Arts Umbrella Marketing Report:
Analysis & Recommendations
Pauline Chow (#46951083) & Julia Liu (#65820060)
COMM 460 - Pro...
Pauline Chow (#46951083) & Julia Liu (#65820060)
Arts Umbrella Marketing Report: Analysis & Recommendations
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Objective of...
Pauline Chow (#46951083) & Julia Liu (#65820060)
Arts Umbrella Marketing Report: Analysis & Recommendations
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Marketing Mi...
Pauline Chow (#46951083) & Julia Liu (#65820060)
Arts Umbrella Marketing Report: Analysis & Recommendations
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Place:
AU ex...
Pauline Chow (#46951083) & Julia Liu (#65820060)
Arts Umbrella Marketing Report: Analysis & Recommendations
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Susan Smith:...
Pauline Chow (#46951083) & Julia Liu (#65820060)
Arts Umbrella Marketing Report: Analysis & Recommendations
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Expansion
AU...
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Arts umbrella interview report

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Arts umbrella interview report

  1. 1. Arts Umbrella Marketing Report: Analysis & Recommendations Pauline Chow (#46951083) & Julia Liu (#65820060) COMM 460 - Professor Charles B. Weinberg November 30, 2010 “The story of Arts Umbrella is a story of inspiration, determination, hard work, vision, community, generosity, professionalism, and above all, magic.”
  2. 2. Pauline Chow (#46951083) & Julia Liu (#65820060) Arts Umbrella Marketing Report: Analysis & Recommendations 1 Objective of the Organization Arts Umbrella revolves around a culture, and vision of “magic”. Situated on Granville Island, Arts Umbrella (“AU”) is a non-profit centre that offers comprehensive, quality arts education for children ages 2-19. Arts Umbrella is committed to its mission of “Inspiring Kids for Life Through the Arts” by delivering the high quality visual and performance arts education to children regardless of socio-economic status. AU strives to be accessible to as many children as possible, believing that arts education can foster their appreciation of the arts and can help them gain tangible, life-changing benefits that follow them into adulthood. Through arts literacy, AU believes that they can impact kids by giving them an opportunity to: learn to appreciate the arts as participants and spectators, learn technical skills, gain a wider view of themselves and their opportunities in the world, develop self-confidence and self-worth, explore and develop creativity and innovation, develop an ability to make decisions independently, learn how to work with others, develop discipline, learn to set and achieve goals, and improve their odds of success in all areas of their lives. In addition to children, AU inspires the community. They believe that friends and family of children, artists, instructors, volunteers, supporters, donors, sponsors, and staff can all be inspired by the energy, joy and benefits that arts education brings to children. Current Resources Funding - The 2009 actual operating budget for the Arts Umbrella is $5.10 million. The budget is expected to cover the costs of reaching an estimated 30,000 children through a variety of their programs. According to the 2009 annual report, Arts Umbrella sources revenue through program tuition (48% of revenue budget), fund development (20%), specials events (14%), the government (7%), and the Arts Umbrella Foundation (5%) to support their operations. A large portion of the funding for the current year is raised a year prior to minimize the risk of program cancellations due to the lack of funds. Contrary to other non-profit organizations, the majority of their donors are corporations and organizations instead of individuals and the government. Physical Assets - Arts Umbrella has a permanent, core facility located on Granville Island. The building has been renovated twice and houses four dance and theatre studios, six visual arts studios, a photography lab, a digital arts lab, and administrative offices. A permanent satellite location also exists in East Vancouver. Human Capital - The operation of Arts Umbrella’s programs is supported by a group of office staff, instructors, and volunteers. The organizational structure of the Arts Umbrella head office is fairly flat, with nine departments, and a total staff of 32 (excluding approximately 200 instructors and various numbers of volunteers). The departments are: Finance, Human Resources, Student Services, Outreach, Artistic, Development and Marketing, Special Events, Programming, and Sarah MacLachlan Outreach (Appendix 1). Of all the departments, which have two to four staff members, Development and Marketing is the largest with a team of eight. Professional artists specializing in various disciplines– including digital art, dance, theatre, music and visual arts— are hired to teach programs. In hiring instructors, Arts Umbrella places artistry before a background with education. As Susan Smith, Director of Development, Marketing & Communication states, “we can teach people to teach, but we can’t teach people how to be artists” (Appendix 2, Q7). Volunteers contribute by playing supporting roles to the organization, including helping with general administration or at special events.
