Yesterday, my blogging neighbor, Jason Heath, posted an article at Arts Addictwhich touches on the psychology of performers and how it impacts interpersonal artistic relationships. It is a great topic and made me think about how the orchestra business could take better advantage of consumer psychology when approaching audience development…
This topic was examined back in early 2004 via an Adaptistration article entitled We All Need To Go See A Psychologist and for the most part, orchestras have yet to take advantage of using psychological insight to help create a more inviting concert environment. Since that article first appeared, I’ve revisited this topic from time to time in conversations with colleagues and even a psychologist who specialize in helping businesses develop sales strategies.
As audience development continues to remain at the core of issues plaguing the business, it would seem that things are at the right point in time to begin exploring alternative examinations of the situation surrounding why too many concert halls are having increased trouble keeping the audience they have and retaining new ticket buyers.
If you believe that, overall, orchestras are playing better than ever and other artistic issues such as programming (a subject regularly examined by my blogging neighbors at Sticks and Drones) have little impact on these issues then the remaining concerns are ideally suited for evaluation from a psychological perspective. In particular, consumer psychologists help businesses recognize the issues that existing and potential buyers have difficulty identifying in surveys and interviews and then work with the organization to create a marketing campaign (or adjust related strategic and/or internal efforts) that will help attract and retain new buyers.
What do you think, is all of this too far-fetched for the orchestra business, is it exactly what the business needs, or is it something in-between?