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


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!

From inception to obsoletion, the services and physical products we use every day will experience the product life cycle. We’re not talking about the lifetime of the individual item in your hand. We’re talking about the ultimate future uselessness of a concept. Our most straightforward illustration might be modern cell phones and beepers and pagers of the 1990s. More on that in a moment.

At Onstage Publications, our advertisers are marketing professionals. To stay at the top of our games, we all must acknowledge The Product Life Cycle.

Everything changes! And the hottest concept of today will, ultimately, run its course. With this article, we’ll define the idea and explore how effective marketing can work ahead of the curve.

The Product Life Cycle Defined

From the point of its first insertion into the market, every successful product or service will undergo this pattern. As per Investopedia, the four stages of The Product Life Cycle are:

  • Introduction– a new product hits the market.
  • Growth– the product becomes more popular. Competitors start getting ideas about how to “knock-off” your service or develop worthy add-ons.
  • Maturity– the market is saturated. New versions of the product appear. They may be smaller, faster, cheaper, better.
  • Decline– a new product comes to fill the need

Let’s think back to pagers and beepers in the 90s and the cell phones which obliterated that product. Back then, the average consumer had a landline in their home. Email was a hot new trend. Pagers were a great way to request contact from someone as soon as they reached a landline.

  • Cellular phones were introduced but were only for the elite.
  • As more manufacturers started developing phones, they became cheaper and better. During this growth, more consumers bought their first cell phone.
  • The product matured the moment most US consumers owned a phone.
  • It’s such a competitive industry, some phone manufacturers have been accused of planned obsolescence. They are accused of intentionally shortening the life of cell phones so that consumers will need to purchase more. That’s a sign of decline. There is no more room in the market, no more first-time cell phone users. So manufacturers push new phones early, and we start to get the feeling a new product will be coming to replace them soon.

Let’s reiterate: the cycle is inevitable. Just as cell phones replaced pagers, so will every other product and service be replaced or become obsolete.

Advertising Ahead of the Product Life Cycle

As advertisers, we must see a service or product and know that technology is coming around the bend to replace it. Therefore, our goals as marketing professionals are to use advertising to:

  • Make the most of growth phases, by keeping prices high on new products, and profit margins as wide as possible.
  • Seek more market share as product maturity looms ahead.
  • Endear our products to end-users, as either reliable or luxe.
  • Brand our businesses, making consumers receptive to our next product or solution.

Our Role

Here at Onstage, our business is publishing high-end program books for performing arts organizations. We offer digital signage and our direct mailer to performing arts fans, Artspac.

We would love to talk to you about your specific product or service and help you create the right ads for the right audience, with the knowledge of the Product Life Cycle in mind. Our specialty is marketing to the wealthiest US audiences. These are often the early adopters, the elite, being the ones who could afford cellphones, or who depended on beepers to respond to an emergency. These are the audiences we reach, in an environment that demands their attention.

Our advertisers are like partners to us. We understand your advertising needs, and our success depends on yours. So get in touch with us today!

Related Reading & Resources: History of Pagers & Beepers

Harvard Business Review: Exploit the Product Life Cycle

We were recently inspired to write this piece while we were researching our amazing venue, the Orchestra Kentucky. Per their website, the OK subscribes to The Purple Cow Marketing Theory, written by keynote speaker and entrepreneurial author Seth Godin. If you haven’t read the book, we’ll summarize the general idea here from a few different angles. If you’re a big Godin fan, know we’re going to get a little bit critical. But our discussion here is meant with the best intentions as we respect this author.

The Purple Cow Marketing Theory

The Purple Cow Marketing Theory illustrates more than marketing, but innovation, albeit in a juvenile way. If you enjoyed the marketing/sales book “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson, you’d dig this one too. These are cartoonish parables which leave us feeling a little patronized, but perhaps that’s the point.

In a nutshell, The Purple Cow Marketing Theory says:

  • People see the standard black and white cows and brown cows all the time.
  • We don’t get excited by them.
  • However, if we were taking a drive in the country and saw a PURPLE COW, well, we would stop, pull over, take some selfies, call our friends, and maybe even the local news station!
  • Therefore, the best way to market your business is to be a purple cow.
  • Businesses should strive to be entirely unique and exciting if they expect to succeed in our tech-savvy marketing environment.

What We Love About The Purple Cow Theory

At face value, it’s true! The fields of business are full of boring brown cows, plugging along, chewing their cud, doing their thing. Sometimes an innovative company comes along and completely upsets the status quo, the standard state of affairs.

Our business model here at Onstage Publications was a purple cow in the performing arts industries. We completely overhauled the system! Our venues no longer need to publish their program books. By taking away the stress of on-deadline publishing, we free up performing arts organizations to do what they do best: PERFORM! We provide them with luxury-level program books, in some cases better than the program books they were used to, and we actually pay them to do it!

But enough about us. The reason any business model and marketing campaign work is a genuine need for the product or service. And that brings us to the critical part of this article, which makes two points:

  • All cows are inherently valuable.
  • Purple cows are no more valuable than brown cows.

The Value of Purple Cows

Whether you’re a carnivorous meat-eater like this author, or an animal rights activist with PETA or a devout Hare Krishna Hindu who believes bovines are the beloved pet of god, COWS ARE INHERENTLY VALUABLE. Whether as leather or a life-form, few human beings on this planet will deny that cattle are valuable in their own right.

This is not true of businesses. Investopedia quotes the Small Business Administration (SBA) to say that about a third of all new businesses fail in their first year, and about half of them fail in the first five years. 

  • No statistics prove how many of these businesses were innovative, or “how many of these cows were purple.” However, we feel that many entrepreneurs have an innovative product or service, or they wouldn’t have taken on the soul-crushing challenge of launching a new business!
  • Whether these new cows were brown or purple, they were deemed to be without value to consumers.

Innovation Does Not Equal Success

Innovation for the sake of innovation, science for the sake of science, change for the purpose of change, isn’t enough to guarantee success. A purple cow might make waves across the internet, but in the end, his inherent value is the same as every other cow.

  • Do you remember the Segway scooter? Recall the marketing hype about how it was going to change the world.

This illustrates our point that purple cows are still cows! 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our dissection of and dissension from The Purple Cow Marketing Theory. We respect the writings of Mr. Godin, and we think he makes valid points, most of the time. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to market your purple cow, brown cow, or black and white cow to an elite audience, get in touch with us today!

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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Send us a quick email with your questions and contact info.

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