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In today’s changing market, we know how difficult it can be to determine just where your advertising dollars will be most effective. After all, television and newspaper ads for broad audiences are on the decline. Instead, they’re making way for personalized messaging found largely on social media channels.

However, not all print is dead. According to a report by Business Insider, niche publications are thriving. After all, niche publications advertising is basically personalized messaging in print.

One form of niche publications has been around for years. That’s performing arts program books and play bills. It’s the quintessential target for potential luxury brand advertisers because patrons of the performing arts are loyal, appreciative and discerning, which is why so many brands covet the chance to build a relationship with them. The right advertising placed in performing arts program books can set your brand apart from your competition and pave the way for building a lasting relationship with an influential group of consumers.

Providing Evidence of Circulation

One of the questions our program book advertising account executives often hear from potential luxury brand advertisers and advertising agencies is, “What is your verified circulation?”

This is a fair question. Verified circulation primarily pertains to the paid subscriber copies for a specific printed magazine. In short, they get tangible proof of the circulation, so they can measure the feasibility of investing advertising dollars into it.

Magazines rely on tying circulation to advertising dollars so much that they pay a lot of money to have this service performed for their publications. But because performing arts program books and play bills are handed out to each and every patron who attends a performance, it’s not feasible for our industry to ever pay for this type of service.

The Secret Weapon

So, how do we prove circulation? It’s simple. We always reference ticket sales for any one performance. Although this in and of itself is very powerful, there is one secret weapon that we always use and really gets these potential advertisers’ attention.

What is it? We simply reference these potential advertisers to the donor pages. Right there in front of them, they have actual names (unless of course, they want to remain anonymous) along with the dollar amount that those individuals have donated. These are leaders of the community right before your eyes!

What’s the Advantage?

Our research points out several advantages of referencing donors to the performing arts.

  • 61% of patrons are more likely to purchase from companies that are friends of the arts.
  • 69% of patrons think highly of companies that are friends of the arts.
  • 50% of patrons feel good about doing business with performing arts advertisers and 39% remember their logo.
  • 96% of patrons take the program book home and feel it’s an important part of their experience.
  • Approximately half of the patrons are married men and women.
  • 38% of patrons are age 34-44 while 62% are age 45-27.
  • 79% of patrons own real estate.
  • 78% of patrons dine out before a show, while 32% dine after afterward.
  • In addition to the arts, 73% of patrons invest in exercise programs, 61% in home improvements, 56% in gardening, 53% in sporting events and 42% in charity.

That’s enough information to make it worthwhile to consider designing a luxury brand advertising campaign around performing arts program books and play bills.

So, the next time you get tongue-tied when asked about verified circulation for your program book, take a deep breath and show them the donor pages. Good selling!