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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

Our mission at Onstage is to produce the highest quality, luxury program books available to venues and performing arts groups. Along the way, we’ve developed long relationships with many venues, and we know better than anyone that every organization offers a unique audience experience.

Sitting down to write an article about the AT&T Performing Arts Center (ATTPAC) in Dallas brought us a different challenge, as very few venues offer such extensive programming, such a variety of genres, and so many community programs. That’s before we even consider the massive size of the campus itself and it’s many options for performing artists!

We had to stew on this one overnight because so many aspects of this venue deserve recognition. After much thought, we decided to honor ATTPAC’s unique Elevator Project, a division of ATTPAC created to bring Dallas area’s more marginalized artists a professional performance platform.

AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Elevator Project

According to their website, the Elevator Project launched in 2014 to provide small, emerging, and historically marginalized arts organizations and artists with a quality performance venue in the Dallas Arts District. Each season offers audiences a remarkable variety of performances across all genres, with the projects chosen through a competitive process.

Elevator project applicants must be Dallas-based. We appreciate the fact that special consideration is given to groups who don’t have a performance space to call home, for these are the groups who truly need exposure! Successful projects often include:

  • new and experimental works
  • ethnically and culturally specific projects
  • performances designed for unique spaces on the sprawling ATTPAC campus

Performances can range from single-night presentations to multi-week runs. They include:

  • music
  • cabaret
  • theatre
  • spoken word
  • dance
  • comedy
  • opera
  • and others

Historically made possible by the support of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs (now the Office of Arts & Culture), this program encourages small arts organizations and individual artists to take this opportunity to excite, entertain, and stimulate an appreciative audience.

Most of these shows occur in Hamon Hall in the Winspear Opera House, or in the 6th Floor Studio Theatre in the Wyly Theatre.

The Winspear Opera House & Wyly Theatre at AT&T Performing Arts Center

Our admiration of the Elevator Program is so fierce because these artists get to experience genuinely world-class venues!

The Winspear

John Allison of Opera Magazine has hailed the Winspear as one of America’s finest opera houses. Per their website, The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House is a 21st-century reinterpretation of the traditional “horseshoe” style opera house, engineered specifically for the performance of opera and musical theatre.” Its stages are also equipped perfectly for ballet and other types of dance.

  • Foster + Partners designed it under Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster and Deputy Chairman Spencer de Grey.
  • It seats an audience of 2,200.

The Wyly Theatre

The Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre is arguably the most versatile theatrical performing space on the planet! It was designed by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus (partner in charge) and Rem Koolhaas.

The Potter Rose Performance Hall in Wyly can be shaped into several configurations: including proscenium, flat floor, or thrust configurations.

This variable sort of space adds to the uniqueness of each Elevator Program event hosted at ATTPAC, and keeps audiences wanting more!

Our Role

Program book publishing is the core of our business at Onstage. We seek to shine a spotlight upon artists, venues and advertisers in the best light and present them to a well-cultured audience.

Onstage Publications is proud to work with such an illustrious organization as AT&T Performing Arts Center, and we appreciate their endeavor to bring lesser-known performing artists and performance styles to the front of the industry. Who knows where the next Tchaikovsky will come from? We have a feeling he or she might be from Dallas!

If you’ve been following our blog lately, you know we provide marketing insights for anyone interested in learning how to market more effectively. Here at Onstage, we work with hundreds of venues across the United States and thousands of advertisers. We’ve been doing it for years. We see advertising campaigns every day which range from lackluster to stellar, and it’s part of our job to make sure your advertising makes a profound impression.

Our advertisers and venues are like our partners. We want you to get the most impact out of your ad budget, so you’ll stick with us season after season. We know that a big part of your ad’s success is the message itself, and how clear it is to the audience.

So today we’re going to discuss “noise” in marketing. What it is, how to spot it, and how it affects your business.

