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“Are You Relevant?” That’s the First Question for the Arts/Sports/Entertainment Businesses?

I chatted with Drew McManus from UpStage CRM a few weeks back as I was about to fly to Ft Lauderdale for the Protect Ticket Rights event.

We talked about all things arts/culture and the challenge of relevance.

A few of the things that stuck with me as I went back through the recording and my notes:

The correct question right now is about “relevance”: It isn’t whether or not arts/culture/entertainment/sports is dying, but it is about relevance.

People’s lives have changed. The day-to-day circumstances of people’s lives are different.

Does your offering reflect that?

Are you still selling the same tired way that you did in 2019?

You have to start with the buyer: Market research has driven a couple of my favorite conversations lately with Simon Weber, Paul Bailey, and Drew.

Why do I obsess over market research?

Because I want to hear from people.

I have this idea that I’m working on fleshing out more: The analyst and the architect.

The analyst looks at the data and draws insight from what people tell them. The architect takes all of this information, data, and a spirit of creativity and creates something new.

You need both.

But the thing is…you need both.

You need to know what the customer tells you they want, need, and value.

You must create the ability to shrug some of that off to give them something they might not expect, but something they will value.

You have to segment based on behavior: “Core Buyers” buy differently than “Newbies.”

This matters because we often fall into the trap of “lookalike” audiences.

The challenge is that they may have similar dynamics, but a new buyer and an experienced buyer are different. New buyers need new ideas, new value expressions, and a new purchase path.

Experience buyers might want to just know how to get in and out quickly.

You can’t build a one size fits all solution for your market segmentations.

Fight to get opposing voices into your organization: You need to get a wider net for your audience.

“Core” might be louder, but expanding your buyers is key to long-term success and sustainability.

You have to get the voice of the customers you want into the organization, at all costs.

Customers want “confidence”: This comes up over and over in my work and research, customers want to know they are making the right choice…especially if it is something they don’t do regularly.

This is especially relevant when you are looking to attract new customers, you need to spend time helping people understand what to expect, what they will receive, and the value they are going to receive.

This is essential because the alternatives to your game/show/event are so numerous that it is much easier for a potential customer to say, “not right now.”

I’ve only scratched the surface here. Give the full podcast a listen.

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