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What do audiences really want?

Projects: Dance House; Scottish Opera; RSNO; Eden Court; Mischief La-Bas; Members/Sector Surveys

Culture Sparks’ bespoke audience profiling exercises and marketing/ communications audits can help organisations to get under the skin of their audiences, enabling them to tailor their communications and engagement activities to reach out more effectively to target market segments.

Dance House

… wanted to identify potential areas for communications development. We started with a full audit of their current marketing activity, followed by workshops to help them develop brand messaging. Sheila McCubbin, Administrative Director, said, ‘Thanks for the mosaic profile you produced. Our Board of Directors were very impressed at how creatively the statistics were portrayed.’

Scottish Opera

… asked us to step in mid-season to help profile their audiences for the ‘Unwrapped’ initiative, to inform their targeting and marketing for the remainder of 2011–12. We took a multi-strand approach, examining box office information gathered from Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Inverness, as well as auditing marketing activity for each venue and exploring the customer journey to provide them with a full frame of reference for future decision making.


… 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. 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.”

Eden Court

…a venue in Inverness, asked us to profile current audiences for classical music to inform their work with touring companies RSNO, SCO and BBC SSO.

Mischief La-Bas

… asked us to help them to understand and evaluate audiences for their Scotland-wide tour with the Market of Optimism, and were delighted with our reports:

“The Audience Development Report and Action Plan has been … incorporated into the day to day running of Mischief La-Bas now. It has proved to be an invaluable tool in our business development. No doubt about it; there has been a profound shift in our approach and how we present ourselves to our clients, stakeholders, and the world generally” Sarah Jean Couzens, Company Manager.

Members/Sector Surveys

As well as helping organisations understand the changing needs of their audiences, we’ve been active in continuing to research the needs and views of our own members, clients, and the wider arts sector. We’ve carried out two member surveys this year, and used the results to refine and develop our services in line with sector priorities.


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