What is “Noise” in Marketing

Noise in marketing means excess information. Noise appears in all kinds of media: radio, TV, print ads, internet advertising…all advertisements are susceptible to noise, even high-end program book advertising. Noise can be anything that distracts from your central message. It comes in the form of:

  • Overly bright, garish colors in print advertising
  • Music or videos playing from your website
  • Pop-up ads
  • Offensive imagery, shocking imagery
  • Over-use of sexual imagery or ideas
  • Vague content that has nothing to do with your business
  • Customer-generated content on social media forums

In a nutshell, noise is anything that takes attention away from your message.

Finding Your Noise

It can be a real challenge to find noise you’ve made in your own advertising campaign! It’s all too easy to provide an audience with excess information, especially when a pet marketing campaign was your own idea, or if you’re an entrepreneur who has brought the company along from inception.

Noise happens! (That should be a T-shirt.) You have so much information the audience needs, right?

  • You need potential customers to know all the pertinent facts.
  • You want them to choose you over your competition.
  • They need to understand the complex details of your service.

We get it! But those details are really best left on your website or on a phone call from the sales staff.

  • Most customers can identify their needs for a product.

In the beginning stages of most sales, it’s the customer seeking you out. Consider: how often does a true cold call result in a sale? Ten percent would be a respectable return. So you rely on your advertising to leave an impression on potential customers, for the future. Keep the message simple and concise! Then dump all the clutter.

Sometimes the best way to find noise in marketing is to ask a third party

You don’t need to invest in huge focus group studies. Just get an outsider’s opinion or two. Choose someone who has nothing to do with your business. Show them your marketing materials, and then ask them what they retained. If you’re getting a variety of answers then you need to turn down the noise.

Advertising Noise Affects Us All

Have you ever seen a television commercial, and at the end of it you had no idea what the ad was for? Have you ever heard a radio spot that annoyed you so much with a repeat phone number that you changed the station? What about any kind of media that used a siren in the audio, to the point you’re looking around for emergency vehicles?

Marketing noise does more damage than just blowing your ad budget. In the worst cases, noise can actually repel audiences and even cost you customers you already have. You never want regular customers to feel annoyed by your message.

At Onstage Publications, our marketing professionals can help you create clear, compelling messages without the noise. It’s our job to make your advertising meaningful, and we take it seriously.

Contact us if you’d like to learn more about digital signage, luxury program book advertising, or Artspac, our opt-in direct mail program for performing arts fans. We’d love to help you out!

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is All About Diversity

Our program book publishing clients at Onstage comes from all over the nation! We love to be part of their vision of diversity. One of our most culturally diverse customers must be The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, a group of outstanding performance artists who are dedicated to bringing joy to the central Florida region in the form of enriched music and performances.

The “Orlando Phil” has it all!

Each of our program book customers brings unique talent and vision to the modern performing arts world. The Orlando Phil provides more than 150 concerts to the Orlando area, and venues ranging from parks and schools to traditional auditoriums.

  • Classical concerts & pre-concert lectures for ticket-holders
  • Educational programs & youth programs
  • Community involvement
  • Cuban and Latino cultural programming
  • Performances in all price ranges, even free!
  • Performances by visiting musicians

We appreciate all the musicians and the dedicated administrative staff that make these events happen!

About the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

The Orlando Phil is growing! Next year will be their 27th Season.

This 2019 – 2020 fall-winter season is chock full of concerts; with such a wide variety of performances, we almost don’t know where to begin!

The Fairwinds Classics Series of concerts will all be held at the Bob Carr Theater and include

  • Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony– October 26, 2019, at 8 pm. The orchestra will perform the most iconic piece of classical music in human history.
  • The Sounds of Revolution, Freedom and Joy– February 1, 2020, at 8 pm. Soloists Colleen Blagov and guest Jeremy Kittel perform themes from the American Civil and Revolutionary Wars. The evening will close dramatically with a performance of Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony.
  • American Rhapsody– March 21, 2020, at 8 pm. A night of American composers, featuring Gershwin’s jazzy Rhapsody in Blue, which has enchanted American audiences since 1924.

