Refining Your Communications Segmentation

I read a thought provoking article by Andrew Jeong in the 12/7/21 edition Washington Post that examines a  survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research with funding from MTV about the impact the pandemic is having on their social lives, educational and career goals, and their wellbeing.

The survey included telephone interviews with:

  • 3,764 people ages 13-56 living in the United States
  • 2,683 members of Gen Z ages 13-24
  • 668 Millennials ages 25-40
  • 668 Millennials ages 25-40

What they discovered is 65 percent of Gen Z respondents (age 13-24) showed the highest levels of pandemic related stress. Out of the areas the survey asked about that were more difficult due to the pandemic, having fun and maintaining mental health scored the highest.

This is exactly the sort of data arts and culture professionals should be using to begin thinking about the message they want to send to their audience segments.

Granted, this assumes you’re breaking your contact lists into segments to begin with (hopefully, the answer is “yes”) and while I don’t recommend applying these results as a blanket assumption to everyone in your younger agree group segments, it’s a good place to begin message crafting process.

Creating messaging that reflects what your potential patrons feels as opposed to projecting what the organization wants, will go a long way toward creating stronger connections. In turn, that work translates to higher conversion rates and lays the groundwork for stronger long-term relationships.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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