In my last post I talked briefly about creating the profile of what John Jantsch calls the “ideal customer.” (Yep, another post inspired by The Referral Engine) In the theatre world we tend to shy away from the idea of creating one customer profile because we like to think that, if we could just get them in the door, most people would love what we do. Please, keep believing that. Hope springs eternal. However, think about the power (and return on investment) of taking a smidgen of your marketing plan and focusing it on your true, core, ideal patron.
As an example, I’ll profile who I think is the ideal customer of Synchronicity Theatre:
- Household income of $75,000 or above
- age 30-60
- active member of a socio-political civic organization and/or corporate women’s affinity group
- living within the neighborhoods surrounding 7 Stages Theatre
Think about the focus this provides to the marketing initiatives. Immediately we know which blogs we should be reading and leaving comments on, which organizations we should be partnering with, where we should be setting the Artistic Director up with speaking engagements, etc. Being this specific does not mean that we are turning away politically moderate stay-at-home moms or men right out of grad school. But, those niches aren’t our ideal patron. Our ideal patron will jump fully into our mission and revel in every nuance of it, understanding immediately the power and purpose of our company.
I challenge us all to take a moment with our key staff and construct the profile of our ideal patrons. Then, for the entire next season, commit to targeting this patron in every way we can. Notice nothing I listed above costs marketing dollars, but if you have the money, put some of it behind this experiment. Plan out your key metrics now and track them against your general outreach and this targeted campaign. Back to The Referral Engine, Jantsch lists these four goals as good measures to start with:
- Lead generation: For our purposes, let’s count this as how many people you are getting your message in front of with each campaign
- Percentage of leads converted: How many folks from your initial list actually buy a ticket / attend an event?
- Cost per customer acquisition: This is important! How much did you spend per converted customer for each campaign?
- Average dollar transaction per customer: How many tickets did they buy and at what price point?
I would like to add one more indicator:
- Total income generated per customer acquisition for the season: I contend that your ideal customer will come back more often than the general target.
Come on, try it with me for a year. Let’s report back at the end of the 2010-2011 season and see how we did.