DR IAN FILLIS OF STIRLING UNIVERSITY PUTS FORWARD HIS IDEAS ON AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING PRACTICE WITHIN THE VISUAL ARTS.
While most current research on arts marketing promotes the adoption of conventional or mainstream approaches to marketing,1 there is a growing consensus that this also has its limitations. Cultural organisations in general may practice recognised forms of marketing but their overall aim is not necessarily to satisfy market needs. Any audience development activity should acknowledge its role in social, as well as economic terms. This can be achieved by focusing on relationship marketing and the exploration of existing and development of new networks. Creative input into the process is also needed, rather than continual reliance on step-by-step processes. In other words, if particular context-specific thinking is required due to the needs of the venue and / or the audience, then this should be embedded in the process, rather than slavishly adhering to textbook forms of marketing planning and strategy. In other words, we should design audience development programmes fit for the purposes of the venue’s audience. [Read more…]