Theatre Marketing

For the performing arts, it can be challenging to keep up with what strategies offer proven value and practicality. This is especially true in a digital landscape where the tools that arts organizations have access to aren’t always in sync with the wider marketing industry.

This guide to theatre marketing is made to be a grounding source for performing arts marketers, whether they’re building a plan from scratch or looking to revamp existing ones. These strategies are essential parts of the theatre marketing toolkit and made to help arts marketers maximize ROI in everything they do.

Building a theatre marketing plan

Here are some components to think about when crafting a marketing strategy:

Content marketing.

Creating useful and informative pieces of content that patrons find genuinely interesting and valuable is crucial. Good marketing is not about the hard sell, but about providing knowledge and information. It inspires loyalty through valuable insight and information.

Luckily, performing arts organizations don’t have to look far for interesting content. They have a wealth of inspiring stories going on in any given season and loads of creative personalities around to contribute to help tell them.

Driving secondary spend.

Theatre marketers are responsible for earned income and often ticket sales are their top earner. But while crafting an arts marketing strategy, it’s important to think of the whole gamut of revenue-generating opportunities, from selling supplementary events and merchandise to behind-the-scenes experiences.

That’s where secondary spend comes in. When patrons have already decided to spend at your organization, they have a baseline of loyalty. This opens a wide variety of opportunities to take that relationship further and tell them about what else the organization has to offer.

Leveraging that plan to increase revenue

With these core theatre marketing components in hand, it’s time to put them together to generate and build revenue. This can take place in a variety of forms depending on what fits the organization.

Here are some revenue-building strategies worth considering:

Set up supplementary events.

Extend a performance into a full night by creating additional events stemming off of it. Adding post-show talkbacks or opportunities to meet the cast and creative team can add value to an organization’s main offering. Additionally, it builds stronger patron loyalty by giving them a more intimate experience. It’s also an excellent source of additional income.

Add merchandise to your website.

Why limit patrons to buying merchandise at the venue? Making it easy to purchase additional items online is a convenient way to get patrons to spend more when they buy tickets. It also lets more people buy those items in-person.

Send automated pre- and post-show emails.

Chances are, patrons are a bit more excited and receptive to engaging with an organization before and after they see a show there. These are excellent times to communicate with them. Schedule pre- and post-show emails to make them aware of useful information and additional spend opportunities, and to keep them engaged after the show so they re-attend.

Segment your audience.

Another way to keep people engaged: send them relevant and tailored communications. This means segmentation. Create a strategy to home in on different patron groups and personalize the messages they get. This doesn’t just do more to fit their needs; it’s a proven way to increase ROI.

Improve your theater marketing with Spektrix

To utilize these core marketing components to their fullest and increase revenue, it’s essential to have the right tools in place. With Spektrix, performing arts marketers can implement a full range of strategies and track their performance.

Spektrix records every patron interaction with an organization against a single customer record. Marketers can use these detailed logs to analyze patron behavior and automate their communications with them. Spektrix allows for nuanced segmentations, supplementary event and merchandise sales, and countless opportunities for secondary spend. Beyond functionality, it empowers marketers to track all of these efforts against each other to measure ROI on every piece of material they create. With Spektrix marketers can make strategic decisions about their efforts and grow revenue.

The new arts marketing toolkit

Theater marketers can channel these approaches and their industry knowledge to increase revenue from their marketing efforts. Spektrix can take that even further by providing the tools to support complex marketing strategies and give marketers access to powerful insights on their efforts. With this combination of knowledge, tools, and metrics, marketers can create strategies to support sustained growth.

Learn more about how arts organizations can grow revenue and resiliency with our Revenue Maximization guide:

Start Maximizing Revenue


Download the Revenue Maximization Guide