When I do a blog post like the one I did a few days ago on the role of advocacy in arts marketing I get some interesting responses. One common response is this one:
Adam, it's easy for you to talk about not worrying so much about sales but I have big sales goals to meet.
Of course you do. That's obvious.
In fact, I'm pretty sure I can describe the situation for 95% of us that work in either the profit or nonprofit arts world.
- You have high sales goals.
- Those goals get higher every year
- Your marketing budgets aren't keeping track with the revenue increases
See. It's like magic.
But the point here is that the public doesn't care about your sales goals or mine. They don't care what we need in terms of sales. Our goals are our problem. The question is how the marketing we do and the art we produce solves the problem that the audience has.
So what problem does your audience have?
A lack of places to spend money? Nope.
A lack of entertainment options? No.
A desire to feel like they are part of a community? Yes.
A need to feel smarter, more connected and more informed? Yes.
A need to feel like they are part of something meaningful? Yes.
So that's why I talk about having an advocacy mindset over a sales mindset.
That's why I talk about marketing your work based on your values, not just the perceived benefits of the production.
It's because doing those things puts you on the path toward creating marketing that people actually want to engage with and respond to.