Resources

As performing arts marketing professionals with amazing venues across the nation, we work with thousands of advertisers. As marketing evolves year after year, we must stay on top of the latest advertising trends and provide those insights to our clients. Our goal is to be more than just your resource for performing arts program book advertising, but also your go-to blog for any new, relevant marketing insight.

With that goal in mind, we’d like to make you aware of some modern sales support tools and marketing materials, beyond our products, that can be leveraged well with luxury event advertising at performing arts events, along with the tried and true classics that still work today.

Sales Support Tools & Marketing Collateral Defined

Sales support tools are items or technology your sales reps use as tools to help make a sale. Every organization is unique, but see them as:

  • printed catalogs
  • flyers & handouts
  • client testimonials
  • and anything sales staff uses to explain your product to a potential customer

Marketing Collateral is much the same. It expands past your sales rep’s efforts with a client. Before, during and after a sale, marketing collateral might come in the form of:

  • program book advertising
  • opt-in emails
  • direct mail campaigns (like Artspac, our direct mail program for performing arts fans)
  • out of home advertising (like performing arts venue digital signage)
  • customer satisfaction surveys
  • websites, reviews, blogs
  • social media posts
  • anything that supports your brand to the customer

For example, you receive an invitation to a seminar to talk about a timeshare. That’s marketing collateral. You attend the workshop, where a sales rep provides you with brochures, those are sales support tools. A week after the presentation, you receive a postcard asking about your experience. That’s marketing collateral again.

The point we’re making is that these marketing tools work wonderfully together!

Marketing Tools “To – Do” List for 2020

  1. Focus on Content Marketing / Blogs– We think Robert Kataisays it well “Content marketing is one of the most effective marketing collaterals. It’s good for awareness, for influence, and to spread the word on your products and / or services.” In our tech-savvy era, consumers are continually seeking information about the products and the services they use, or those they would like to try.
  • Blog posts, paired with a solid SEO campaign, can reach a vast audience.
  • In terms of Return on Marketing Investment(ROMI), blogs, web content, and the resulting SEO benefits may be the best marketing investment you’ll ever make.
  • Unique, quality content will be appropriate for years to come.
  • In addition to reinforcing your brand to potential customers, blogs give consumers a chance to get to know your business and your values.
  1. Create Brochures– Contrary to what you might have read in recent years print is NOT dead. Consumers have indeed moved away from printed newspapers and magazine subscriptions. But high-quality brochures are a different animal.
  • Like our luxury program books, quality brochures are durable and kept to be reviewed many times.
  • The key is to provide just enough problem-solving information on a brochure.
  • Don’t overwhelm the audience with too much information or marketing noise.

If you’re already using brochures in your marketing mix, that’s terrific! 2020 is the perfect year to give them a facelift, and a push with related digital signage and program book advertising.

  1. Reinvent Your Tradeshow Trinkets – We’re using this category to lump together all the little trinkets you might use as collateral marketing materials. Think of them as:
  • pens
  • notepads
  • coffee mugs
  • refrigerator magnets

All the trinkets a business might make to distribute at a trade show, music festival, or experiential marketing opportunity fall in this category.

This year, reinvent your trinkets. Offer a more valuable novelty that will be kept and used by the customer, and use it to drive customers to your website.

Avoid cheesy trinkets! Modern consumers have little use for clickers, laser light key chains, or coin purses. Your marketing money will be better spent on quality, meaningful goods that your customers will have a use for.

Here at Onstage, our products are digital signage at performing arts venues, luxury-level program books, and our direct mailer, Artspac. We’d love to work hand-in-hand with your marketing department to develop a program book advertising campaign that works with the sales support and marketing collateral you’re using in 2020. So get in touch with us today!

Big Data sounds intimidating to us marketers. We’re advertising experts, not software programmers, right? But don’t be afraid of that nasty data term. Big Data is not just a buzzword. As a modern marketing professional, this is the information you need to know.

