I am currently in the process of writing my final year dissertation in Marketing Management at Coventry University.
The general topic is audience development, but the title focuses on the impact of an ageing population and a growing anti-establishment youth culture on the arts, in particular theatres and theatrical production companies.
I am currently investigating Keith Diggle?s 1994 definition of audience development: ?The process of bringing an appropriate number of people, drawn from the widest possible range of social background, economic condition and age, into an appropriate form of contact with the artist and, in so doing, to arrive at the best financial outcome that is compatible with the achievement of that aim? [Diggle, K, (1994) Arts Marketing, Rhinegold Publishing]. But this is a definition which I believe to be flawed. I encountered the same types of problem as I did with the Diggle definition - although to a lesser degree ? with Stephen Cashman?s article about the ?Swiss army knife? model of audience development (ArtsProfessional, issue 38, November 18). I was disappointed to see that in what is essentially a marketing tool, no mention in the ?Purpose? or ?Payoffs? sections of the model to anything at all to do with customer satisfaction. In addition, there is only passing reference to customer needs: ?expanding the range of provision to attract new and different types of audience members?.
What appears to be common in all the literature about audience development is a reference to ?financial outcome? with little or no consideration for what the customer actually wants - something which the Chartered Institute of Marketing definition of marketing - ?Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably? - places at its heart.