A Note on Administrative Staff & Volunteers

While this blog series focuses mostly on venues and artists, we need to tip our hats to the administrative staff and volunteers associated with the Orlando Phil. As marketing professionals and business people, we understand the values and constraints of budgets.

Have you ever put together a big event, like a wedding? You know the amount of time and preparation it takes. Now imagine hosting 125 – 150 big events every year! We must point out that the Orlando Philharmonic’s administration must be doing it right because they are one of the few American orchestras that have balanced their budget every single year of their existence! That’s a major accomplishment!

Would we like to take a little crumb of credit for their success as partners who provide outstanding publication of their luxury program books? We would! At Onstage Publications we do more than publish luxury program books for clients. We help organizations stay on-tasks by removing the stress and busywork of quality program book production.

About Music Director Mr. Eric Jacobsen

According to the Orlando Phil website Mr. Jacobsen is nearing his fifth year as Music Director for the Orlando Phil. In 2016 he stepped down from his position as cellist of the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, to focus on his position as conductor and Music Director.

His vision launched a new trend in community engagement with his creative and diverse programming; intending to engage a broader audience, and the entire community is grateful!

The New York Times calls him “an interpretive dynamo”! He has a reputation for innovative presentations and collaborative works, and is probably known most for his skill at engaging an audience.

You Know that Audience Engagement is the Key to Experiential Marketing

Our specialty is experiential marketing. We get excited about music directors and orchestras who involve the audience and leave them feeling like they were a part of the concert.

We are experts at getting your brand in front of affluent, involved audiences all around the nation with luxury program books, digital signage at venues and our direct mail program Artspac. Would you like to learn more about marketing to this coveted opt-in mailing list? Contact us today!

2019 has been an outstanding year for the US economy and businesses of all sizes. Gross domestic product (GDP) is up, personal income is up, consumer confidence is high, and interest rates have stayed low. Most US businesses have been happy to revel in the glory of a “Goldilocks” economy – a rare time when our economy has been just right!

But before we all go laughing our collective way to the bank, know that Uncle Sam will be looking for a taste of that pie. And you might be getting slammed with some real income tax increases if you’ve done well this year.

  • One way to lower your taxable income (and use it for business growth) is to maximize your business income deductions, with increased spending on advertising.

Whether you’re a marketing director, advertising agency, or just a Mom & Pop shop, December is the perfect time to move forward with some serious advertising purchases.

Why is December a Great Time to Buy Advertising?

  1. Advertising is a write-off, and you’ll need it this year!

We’re not tax experts at Onstage, but we are a small business ourselves. Most traditional advertising (like our program books & digital signage) is fully deductible.

Talk to your tax professional about the specifics, but generally speaking, any advertising you do will be a write-off. To take those valuable deductions in 2019, most companies will need to spend those dollars by December 31. 

  1. Sales reps are eager! (So are their bosses.)

As the fourth quarter comes to a close, some sales reps are looking to meet monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. December is a slow month for advertising sales reps because:

  • Many businesses feel their ad budgets have been spent for the year, so there is little new business.
  • Decision-makers leave on holiday or become harder to reach.

Sales reps are left struggling to find those last few sales to earn their bonuses. December is a PERFECT time to ask for a bulk discount or other special prices. Those reps and their superiors will do what it takes to get your ad buy! If we were in the real estate business, we would call it a “buyers market.”

Sales managers, supervisors, and corporate notables are also looking to end the year with a bang. So get aggressive and ask for a big campaign guaranteed at December’s price. It never hurts to try!

  1. Use it or lose it.

Some organizations are planning their ad buys for next year, right now. If you haven’t spent your ad budget to the last penny, you’ll be getting less to work with next year. Go ahead and call your favorite advertising sales rep on December 23, they’ll love you for it!

  1. Many companies offer special ad prices. 

Again, in a rush to meet those numbers goals, most advertising media will offer special holiday pricing. Take advantage of them! You’ll get more bang for your buck, and it might be the last time you can get ads at these rates. Some companies will increase their pricing come the new year.

