Capacity Interactive (CI) recently published their 2016 Arts Industry Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, an increasingly invaluable resource for a broad array of arts organizations. It provides a comprehensive survey of digital marketing and perhaps unsurprisingly, one of their key discoveries in a large portion of arts orgs know they are underinvesting in their online presence but aren’t seemingly doing much about it.
Arts organizations are underinvesting in websites, particularly mobile experiences.
- 63% of organizations indicated they did not have enough budget to adequately maintain their websites.
- 39% of organizations reported not having a mobile-friendly ticketing path, 37% reported not having a mobile “select-your-own-seat” module, and 61% reported not having a mobile-friendly subscription path.
I’m still digging through the report but what caught my eye in that excerpt is how arts groups perceive their primary website and ticket buying websites as one in the same.
questionFrom a perspective under my web developer’s hat, this is intriguing in that most arts organizations use ticketing providers that process web sales via a site hosted by the provider as opposed to integrating everything into the organization’s primary website.
Here’s how it works:
- Patron visits artsgroup.org.
- Patron selects a ticket purchase button/link.
- Patron is delivered to the ticketing provider’s website to complete the transaction via a subdomain URL, such as artsgroup.ticketprovider.com.
The latter usually attempts to skin the site to look like the orts org primary site, but there are usually tell-tale differences.
By and large, user experiences at ticketing websites are progressing much slower than primary website platforms so these differences become more and more pronounced each year.
We’ve examined this issue on several occasions but what’s important to keep in mind as applied to the CI report is arts groups tend to lump both of those mutually exclusive platforms into a single “website” outlook.
I’m anxious to see if CI’s report drills down into the primary website vs. ticketing website and if nothing else, this is one more reason why the field needs an annual technology summit to sort through these issues and begin to clarify critical distinctions.
We’ll revisit this soon once I’ve been through the report.
In the meantime, have you read it? If so, what are your thoughts and observations?Download CI’s 2016 Arts Industry Digital Marketing Benchmark Study