Nine venues will share customer data to enable a new approach to attracting inactive arts attenders.
A data-sharing initiative involving arts venues in the North East is preparing to test the most effective ways to re-engage infrequent arts attenders, encourage people to engage more deeply with the arts, and stimulate cross-over between venues. The NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues (NGCV) – a network of nine building-based cultural producers – believe that together their databases hold data on most of the potential market, but that most of these people are relatively inactive arts attenders. To address this, the venues will pool their data, which will be cleaned and de-duplicated to create a clearer picture of their collective reach and the extent to which they share arts attenders. Audience members will then be invited to join a new, shared list to find out about the opportunities being offered by all nine organisations. Whereas orthodox arts marketing tends to target more active attenders, the ‘Unusual Suspects’ project will specifically target “those languishing in the recesses” of the organisations’ databases, with the aim of re-activating them.
Funded by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, the £184k project is being led by Dance City, together with research and technology partners Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM) and Tariff Street. MHM Director Andrew McIntyre told AP: “We think there are several reasons why this has not been done before: a lack of political will and trust between organisations; the idea that we are competing for market share and must protect our own databases; the lack of an affordable technical solution to bridge so many different box office systems; and fear and confusion around the data protection implications of sharing data… NGCV has built that level of trust and recognised that instead of competing for market share we are in a shared market.” Mark Dobson, Chief Executive of Tyneside Cinema and Chair of the NGCV Audience Development Group said: “Our business model is pioneering a new approach to collaborative working. Whilst many organisations work collaboratively from time to time, the extent and scope of the NGCV partnership is unprecedented in the sector and the envy of many organisations across the country.”