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Festivals Toolkit: Marketing: Understanding your customers

Market Analysis
In order to develop an effective marketing campaign you will need to know more about your target market – your current and potential customers.

Do you have a profile of the existing visitors to the festival?
It is very important you keep information about the types of visitors that attend your festival.  Successful marketing flows from a complete understanding of your visitors – who they are, where they live and the leisure needs they seek to satisfy. The following is some of the data that you should try to get about your visitors:

  • Age - are they generally from one age group or a mix?
  • Group size and make-up – do visitors come as individuals, in groups, families or couples without children?
  • Where do they come from? What proportion of the visitors come from the local area (i.e. within a 5-10 mile radius)?
  • How often have they visited the festival? Are they regulars?
  • How much do they spend at the festival?
  • What proportion are tourists and where do they stay?
  • What kind of newspaper do they tend to read?
  • What other activities are they interested in?

Further information on event  maketing is included in the Best Practice Guide from the Association of Irish Festival Events.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Marketing is about communicating with people who are interested in what you are doing, giving them access to something they want, and building a closer relationship with them.

The basics of CRM are about collecting and storing information about your customers, analysing the information to understand customers and to divide them into target groups, then decide how your marketing campaigns should be designed to get more out of your relationships. The ‘Loyalty ladder’ is about moving customers up a ladder from non-attender to first time attender, irregular attender to regular attender, frequent attender to subscriber and potentially to becoming an advocate/friend or a donor.

The classic ‘Pareto Rule’ is that out of a database (100%) of attendees,

  1. 15% of attendees buy 50% of tickets
  2. 35% buy 35%
  3. 50% buy 15%

Therefore it is worth developing a relationship with customers and developing them along ‘the loyalty ladder’ as this will be most effective in terms of time and money. So initially, start collecting information (such as name, address, postcode, e-mail address, purchase history, events attended, special interests, age etc) to start building a customer profile and relationship.

Analysis of the customer information should help you to gain an overview to help you make strategic decisions and to focus your marketing, and give you enought detail to deliver a more personalised service to individual customers to develop their loyalty or trust.

New Audiences have produced an Audience Development Toolkit which gives further information. This Toolkit can be downloaded from the link in the Related Documents section below. 

Related documents

The following document is in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

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