In a nutshell, Big Data refers to the ever-growing amounts of information you can use to monitor your brand and your marketing department’s performance, all while keeping a finger on customer experience.

Big Data can be complex, but you might be able to manage it in-house (if not, there is software available). To determine how much data you’re dealing with, we break Big Data down into two types of information:

  • structured data
  • and unstructured data

What is Structured Data?

Structured data is information maintained inside your business. Practically anything you keep on a spreadsheet or in a filing cabinet falls into this category:

  • sales spreadsheets
  • purchase orders
  • calendars
  • old sales forecasts
  • financials

Structured data is solid evidence of your company’s performance. The benefit of structured data is that it is easily searchable and patterns come clear quickly.

  • The point of using software to analyze your structured data is to find patterns you may be missing regarding your best sales days/products/markets.
  • We can make multiple comparisons with software.
  • You can find out where most of your customers are coming from, what they’re spending, and which advertising campaigns they reacted to.

The only real challenge is that someone has to do a whole lot of data entry to make this information searchable. See, it’s more straightforward than you thought!

Until we get into the realms of Unstructured Data.

What Is Unstructured Data?

Human beings generate Unstructured Data. It comes from countless sources and is much harder for humans or software to analyze. It includes:

  • online reviews like Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Google reviews
  • social media posts, “likes” and “shares”
  • “Tweets”
  • customer service phone calls or emails
  • inbound complaints
  • positive or negative reports in the media, like a negative feature about your business on the local news
  • scientific information in the press, like weather reports that affect travel
  • image-based platforms, like Instagram
  • chatrooms in online games

Software developers are struggling to create reliable algorithms to study this sort of information. It’s difficult because platforms change quickly.

Unstructured data may be challenging to monitor, but it has a direct and immediate effect on your bottom line!

If you’ve ever had a rash of 1-star reviews or been put on blast on social media in a negative way, you know what we mean.

Consumers trust each other, and online reviews have mostly replaced “word of mouth” advertising. That’s why quality advertising and reputation management are key to your business.

How to Benefit From Big Data Analysis

Whether done by software or a staffer, use big data analysis is to dial in your marketing efforts.

Let’s consider Google PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns for instance. You can use software or staff to research which phrases worked best, in which geographical areas, and on what dates. Then, you can be more focused in the future with your PPC budget, spending more during specific weeks or months, or targeting a particular market.

  • Big data management can take the guesswork out of marketing.

Even the smallest organizations can benefit from a “boots on the ground” approach to big data. Maybe you employ a millennial who would love to be tasked with online reputation management for an hourly wage. Have them monitor all the big review sites and Facebook for a start.

Our Role 

The staff at Onstage Publications are branding experts! We publish this blog to help keep our advertisers and performing arts organizations in-the-know about the hottest marketing topics. As always, if you need professional program booksdigital signage, or direct mail contact with an elite audience, reach out to us today.

Related Resources:

Investopedia: Big Data Definition

Structured vs. Unstructured Data

For ninety years, The Bushnell Center has been Greater Hartford’s crowning cultural jewel. It’s a unique venue for performing arts, but also for education and community activities.

Every time we highlight one of our venues, we focus on one or two unique concepts we admire about it. The Bushnell Center has so much to offer, it’s going to be a challenge. From a historic building that has served generations of Hartford, Connecticut performance arts patrons, to their dynamic 21st century performing arts center, to their modern message of cultural diversity and community outreach, the Bushnell has it all!

With so many wonderful attributes to highlight, we’ll need to go back to the very beginning, nearly a century ago.

History of The Bushnell Center: Founded by Father & Daughter Ninety Years Ago

Per their website, the Bushnell’s tale is a family-love story, which began with father Horace and culminated through daughter Dotha. Both individuals left tremendous imprints on the Capital City of Hartford, CT. (If you’re looking for a different kind of love story, check out our blog post about The Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.)

Horace Bushnell was a well-respected man, perhaps one of the greatest scientific minds in a younger America.

