Final subscription numbers - and focused marketing.

Orchestra Wellington’s subscription drive for our 2016 season ended on the 31st of March and I thought I would share with you our final numbers!

I’m pleased to be able to say that we increased our subscriber base 23% over the 2015 season! We finished the drive with 1248 subscribers – most every one of these to the entire season! There is no question that a robust subscriber base changes an orchestra’s paradigm and allows an orchestra to allocate marketing funds in different ways and in a more focused manner. 

I believe the best way to market an orchestra is through the enthusiastic word of mouth of happy patrons. Certainly one sees this kind of focused marketing (albeit though algorithmic social media programmes) on Facebook. As an anecdote, yesterday I had the great good fortune to meet with some of the orchestra’s donors and one of the people there has convinced another ten people to accompany him to each of our concerts. What makes this even more unusual is that most of them attend from outside the city – as far away as Gisbourne, Palmerston North and Masterton (i.e., many hours away by car)! I believe that a next step for Orchestra Wellington will be to discover how to best focus this kind of good will into further ticket sales.

Whilst I see newspaper advertising and posters as great in terms of visibility, I am not convinced that this visibility actually translates into the kind of additional ticket sales that justify the expense. I wonder if there is a smarter way to gain prominence in the market place – a prominence that is an outcome of focused marketing?

Because of the unique manner in which we sold our season (initially only mentioning date, venue and price), we will be able to analyse  the results in way that should give the orchestra a clear understanding of our audience’s motivations when purchasing tickets. One of Orchestra Wellington’s board members, Ozer Karagedikli, is an economist and he is in the process of writing of our experience. I will ensure that his findings will be available at this website at a later date and I imagine that these findings will be the topic of intense discussion in the wider arts community.