This article is part of ArtsPond’s commitment to providing a voice for our youth interns to share their perspectives in learning about the dynamic world of arts and culture. From Sept 2019 to Feb 2020, Ryerson University Creative Industries undergraduate student Natasha Iqbal joined ArtsPond as a Communications Intern. The following are some of Natasha’s research insights on marketing for the arts gleaned from her jobs experience and review of several books in ArtsPond’s arts management marketing library.
During my internship, I had the opportunity to review several books related to marketing. Topics discussed in these books include the marketing mix, internationalization, technology and ethics in marketing. Some of the books look at the not-for-profit cultural sector in specific, with an emphasis on bringing business and the arts together to achieve success.
I learned a lot about marketing while reading. From how to effectively collect market research and building audiences, to how technology is changing the field (for example SEO and social media). I also got a better understanding about the many challenges that may exist for managers in the not-for-profit arts sector. It can be challenging for arts managers as they are competing against many other media, such as film and television, for the market’s attention. They also need to keep an eye out for trends and look at how to create future audience bases.
As I was writing down notes, I tried to make connections from the books and see how these lessons applied to ArtsPond. While It is important to look at how to gain profits, companies should also consider the impact their organization has on society and the environment. This consideration leads to concepts such as social marketing, which ArtsPond employs. Using marketing tools such as social media, email, blogs, and newsletters, ArtsPond is adding to its mandate of promoting spatial, economic, digital and equity justice in the Canadian arts sector. ArtsPond is also actively improving relationships between artists and their audiences, while appreciating the value they bring to the community, which is crucial for cultural organizations.
Similarly, increased involvement of your target audience can be essential. Marketing can be a challenge for not-for-profits as they are more focused on their mission and may lack the budget for larger marketing campaigns. However, creating ways for your audience to interact and communicate to your organization can be worthwhile. ArtsPond currently makes use of social media to have conversations with audiences and talk not only about their life experiences, but also the issues that may impact them. In the future, ArtsPond should continue making use of social media as an asset to drive community engagement and form closer relations. ArtsPond should also continue to utilize other opportunities created by technology to increase awareness of their mission.
- Marketing Culture and the Arts (5th ed.) by Colbert, F. and Ravanas, P. (2018)
- The Arts Management Handbook: New Directions for Students and Practitioners by Brindle, M. and DeVereaux, C. (2011)
- Arts Management: Uniting Arts and Audiences In the 21st Century by Rosewall, E. (2014)
- Management and the Arts (5th ed.). by Byrnes, W.J. (2015)