CRStager enjoys long-term relationships with numerous orchestras and present clients include the Baltimore Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque, Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Winston-Salem Symphony and others of various sizes and budgets.
We focus our efforts on helping each client increase their subscription and single ticket sales. However, rather than applying a “one size fits all” template over the institution, we first study the unique contour of the community then develop a market-specific plan in response, one that clearly communicates each institution's singular artistic values. We are proud to say that in every case, when our recommendations have been implemented, our clients have experienced increases in sales far in excess of our fees.
The services available include:
- Marketing Assessments – Working closely with the client, marketing staff and members of the management team, we analyze the organization’s historical sales position, current situation, market potential, core operational competencies, and capacity for performance. This analysis leads to recommendations for improving sales and department performance. We have performed marketing audits for the Alabama Symphony, Asheville Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, East Texas Symphony, Handel and Haydn Society, Hartford Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Louisiana Philharmonic, Philharmonia Baroque, Oregon Symphony, The Phoenix Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony and others. Upon implementation, our recommendations immediately increased tickets sales in every case.
- Interim Management and Counsel – When marketing departments are in transition, we have worked with the managers in the department to assure that core competencies are maintained, that messages are appropriate and programs are accurately represented, and that the institution’s values are communicated. We see to it that the department functions perform at full capacity throughout the search process and transition. During our interim assignments with The Cleveland Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Mobile Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony and others, sales increased as we refocused the marketing team on the fundamentals.
- Pricing & Packaging Strategies – What do your prices say about your institution? Have they been set purely on the revenue you hope they will generate? It is important to understand the critical role pricing plays in attracting new audiences. CRStager takes you beyond such industry buzzwords as "demand pricing" and "heat maps" towards a comprehensive strategy that communicates both scarcity and affordability, getting more patrons through your doors as they begin their journey up the pricing scale.
- On-Going Marketing Counsel – Several organizations have CRStager contracted on retainer. We provide our analysis and perspective on ticket sales, assist in marketing planning, and review messages and marketing materials. The affordable monthly fee provides daily sales analysis, frequent phone and e-mail contact, and scheduled on-site visits. Orchestras find this service an excellent guide in mentoring new Marketing Directors to swiftly ramp up their experience and expertise.
- Marketing Planning – We have created comprehensive marketing plans, working closely with our clients to ensure alignment with institutional objectives. The potential audience is identified, as are the messages and activities to engage them. From this, a media schedule with timelines and budgets can be created.
- Staff Development – Oftentimes, institutions are challenged in hiring professionals with a depth of knowledge in arts marketing. While these individuals may have great strength in advertising or in their knowledge of the market, we can quickly mentor them in the core competencies of arts marketing. We help them develop campaign timelines, aid in sales analysis, review creative materials, and counsel in prioritization. In short, we teach them to know what to watch for and how to proactively respond.
- Telemarketing / Telefunding Campaign Audit - Whether you use an outside vendor or have an in-house tele-sales operation, there is always the possibility that your campaign is underperforming. Campaigns slip. Results are not all they could be. Vendors and staff realize they have hit a plateau but can’t seem to move beyond it. There are several key components to any successful phoning campaign, and if any are at less than peak performance it compromises the whole effort. Through on-site analysis, interviews and observations, our Telemarketing / Telefunding Audit will show you what is working, what isn’t, and how your organization can dramatically improve its outbound calling results.
- Analytical Sales Reports – The sales reports and predictive models we have built have become something of an industry standard and are now used daily in several orchestras. Instead of raw numbers, our reports measure the "velocity of sales", presenting analysis of each concert or campaign's position relative to season goals. Past concert sales are also documented and sorted for historical perspective. Our predictive sales are proven effective in revealing sales trends well in advance of the concert. With challenges and opportunities identified, a measured response can be developed early enough to correct or capitalize on the course. (Our ability to create reports may depend on the level of historical data available.)
- Marketing Expense Allocation and Media Selection – Current budgets and plans can be reviewed in advance of expenditure to identify activities that would appear to be ineffective. Activities more likely to deliver desired results are recommended. Any existing advertising schedules are assessed for their ability to deliver the desired target audience.
- Marketing / Advertising Materials – We also create advertising materials in all media: print, direct mail, broadcast, internet, social media, and promotions. The specific message of the client’s programs and activities – in relation to market competition – is articulated and consistently incorporated into all materials. Click on the links at the top or bottom of this page to hear and view samples of our proven-effective creative materials.
- Audience / Market Research – We work with data houses and research firms familiar with classical music to poll and profile patrons, identify demographics, and help our clients to refine their understanding of their audiences. Applying what is learned to marketing efforts increases advertising effectiveness and efficiency.
- Marketing Seminars – Following top-line analysis of sales, marketing efforts, and department structure, we facilitate presentations to – and seminars with – management, board members and key stakeholders to assure alignment on key marketing issues, the value of marketing, and its priority within the institution.
Please feel free to call or e-mail us to request a proposal, or simply to discuss your marketing and audience development objectives.
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to serving you.