  3. 3. Pauline Chow (#46951083) & Julia Liu (#65820060) Arts Umbrella Marketing Report: Analysis & Recommendations 2 Marketing Mix Products: Tuition-based classes: A diverse range of tuition-based art classes are offered. The duration of classes are similar to school semesters: there is a winter term, a spring term, and a summer term. Programs offered cover the following areas: Visual Arts- Visual arts programs include instruction in photography, drawing, painting, sculpting, and mixed media, Media Arts- Media arts programs offer classes in animation, digital arts design, film-making, digital photography, Theatre- The theatre program offer classes and workshops in theatre, musical theatre courses, and intensive pre-professional theatre training courses with professionals (which requires prerequisites and instructor approval), Music- Music classes offer instruction in music-making, musical techniques, and a variety of instruments, and Dance- The dance program ranges in levels from recreational to professional-level training. Students can enrol classes that focus on a specific discipline—like ballet, character, modern dance, and coordination -- or in a general program segmented by age. An Art’s Umbrella graduate program is offered to those training towards a professional career with prior advanced training. A partnership with Vancouver Community College offers a diploma upon successful completion of this graduate program. An Early Learning program package which covers several of the above areas is also offered to cater to young children. Children are enrolled in three different back-to-back courses with a snack break in between to discover what their artistic passion may be. Outreach program: Outreach is a free program that delivers Arts Umbrella programming, workshops and performances to approximately 30,000 pre-school, elementary, and high school students in BC each year. The purpose of outreach is to remove potential culture, physical, and geographical barriers that may prevent children from participating in their arts education programs. Outreach programming is segmented into four categories:  Metro Vancouver programming (including the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach) – A variety of tailored arts programs are held in partnership with various community centres and other non-profit organization in the Metro Vancouver area, with focus on more vulnerable groups and communities. The Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach, in particular, is free music program brought to around 290 youth in Vancouver’s inner city and the East Side. Students learn music skills and are given access recording and production software. Performances are held regularly to involve the wider community.  Metro Vancouver school programs – Includes two types of programming. The “HSBC Arts Umbrella Environmental Education Program” allow students in Metro Vancouver elementary schools to visit Arts Umbrella and learn about environmental issues through movement and visual arts workshops. The “Rio Tinto Alcan Van Go and Stage Coach” program delivers free theatre and visual arts programs to elementary school through Arts Umbrella instructors.  Provincial outreach – This program is focused on areas outside Metro Vancouver. It provides instructors, materials, inspiration and teacher training programs to these communities. All materials are customized to target the needs of the specific community.  School performances – These are single performance brought to schools by the Arts Umbrella Dance Company and students training in AU’s pre-profession programs. They introduce and attempt to foster an appreciation of the arts amongst the audience.
  4. 4. Pauline Chow (#46951083) & Julia Liu (#65820060) Arts Umbrella Marketing Report: Analysis & Recommendations 3 Place: AU exists in 2 permanent sites, and is also delivered to people in various locations for the outreach programs. The tuition-based classes are held at the permanent location at Granville Island, which houses various studios as well as the administrative department for the company. A permanent satellite location at East 7th Avenue houses professional-level dances classes and the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach. The outreach program is brought close to the community. School performances and the Metro Vancouver school programs are directly available to students at their elementary or secondary school. Metro Vancouver programs are also available at local community centres and at non-profit resource centres. In particular, AU works with the Vancouver School Board to identify vulnerable communities in Metro Vancouver and bringing tailored programs to the community centres and schools in those areas - i.e. downtown eastside. Price: Tuition classes range in prices given the length and nature of the classes but tend to be around $100 - $400 per semester. The pricing is based on a costs plus strategy to cover the AU’s operating expenses. Currently, tuition-based classes cover approximately 47% of the organization’s operating costs; therefore maximizing enrolment for these classes is fundamental. AU price discriminates, aiming to minimize financial barriers by offering free outreach programs, and lower prices to lower-income families through bursaries and scholarships. Outreach programs are subsidized by donations from organizations, corporations, the government, and individuals. Students may apply for bursaries to offset the tuition fees for tuition-based classes. Promotion: Promotion obtains funding and encourages participation in AU’s programs. To maximize enrolment in their tuition-based classes, AU promotes their programs to parents through the following methods: ongoing newsletters, email blasts, printed program guides, summer and spring break program brochures, and print advertisements. Parent and Me classes are also offered for parents to experience the class with their child. AU also promotes heavily towards corporations to obtain funding. Currently, AU has the following promotions in place:  Annual Campaign – AU’s fundraising strategy involves raising money a year prior to actually using the funds. The annual campaign is thus undertaken at a set time of the year to secure this funding from donors for the next year’s use. AU utilizes a well-connected volunteer committee to help reach a financial goal, the goal for ’11-’12 is $1.2 million. Tailored proposals and presentations are pitched to corporations to receive funding.  Special Events- One day events are held in partnership with various organizations. These events are developed by a separate department of three not under Marketing (Appendix 1). Examples of past events include: arts umbrella wine arts, splash art auction & gala fundraiser (raised over $300,000), the Globe and Mail invitational golf tournament, AU - Precious element (a glamorous party held at Opus Hotel Vancouver), and previously, a Holt Renfrew fashion gala (now transformed into a spa day).  Corporate Partnerships – AU has partnered with various businesses to sell a branded AU product, where a portion of the proceeds is donated to AU. A partnership was established in August 2009 with Cupcakes, for example, where an AU-themed cupcake named ella was sold. Another example is currently occurring; where Art Kits are being sold at Opus Framing & Art Supplies in partnership with AU (Appendix 3).
