</li></ul>More efficient use of marketing and membership expense budgets!<br /><ul><li>The need for support and the excitement of great programming are highlighted in both departments’ communication – twice the exposure and impact.</li></li></ul><li>The Path to Integration: Step 1<br />Step 1: Meet with your Marketing Department!<br />Sounds simple, but this type of meeting often never occurs. Membership and Marketing are often silo’d departments in performing arts organizations – but it doesn’t have to be that way!<br />Things to discuss when determining next year’s strategy:<br />Any major changes anticipated from last year’s schedule?<br />What upcoming performances/event(s) do they think will generate the biggest buzz?<br />What will the on-sale date calendar look like?<br />What types of marketing initiatives will be used to promote shows?<br />
  6. 6. The Path to Integration: Step 2<br />Step 2: Create an integrated schedule to take advantage of key dates<br />
  7. 7. The Path to Integration: Step 3<br />Step 3: Test to determine the best strategy<br />Tests to conduct:<br />Performance photo on carrier vs. plain carrier<br />1xTB vs. 2+TB results (also subscribers if you <br />have them!)<br />How many years back for 1xSTBor 2+STB?<br />Timing – Play off post-performance excitement or pre-performance anticipation?<br />Types of ticket buyers – lawn vs. in-house; genre preference; price point selects (e.g. only ticket purchases of $50 or more)<br />Don’t forget Telemarketing, E-mail, Website, and on-site (box office sales)!<br />
  8. 8. The Path to Integration: Step 4<br />Step 4: Meet with Marketing Department to discuss results!<br />The numbers may speak for themselves, but it’s important to schedule a meeting and discuss the results so that everyone can see and understand the impact of integration.<br />Things to discuss/analyze:<br />What was the volume of ticket sales during member pre-sale periods?<br />What was the bump in memberships when marketing ads ran?<br />What was the increase in total ticket sales for the year?<br />What was the increase in total memberships for the year?<br />
  9. 9. Integration in the<br />Membership Direct Marketing Program<br />
  10. 10. February Acquisition Package<br />Insert highlighting upcoming performances<br />
  11. 11. eAcquisition<br />Membership Appeal to General Public E-mail Subscription List (approximately 50,000 subscribers): Highlights next Members-only Ticket Presale announcement date<br />
  12. 12. March Acquisition Package<br />Insert highlighting upcoming performances <br />
  13. 13. Renewal Series – First Notice (Three Months Prior to Expire)<br /><ul><li>Mail annual renewal series just prior to first announcement of upcoming season; additional efforts mailed in advance of second performance announcement
  14. 14. Highlight upcoming performances in letter
  15. 15. Renewals stress upgrading membership level to get even earlier access through Members-only Presales</li></li></ul><li>Renewal Series – Third Notice (Month of Expire)<br />Highlight upcoming performances in letter<br />
  16. 16. Renewal Testing<br />December vs. May Expires<br />Majority of members fall in December expire group, but small group of May expires<br />December expires have 32% R1 response rate (mailed in September) vs. 8% for May expires (mailed in March)<br />Testing small group of May expires in December campaign in FY12 – “Renew for 2012 Season” messaging; Also testing moving May expire R1 up to February<br />
  17. 17. Ticket Priority Package<br />Package highlights Members-only Ticket Presales as exclusive benefit for members<br />
  18. 18. Integration in Marketing Materials<br />
  19. 19. Performance Schedule Mailing<br />
  20. 20. Online Ticket Purchase<br />
  21. 21. Marketing Email<br />
  22. 22. Marketing Email<br />
  23. 23. Upcoming Performances Postcard<br />Double sided postcard mailed to non-member ticket buyers with membership ask on front and performance listing on back.<br />
  24. 24. Summer 2010 Print Ad<br />Member benefit – Ticket Presale highlighted<br />Membership ask<br />
  25. 25. 2010 Ad<br />Membership ask Ticket Presale benefit highlighted<br />
  26. 26. 2011 Print Ad<br />Membership ask Members-only Ticket Presale benefit highlighted<br />
  27. 27. Summer 2011 Print Ad<br />Member benefit – Ticket Presale highlighted<br />Membership ask<br />
  28. 28. Impact of Integration on Membership<br />In the two years since implementing a revised summer season announcement and increased focus on integrated marketing and messaging, the average number of new members rose from 1,508 (2007-2009) to 1,766 (2010-2011) – an increase of 17%<br />
  29. 29. In Conclusion….<br />These are challenging times for arts organizations. You must use every resource available, and you should start with the people down the hall!<br />Communicate frequently with your Marketing Department – at a minimum twice a year. They have valuable information that could be the secret to your success.<br />Integrating messages makes everyone’s expense budget go further and work harder.<br />Integration results in more committed members, more tickets purchased, and more stability for the organization.<br />
  30. 30. Thank you!<br />
  31. 31. Contact Information:<br />Dave Perrett<br />Director, Annual Fund<br />Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts<br />davep@wolftrap.org<br />703-255-1929<br />Kerri Kerr<br />Vice President<br />Avalon Consulting Group<br />kerrik@avalonconsulting.net<br />202-429-6080 x116<br />

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