  • Most newspapers raise their rates every January, like clockwork.
  1. Advertising makes a lasting impression this time of year.

Schools close for holidays, employees take vacation time, and families gather together. There’s a reason you notice more automobile advertising on television this time of year…people are spending more time at home and at social outings than during the rest of the year. Careers and education are set aside, leaving more time and energy to be receptive to advertising.

Here at Onstage Publications, we know that your marketing mix has many facets. Hopefully, our luxury program books and experiential marketing at luxury venues are a part of your marketing efforts!

But even if you visit our blog for marketing inspiration, we know you’ll rock through your 2019 income taxes because you’ve maximized your advertising write-offs, and positioned yourself well in the market for next year.

At Onstage we value our performance art partners and the venues we serve; that’s why we provide them with the finest in program book publishing. Every artist and group we work with has a unique voice that needs to be presented in their own special way. Our luxury program books reflect this, as do the venues which house them.

The Music Center at Strathmore is home to The National Philharmonic and we believe this venue to be a modern treasure that D.C. residents can be proud of! We admire how the Strathmore hosts world-class performers from all over the globe. Furthermore, we love The National Philharmonic and Strathmore for their combined community involvement, but we especially admire their dedication to D.C. area youth.

About The National Philharmonic, Their Focus on Youth Programs

Going beyond the usual music student lectures and special ticket prices for college students, The National Philharmonic offers a community program that blows our minds! It’s called…

ALL Kids, All Free, All The Time

Yes, you read that right. All children ages 7 – 17 get into the Music Center at Strathmore free of charge for National Philharmonic performances. Strathmore staffers certainly don’t have anything against the littlest children, it’s just that symphony performances are probably not the best choice for their entertainment.

We think it’s fantastic that young people can attend world-class orchestra performances for literally nothing.

Color The Music Projects

Every fall, the National Philharmonic @ Strathmore also works with schools to provide D.C. area children with a chance to get hands-on with performance art and music they might not otherwise have access to. The focus of 2019 is the music of legendary disco artists ABBA.

Students begin by listening to beloved disco classics like:

Students are encouraged then to color and paint 9″ x 12″ durable paper, and to be creative with brushes and even marbles, to bring the music of ABBA to life in their own artistic way. Other types of art are encouraged too, even fashion design, to help students participate in music of ABBA with whatever tangible media they prefer.

A Rocky Year of Rebirth in 2019

It needs to be mentioned that the National Philharmonic has struggled financially in recent years, and it’s only with massive crowdfunding campaigns and volunteer labor that the organization can proceed.

NBC News reported in August, 2019 that the National Philharmonic is able to move forward with their 2019 programming because two dedicated maestros and the new interim president have agreed to work for free for the next 12 months.

  • Local businessman and philanthropist Jim Kelly has donated a year of service as president, which will save the organization about $95,000.
  • The two maestros Piotr Gajewski and Stan Engebretson followed suit.

The National Philharmonic was quite close to closing it’s doors in 2019 due to lack of funding after the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County decreased its funding by more than $150,000 since 2011 per NBC.

About the Venue: Strathmore

Per their website “High-quality arts programming, designed for audiences of many tastes, served with the hospitality and warmth of a family enterprise, are the hallmarks of Strathmore.” Three venues live under the Strathmore umbrella: The Music Center, The Mansion and it’s newest 250 seat venue AMP, which offers more of a jazzy lounge appeal.

We appreciate their seasonal outdoor performing arts events, because they seek to be inclusive, and reach out to people of all ages, interests, and backgrounds.

Program book advertising with Onstage is a way to get your brand in front of a wealthy audience, all across the nation. We can help you put your brand on blast with experiential marketing, and we do some amazing things with digital signage too. Contact us to learn more today!

A few of our satisfied clients.

Engage with the engagement experts.

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

Schedule a time to talk with Norm about how Onstage can help your Performing Arts Organization.

Use our program book calculator to find out how much we can save you.