  5. 5. Pauline Chow (#46951083) & Julia Liu (#65820060) Arts Umbrella Marketing Report: Analysis & Recommendations 4 Susan Smith: Development, Marketing & Communications Director Background Susan Smith graduated from the BCIT Broadcast Communications & Television program, and began her career as a Promotions Director for a radio station, Z95.3FM. As her career progressed she continued working in Promotion for a number of private firms such as: Blitz Promotion (a part of Cossette Communications), NHL.com, and Coca-Cola. She was referred by a previous co-worker to fill the position of Marketing & Communications Director when there was an opening. Responsibilities Susan is in charge of maximizing enrolment in the tuition-based programs and encouraging financial support from donors. She has quite a bit of control in promoting the programs to prospective students and the organization to prospective donors. This was outlined in the report earlier, in the Promotion section of the Marketing Mix. Susan also applies to grants for government funding. However, AU does not depend on this funding heavily, as it only makes up 7% of the revenues. Other than the permanent sites at Granville Island and in East Vancouver where the tuition-based programs and Sarah MacLachlan program takes place, Susan has a fair bit of flexibility in selecting the locations where she delivers the outreach programs. She works with the Vancouver School Board in locating the areas with the most need for these types of programs. However, she does not have any control over the product, which are the various programs offered, as the Artistic and Programming department is completely separated from the Development and Marketing department. She also does not participate in any of the programs, hindering her from altering the classes in any way. In addition, donors do not have any power in choosing which programs are offered and how these programs are shaped. The price of the programs is primarily based on cost-plus, with a margin used to cover the costs of the organization. It is unclear whether Susan has dominant control over the price of the programs, as this is closely connected to the development of the product, done by the artistic and programming departments. External Relations AU has many Pro Bono (for the public good) supporters from agencies and market research firms. Some examples include: Identica, Splash Marketing, Machine Marketing, and Business Objects. Specifically, Business Objects worked with AU in the past to create a donor predictability model to better predict, measure and report their annual campaign efforts. They did this by implementing an online tracking system that compiled and helped them evaluate data mid-way through fundraising. AU saved $20,000 in consulting costs and is able to communicate in a targeted and efficient way with donors. Now, AU has more time to focus on building and maintaining relationships with donors, instead of monitoring and manipulating data in numerous places and with multiple tools. Susan manages these relationships by stewardship practices of recognition and relationship-building. Evaluation and Recommendations After an evaluation of the company through a SWOT Analysis (Appendix 4), recommendations can be made which reflect taking advantage of opportunities, countering threats, maximizing strengths, and minimizing weaknesses. Due to AU’s record of success for the past 30 years, it has potential to expand successfully.
  6. 6. Pauline Chow (#46951083) & Julia Liu (#65820060) Arts Umbrella Marketing Report: Analysis & Recommendations 5 Expansion AU can expand in two different ways, by geographical area or by age. With a planned expansion into Surrey already underway for the outreach program, the Vancouver market is already quite saturated. It is recommended for AU to look into expanding into different cities, such as Toronto or Montreal. Entering Toronto first may be ideal, as there is already an existing arts community in Toronto, and there are large language barriers in Montreal. AU must ensure that the core elements of the AU brand is transported and implanted into the new cities if they open elsewhere by working with top management to recruit new hires, create training manuals, and incorporate the objectives, core mission, and culture of the company into its new location. Another option is to hold tuition-based classes for adults aged 19+ in Vancouver. New students will emerge who previously could not afford classes, but now can with a steady source of income. Alumni students who have come of age will also be potential customers for this new program. This will increase the source of funds streaming in from tuition-based classes, which will help counter dependence on donations from corporations suffering through a recession. To eliminate the weakness of capacity issues in terms of places to hold classes, it may be a good idea to open a new location in a central area, such as downtown Vancouver. However, this extension into the adult market is not fully aligned with AU’s mission of “Inspiring Kids for Life Through the Arts.” This issue of mission misalignment must be discussed with top management and the Board of Directors to determine if the benefits exceed the costs of editing the mission. To gain funds for a new permanent site, AU should leverage on their success of the Annual Giving program, and extend it into the individual giving market. Individual donors can be referred by volunteers to donate. An extra incentive can be given to the largest donors, where special rooms will be named after them in the new space. It will also be easier to implement sustainable, reoccurring giving programs with individual donors since, unlike corporations, their goals and management team does not change frequently. Restructuring, Pricing, & Marketing To address the issue of staff capacity constraints, it is suggested to merge the special events department with the Development and Marketing department. The two departments already have similar goals, and once they are merged, it will be easier to bridge the connection between the sponsors and attendees of the special events with the development department. The popularity of different programs is not utilized to their full potential due to the pricing scheme of cost-plus. If programs were priced according to supply and demand, it would be possible to evaluate the most profitable programs. Then, if the number of profitable programs were increased until demand was met, and vice versa – unprofitable programs shrunk - more funds could be raised by AU. However, this technique may face many critiques from the Artistic and Programming department, which might believe strongly in diversity of programs. To further encourage product switching as well as product trial, a packaged program with diverse types of classes should be offered to students of all ages (not just early learners). Lastly, to bring their marketing efforts up to date for the tuition- based programs, instead focusing on the program brochure, a new programs website that actively engages with guests needs to be created. AU should approach web designers to partner with them Pro Bono in order to increase the interactivity of the website.

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