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Igniting intelligence & innovation

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2012 November

Audience profiles for the performing arts

Drawing together box office data, research outputs and profile information from Mosaic Scotland and other sources, Culture Sparks continued to work with a range of performing arts companies and venues to develop understanding of audience composition and behaviour, locally, regionally, nationally, and further afield. Segmenting audiences geographically and/or according to their interests and behaviours, we provided organisations with data and intelligence to inform and support their own strategies.
“Thank you so much for the report on our drama audiences – the depth of information was, and will be, really useful.” Astrid Shearer, Cultural Services Marketing Manager, Falkirk Community Trust


Understanding regional audiences

With the BBC SSO, we worked to identify trends and patterns in attendance over the past season (2010/11), as well as analysing audience feedback from Glasgow and Aberdeen to identify attitudes, opinions, and levels of marketing awareness to inform BBC SSO’s own audience development activity.

We helped the National Theatre of Scotland to identify prospective audiences in Aberdeen for their ‘Nothing to See Here’ project, and in Falkirk for the development and community marketing of their ‘Reasons to Dance’ project.

Again on local level, we provided Aberdeen Performing Arts with profile information to help them understand the differences and similarities between audiences for the two separate stages at their Lemon Tree venue, as well as exploring past and prospective audiences for Scottish Dance Theatre, specifically at the Dundee Rep.

What do audiences want to see?

For Eden Court in Inverness, we profiled current audiences for classical music, to inform the venue’s work with touring companies RSNO, SCO and BBC SSO.
RSNO wanted to test audience reactions to a range of programming concepts, so for them we organised a programme of qualitative research using group discussions. Jane Donald, Director of Marketing Communications:

“We were really delighted by the findings you produced for us. You backed up several of our hunches and also presented us with some unexpected findings (e.g. our audiences dislike of the word pops). I have presented the results to my colleagues in the Senior Management team and to the board who were fascinated by the results. We are still in the process of planning new events and our planning has been heavily influenced by the results you presented us with. I really hope you will see the influence of your work as we start to include different programmes over the next few years.”