  • He was a Yale-educated minister, theologian, reverend, scientist, and inventor.
  • He was also one of the founders of modern Protestantism.
  • Horace was a renowned and respected inventor, with many completed patents.
  • Scientists and inventors from all around the world consulted with him for advice.

Horace’s daughter Dotha had a vision for Greater Hartford. Her vision included a world-class performing arts center in that would be a memorial to her beloved father, and also a gift to her Hartford community.

  • She hired well-known architects Corbett, Harrison, and MacMurray to design the Bushnell.
  • These innovative architects designed the world-famous Radio City Music Hall.
  • Dotha sold her stocks and investments in December 1928 (right before the Great Depression) to fund construction in 1929.
  • In 1930 the Center opened and was called a “beacon of hope,” in the midst of the Great Depression.

Offering both employment and the distraction of entertainment for 2,800 seats per performance, the Bushnell has been cherished by Hartford families ever since!

The Historic Buildings of Bushnell Center

Every community has its landmarks. Seattle has the Space Needle, Las Vegas is home to the Stratosphere. The Bushnell is one of those special structures that creates a feeling of home and a sense of location for passersby. It’s a beloved landmark in the community, and established a sense of community and belonging among the locals.

The Audience Experience at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts

The Bushnell Center offers a unique audience experience, blending original historic buildings with state-of-the-art theatrical technology. It’s a large campus, but any visit should include a visit to two primary buildings and a selfie with Drama.

Visit The William H. Mortensen Hall  an exceptional example of the Art Deco style. Images of the sun, moon, and stars -symbolizing light, knowledge, and eternity abound for the audience’s admiration.

The Mortensen Hall is home to Drama –  the largest hand-painted ceiling mural in the US! Barry Faulkner and the staff created this 1929 masterpiece, which features the Muse of Drama. Surrounding the deity are vivid representations of theatrical performance and hope, as well as astrological symbolism and zodiac references. One cannot help but admire the symbolism and beauty of Drama!

Admire The Maxwell M. and Ruth R. Belding Theater,  which seats 906 souls. This beautiful, modern theater known locally as “The Belding” opened its doors in 2002. Younger and smaller than the Mortensen hall, the audience experiences state-of-the-art acoustics and a more exclusive performance.

  • This ceiling mural, by Evergreen Studios of NYC, offers a more modern interpretation of Art Deco sun, moon, and stars in the main hall.

Our Role at Onstage Publications

At Onstage, our mission is to provide the finest luxury-level program books to illustrious performing arts centers, like the Bushnell. We are honored to work with these historic venues, and we love to help them modernize with high-quality digital signage for advertisers. Our goal is always to present performing artists and advertisers in the finest publications possible. Reach out to us today if you’d like to get your brand in front of Hartford, Connecticut’s most affluent audience.

RESERVE YOUR SPACE ASAP OR MISS ALL THE EXCITEMENT!

Reach out to Kyle at (866) 503-1966 x109 or contact by email to secure your ad space.

Onstage Chosen For Prestigious Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 Ad Sales

The team at Onstage Publications is elated to announce our exciting collaboration with the prestigious Menuhin Competition to be hosted this year in Richmond, Virginia. For violinists, competing at the Menuhin Competition is akin to competing at the Olympics. The world’s most talented youths will come from all around the globe to compete!

In addition to adding the Richmond Symphony to our growing list of exclusive clients for their program book publishing and venue digital signage needs, Onstage will be handling the ad sales for this prestigious program book that is handed out to every attendee.

This elite audience is welcome to experience eleven days of masterful performance, as the finest young violinists from all around the globe compete before a jury of professional violinists. These jurors (judges) will also perform and teach violin masterclasses to the competitors.

This year’s 11-day violin competition and performing arts extravaganza runs May 14th through the 24th. 

  • Olympic-level competition of the world’s best violinists.
  • Then the audience will experience professional violin and performing arts concerts.
  • Masterclasses occur on Thursday.
  • The following weekend is full of special events, including the final Closing Gala Concert event!

