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Discussion Panel

Marketing in a Recession

0 Margery Steinberg

I think we need to use the economy as a guide for what is possible, and what is not. However, we still need to focus on the role of classical music in the lives of various constituencies. For example, the role of symphony orchestras in providing introduction and access to music in public schools, and

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Ashley Mirakian

Without a doubt, we have our work cut out for us. To me, it’s all about making decisions about what’s most important. From deciding whether to invest in that extra radio station to clarifying an organization’s strategic goals, let’s look at the big picture during this time. And, there are some critical things to keep

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Jeffrey Barker

As we conclude our discussion, it appears clear that price, while important, is not the main driver of ticket sales. And concentrating too much on price may do more harm than good. Why plant the seeds in the patron’s mind that they can purchase a good seat at any time for a song, when you

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Christopher Stager

While the full impact of this economy is hotly debated, the undeniable reality is that it is going to affect all of us for a long time. This is now the condition under which we operate, fund raise, market and perform – and not an excuse for poor results. We have discussed pricing, packaging, and

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Simon Woods

My feeling is that the sense of panic is partially to do with reality, but a lot more to do with fear. Many orchestras are reporting sales holding steady, or even slight increases over last year. But remember that we are still dealing with a year in which a large proportion of ticket sales were

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Margery Steinberg

While Chris questions holding the line on pricing, I worry about the consequences of NOT doing so. Cruise lines are offering cabin upgrades, hotels are offering one or more free nights after the purchase of a minimal stay, and car dealers are giving deep discounts and many perks for purchasing a car. I think symphony

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Ashley Mirakian

In Virginia, we are seeing wild swings in our single ticket tallies by event. My theory since September has been that people are considering what they want to see at the symphony this winter, for example, and not this particular month. As a result, our mid to low-level grossing classics events are suffering. The pops

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Christopher Stager

Is anyone else noticing a sense of panic creeping into Orchestra marketing? A Midwestern Orchestra just notified its subscribers that (in deference to the economy) not only will prices not be increased, but if a subscriber wants to take 15% off the subscription price, they may do that by simply writing in that price on

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Simon Woods

I think Ashley’s point about being “careful during these tough times not to de-value the concert experience through extreme discounting” is really important. The downward spiral of discounting (and the consequent devaluation of the single ticket price and subscription offering) is a dangerous one. We have only just managed to climb out of a deep

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Margery Steinberg

Pricing strategy is always a “balancing act.” The organization does not want to seem desperate by looking like they are having a “fire sale.” However, in the purest sense of pricing, in this environment customers are seeking “value pricing.” They are willing to spend money if in return they get something which enhances their lifestyle

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Ashley Mirakian

I really like Jeff’s idea about “concert cash.” In my experience, people respond to concrete and significant discounts. Concrete in that they are easy to understand ($30 is easier to understand than 30% off, which must be mentally calculated). Significant in that a discount must convey deep savings or use strong language. (Most people don’t

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Sandi Macdonald

I am focused on looking for the small slivers of opportunity that price adjustment (up and down) can make. Pricing opportunities, coupled by appropriate promotional support, can be a winning combination. Chris hits the nail on the head regarding the timing of promotions – especially those that cause subscribers to question their relationship with the

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Christopher Stager

Jeff Barker understates his success with the “$30 off on any single ticket purchase over $70″ offer. He has explained to me that the Kansas City Symphony’s ticket prices don’t easily approach $70 in any combination. They are either far less (requiring the buyer to commit to more events) or far higher (diminishing the impact

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Simon Woods

First of all, a disclaimer. I am not a “marketing professional”! I’m a Chief Executive (with experience on both sides of the Atlantic) who has a keen interest in marketing, development and public engagement. Chris’s article had many interesting points, but for now I’ll respond to just one of them, which is Family Pricing. We

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Margery Steinberg

Chris raises several interesting ideas. Family pricing is certainly a strategy we have considered in the past. I think it is more important now not only because of the economy, but also because of a related reduction in music programming in schools. We will miss out on the opportunity to build future audiences if today’s

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Ashley Mirakian

Marketing Expense Management Chris makes many great points about revenue generation. As marketing professionals, we’re also facing pressure on our expense budgets. Here are a few suggestions for getting the best possible cost of sale. It’s a tough time for orchestras, but it’s also a tough time for marketing vendors. Make the most of your

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Jeffrey Barker

At the Kansas City Symphony, we’ve been able to expand both our younger Family audience, and our high school and college audience, by creating special price points and by better promoting student pricing already in place. The subscriber base of our four concert Family Series has grown threefold in the past three years, due in

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Christopher Stager

Now is the time to plan and identify marketing tactics for these times. I have considered a few strategies and appropriated several from other colleagues. Send Renewals the Week of January 19, 2008 If you must raise ticket prices, it would be best to hold the increase until after the subscription renewal deadline. Then you

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Marketing in a Recession

0 Ann Drinan

Christopher Stager of CRStager marketing approached me with an idea back in January — he had some interesting thoughts about how orchestras can change their marketing strategies to work in the current recessionary economy. I asked him to write an article about marketing during a recession, which we published in January. He was also interested

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Entrepreneurs in Music — and Don’t Forget about Mozart!

0 Chuck Seipp

I have some thoughts about some things I experienced last year that helped motivate me to be part of this panel. Entrepreneurship to me is so important and it seems that it is becoming an important part of the college concern these days. I was at a university doing a master class, splitting a session

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