Last week’s post about limitations in many of the box office and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms that specialize in the performing arts field place artificial limitations on customer experience and revenue potential garnered some interesting direct feedback.
Admittedly, I can get ahead of myself when it comes to creating a common frame of reference and several readers sent direct messages saying they couldn’t imagine what I was describing.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Let’s say a performing arts organization wanted to create an affiliate marketing program to help develop influencer marketing and reward supporters for driving ticket buying traffic to your site. A popular provider for this type of functionality is AffiliateWP, a WordPress based system that makes setting up and managing an affiliate program easy for all skill levels (I use it for my Venture Event Manager affiliate program).
For a platform like this to work, it must track a user from reference point, to landing page, to checkout. After the buyer completes a purchase, the referrer receives a commission.
It’s pretty straightforward, but it only works if the system can track that user through each stage in the process.
AffiliateWP not only provides the capability to implement that tracking, but it integrates with nearly 30 ecommerce and payment gateway platforms that function as the crucial “this is where the buyer gives you money” end-point in that process.
Here’s their current list: https://affiliatewp.com/integrations. Notice that none of the usual suspects among performing arts-oriented box office/CRM providers are on that list. The only one that comes close is GiveWP, but that’s geared more toward charitable non-ticket based nonprofit orgs.
That means if you wanted to implement an affiliate program at your organization, you’d have to pay a developer to program everything from scratch. Spoiler: that’s not inexpensive.
AffiliateWP will cost anywhere from $150-$500/year but custom programming will cost thousands.
Consequently, most arts orgs can’t even have a conversation about exploring the potential for an affiliate marketing program. guess how long it will take to catch up by going slower?