Onstage will be representing our advertisers every step of the way!

Onstage Publications Welcomes The Menuhin Competition 2020

Eighteen nations are represented this year by a 44 youthful violinists. The US is well represented with 18 American competitors, one hailing from Virginia! Other countries competing include Spain, Italy, France. Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Poland, Japan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, and the UK are all represented this year.

  • These artists range in age from 11 to 21.
  • Some are returning to Menuhin for the second time, but most of these youths are first time competitors.
  • About a third of them come from non-musical families.

And We Thank the Jurors

Imagine if the Olympic judges not only rated the competitions, but then proceeded to school competitors, and perform themselves! We appreciate each juror coming to share their wealth of violin talent and techniques with the superstars of tomorrow. Check them at Menuhin’s official juror page.

Why Advertise at the Menuhin Competition?

While our advertising opportunities are available to any organization, we feel some of the best sectors and product matches for this audience could be:

  • Banking and financial institutions
  • Insurance brokers and surplus lines insurers
  • Luxury level musical instruments
  • Fine art galleries and artists
  • Private schools and universities
  • Music schools
  • Private aircraft, flight and travel services

For a week-and-a-half, the world’s most illustrious musicians, and all their fans, will have their eyes on the Competition. Between the luxury program books, which will be in the hands of every single audience member, we’ll also be putting your brand on blast via digital signage. This is your opportunity to saturate an incredibly elite international target market!

  • It’s an incredibly rare opportunity for domestic organizations to increase their reach to eighteen other nations with a single media blitz.
  • This audience is affluent, educated, well-traveled and ready to invest!

Who other than Onstage Publications could burn your brand into the minds and hearts of the world’s most well-educated, wealthy, jet-setters? We are SO EXCITED to be involved!

Our Role

If you’ve been reading our blog for any length of time, you know our mission is to provide the highest quality program books for the most elite performing arts experiences. We’re proud to provide digital signage throughout the 11-day experience at the Menuhin Competition. Would you like to reach the most elite audience of the globe for eleven days? Reach out to us today!

There are precious few opportunities for marketing professionals to craft a new mission statement: either the company is a startup, looking for direction, or it’s an established company looking to rebrand. Like logos and mascots, mission statements are meant to last for years, even decades. Spend some time on them today to avoid the need for rebranding down the road.

Here at Onstage, we work with thousands of advertisers across the US. We’ve seen outstanding mission statements, and we’ve seen some real losers too. With this blog, we’ll explain the two uses of your mission statement and show you some examples we admire.

The Two Uses of Your Mission Statement

Other marketing blogs tend to go on about the uses of a mission statement. There are not five, nor fifteen purposes of a mission statement. There are only two:

  • To explain your values to the public.
  • To identify your goals to staff.

That’s it! Everything else falls under those two headings. Sure, your mission statement ultimately plays a role in defining your corporate culture, and with proper branding, it will become a sort of mnemonic device, like your logo. But it’s essential to be clear and concise. Consumers will associate a great deal of information with your mission statement if you brand it well.

Your mission statement is not a company handbook, nor a tag line. So avoid the noise and keep those two ideas in mind.

Keep it Simple: The Best Mission Statements are 3 – 5 Words

The best mission statement we’ve ever seen was Dollar Rent-a-Car’s “Value Every Time.” Car rental is a very competitive industry, and susceptible to local market variances. In other words, what works for a franchise in Boston may be very different than what works in Austin. It’s not like McDonald’s, where the same Big Mac and Fries will sell in every market.

Dollar’s mission statement was outstanding, as it gave every location the freedom to make their own choices, but with a clear goal to remain competitive. The phrase was short, tidy, and meaningful to customers and staff.

Dollar was purchased by Hertz in 2012 and has since rebranded. But those three little words did a lot for the brand:

  • Customers understood they’d be getting a good value. This didn’t always mean the cheapest cars or the fanciest, but the best vehicles for their money, at every location.
  • Employees and franchisees understood their goals. They could make unique choices at various locations, such as offering luxury rentals in the Las Vegas market, always operating under the umbrella of providing a good value, every time.
  • Value Every Time also neatly abbreviates to VET, the name of their corporate mascot, a lovable bulldog.

Mission Statement Mistakes

Let’s imagine we’re crafting a mission statement for ACME Plumbing. The worst mission statements are:

  • too long– ACME Plumbing – “Covers all your plumbing needs in the Dallas Fort Worth area.”
  • too vague– ACME Plumbing – “We’re Customer Service Oriented.”
  • or conversely, too specific– Acme Plumbing – “Specializes in plumbing for home remodels in Dallas Fort Worth.”

The best mission statement will be something clear and memorable. Our imaginary ACME should probably stick to something simple, like “The Best Dallas Plumbers.”

In closing, mission statements are special. We only get to create them a few times in any organization’s lifetime. We hope you’ve enjoyed our article.

The advertising industry is worth a minimum of $1.2 Trillion US, per PQ Media’s research published for 2018. Here at Onstage, we expect 2019’s numbers to come back significantly higher. If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you know 2019 was a great year for US business. There’s a reason advertising is a booming business. It works!

But now and then some campaigns seem to miss the mark. Why? Nothing is more perplexing to marketing professionals than an ad that brought little return. Even worse is a campaign that completely bombed. With this article, we’re going to look at research about buyer behavior, and how it translates to advertising exposure counts in particular.

Why Didn’t That Ad Work? 

One older concept in exposure and reach is The Rule of Seven. This adage says a prospect needs to see or hear your marketing message seven times before they decide to make a purchase. This may be a good starting point. In reality, it can take upwards of 20, even as many as 100 exposures before a potential customer becomes a buyer.

  • A single advertisement rarely works well.

Conversely, you can bombard customers with advertising all day long and have a questionable return. Here’s the secret: consumers still won’t buy from you if:

  • They don’t feel a need for a product.
  • They don’t feel comfortable with your company, your image, or your brand.
  • Your corporate image and your reputation aren’t aligned with their personal beliefs. 
  • Your service or product requires more research than they are comfortable with, or have time to accomplish.

Some examples:

  • Nearly half of consumers who got a mortgage loan at a high-interest rate don’t bother to shop for mortgages, even though it could save them a lot of money. They aren’t comfortable doing the research or filling out the paperwork. These consumers don’t feel a real need to get a new mortgage. They already have one, and the relationship may be long-standing. That’s good enough.
  • Tarnished corporate images can repel even dedicated customers. We are reminded of Nike’s major marketing malfunction in 2001 when they admitted to using child labor in third world countries and further admitted the practice would be hard to end.

The point we’re making is that organizations sometimes need to look inwards at their brand and reputation, before challenging the effectiveness of their marketing department. After all, the industry wouldn’t be worth so much if it didn’t work!

The Importance of Consistency

All advertising works best with a single, consistent message.

  • Every time your message changes, you need to start counting exposures again, whether you’re looking for seven, twenty, or more.
  • Changing your message too often can confuse your audience.
  • Mascots and logos are long term marketing investments. Plan on using them for a decade or more!

Check out our posts about Legendary Logos and Killer Ad Copy for more information about how to present a terrific image.

Our Role

At Onstage Publications, we pride ourselves in providing the best in the industry program books to performing arts venues, outstanding digital signage in lobbies and performance halls, and our direct mailer for performing arts fans.

We can promote your business locally, statewide, or nationally all over the US, to an educated and wealthy audience.

Whether you need to saturate a local audience or put your brand on blast nationally, we can help! Contact us today to learn more about the many ways we can provide exposure for your business.

Related Reading & Research

Towers of Zeyron: The Advertising Industry is Now Worth $1.2 Trillion

The Ultimate Guide to Customer Acquisition for 2020

It Takes 6 to 8 Touches to Generate a Viable Sales Lead

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